• Ian Wright v. Environmental Health Officer

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    Decision Date: February 4, 1998

    Panel: Carol Martin

    Keywords: Sewage Disposal Regulation – ss. 2(1)(b), 3(1), 3(3)(a), 3(4)(e), 6, 7(1), Schedule 2 – ss. 17, 20; unconventional system; experimental system; innovative system; Policy for Innovative Technologies and Designs New to B.C.; small lot size.

    Mr. Wright appealed the decision of the Environmental Health Officer to refuse to issue a permit for a sewage disposal system for a proposed residence on a 0.14 ha (~1/3 acre) waterfront lot in Irvines Landing, B.C. The permit was refused primarily because the application could not be approved as an alternate system. The lot was too small for an absorption field, and in fact no absorption field was proposed in the application. The Appellant sought an order that the sewage disposal permit be issued on the grounds that the EHO inappropriately refused to consider a high effluent quality “Glendon Biofilter” package treatment plant for the lot.

    The Panel was not satisfied that the proposed system would protect the public’s health. The system has had limited use in B.C. in conjunction with approved backup systems and is still considered experimental in this province. The Panel found that the lot is too small to sustain a conventional or alternate system and that if the proposed experimental system failed, there would be no alternatives available for an on-site system. It was also found that a failure of the proposed system would likely result in contamination of neighbouring properties and the adjacent waterfront. The appeal was dismissed.