• Donald Gehring v. Environmental Health Officer

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    Decision Date: August 22, 1996

    Panel: Carol Martin

    Keywords: Sewage Disposal Regulation – ss 2(2), 7(1); Section 4.4 On -Site Septic Policy

    Mr. Gehring had previously been turned down for a sewage disposal permit due to the high groundwater table on his lot. He dug drainage ditches on a new site and applied for a system with a raised mound disposal field. After monitoring the site, the Environmental Health Officer (“EHO”) refused to issue a permit due to the fluctuating high groundwater table, poor soils and proximity to break out points (the drainage ditches). Mr. Gehring appealed this decision maintaining that, with the ditches to reduce the high watertable and the addition of soil to elevate part of the field, the public’s health should be safeguarded.

    The Board found that the drainage ditches developed by the Appellant to lower the watertable created potential breakout points where sewage could escape into the ditches. This problem, in combination with the other problems identified by the EHO, justified a refusal of the permit. Neither the EHO, nor the Board could be satisfied that the proposed system would safeguard public health: untreated effluent would likely reach the surface of the land or body of water. The appeal was dismissed.