• John and Carolyn Klassen v. Environmental Health Officer

    Decision Date:
    File Numbers:
    Decision Numbers:
    Third Party:
    Cidalia Wensley, Permit Holder


    Decision Date: October 10, 1997

    Panel: Toby Vigod

    Keywords: Sewage Disposal Regulation – s.7, Schedule 1 – s.1(b)(ix), Schedule 2 – s.2, s.16, s.18, Schedule 3 – s.3, s.14, s.12, s.21.

    The Klassens, who are neighbours of the subject lot, appealed a decision of the Environmental Health Officer to issue a permit for a sewage disposal system containing a sand-mound absorption field and a package treatment plant to service a proposed three-bedroom house. The grounds for appeal were: that the percolation rates for the field were too slow and did not comply with the Regulation; that the field setback distances from the property lines did not comply with the Regulation; that the field did not have adequate storm water drainage; and that the system would not ensure protection of public health.

    The Panel found that silt and clay existed in the area of the percolation tests and that the percolation test results for this marginal lot were not accurate since the percolation procedures, as described in the Regulation, were not properly followed. The percolation test holes were not pre-soaked, not all of the holes were filled with water at least twice, and not all of the holes were filled until the last two rates did not vary by more than 2 minutes per inch. In terms of setback distances, the Panel found that when measuring the setbacks on a sand-mound absorption field for the purposes of s.14 of Schedule 3, the distance to the property line must be measured from the outer edge of the sand on the sand-mound and not the trench walls. The Panel decided that the absorption field did not have adequate setbacks and needed to be moved further south and east on the lot to comply with the Regulation. The Panel also found that the proposed interceptor drain on the site did not adequately protect the field from storm water and that a new written design for a drainage system needed to be developed. The Panel was not satisfied that the proposed disposal system would safeguard public health given the percolation rates, the problems in percolation testing, the inadequate setbacks and the need for a new drainage system. The Panel allowed the appeal, rescinded the decision of the EHO and cancelled the permit.