• J.C. Lee v. Environmental Health Officer

    Decision Date:
    File Numbers:
    Decision Numbers:
    Third Party:


    Decision Date: August 29, 1995

    Panel: David Brown, Sheila Bull, Gary Robinson

    Mr. Lee applied for a sewage disposal permit for his property near Sunset Beach in West Vancouver. He wanted to construct a large residence on the site and he applied for a permit to construct a specially designed sewage disposal system composed of:

    1. a septic tank
    2. a secondary treatment plant (multi-flo unit)
    3. sewage disposal based on a marine outfall at 24 metre depth

    Further conditions included increasing the depth to 32 metres and installing an intermittent sand filter treatment system. The proposed system would reduce the bacteria count in the effluent by 99%. The Environmental Health Officer refused the permit due to a resolution of the North Shore Union Board of Health dated 1975 which said the Board “may prohibit discharge into tidal water.” Mr. Lee appealed. The Board allowed the appeal citing section 8 of the Sewage Disposal Regulation which gives powers to a local board to control discharges into tidal waters where it would constitute a health hazard. The Board was satisfied in this case that using the specially designed system, the Appellant had met this standard. The Board noted in its decision that there has to be reasonable evidence of a possible health hazard and not mere speculation about the possibilities of an accidental event or a system breakdown.