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   Septic Systems
   
 

Buildings in the province of Ontario are covered by the Building Code Act, 1992. The 2006 Building Code came into effect on December 31, 2006 enacted by Ontario Regulation 350/06.

Private sewage systems are regulated under Part 8 – Sewage Systems of the Ontario Building Code and are therefore defined as buildings.

Part 8 governs the design, construction, operation and maintenance of various class of sewage systems located within properties. It addresses sewage systems up to 10000 liters capacity serving one lot.

Systems larger than 10,000 liters/day are regulated by the Ministry of the Environment under the Ontario Water Resources Act.

For electronic copies of both the Building Code Act and the Ontario Building Code visit e-laws (www.e-laws.gov.on.ca)

Ontario Building Code:

Effective April 6th, 1998, the responsibilities of the on-site sewage systems with a total daily flow of less than 10,000 litres per day were legislated from the Ministry of the Environment to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Part 8 of the Ontario Building Code is a direct transfer of responsibilities from the Environmental Protection Act.

Building Code Commission:

The Building Code Commission (BCC) is an adjudicative tribunal, authorized under the Building Code Act. Its mandate is to resolve disputes concerning the sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of the Building Code, time period disputes for site inspections and time period disputes for processing permit applications. Parties to the BCC are typically builders, developers, architects, engineers, etc. as applicants and municipal plan reviewers, building inspectors, registered code agencies (RCAs) and health officials as respondents. http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page7394.aspx

Building Material Evaluation Commission:

The Building Materials Evaluation Commission (BMEC) is a regulatory agency authorized under the Building Code Act, 1992 (BCA). It has a mandate to conduct or authorize the examination of materials, systems and building designs for construction. When approving a material, system or building design, the BMEC may attach certain conditions for its use. The BMEC may also make recommendations to the Minister regarding changes to the BCA or Building Code. http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page8295.aspx

   
   Advanced Sewage Treatment Units
   
 

Advanced Sewage Treatment Units — Provides secondary or tertiary effluent before it is directed to the leaching bed.

Effluent — Sanitary sewage that is passed through a treatment unit.

Under the OBC 8.6.2.2.(1) — A Treatment Unit shall be designed such that effluent does not exceed the maximum concentrations stipulated in Column 2 of Table 8.6.2.2A.

Under the OBC 8.6.2.2.(5) — A Treatment Unit described in the Supplementary Standard SB-5 is deemed to comply with the requirements of Table 8.6.2.2A.

Under the OBC8.6.2.2.(6) — Every manufacturer or distributor of a treatment unit shall provide, for each model sold, printed literature that describes the unit in detail and provides complete instructions regarding the operation, servicing, and maintenance requirements of the unit and its related components necessary to ensure the continued proper operation in accordance with the original design and specifications.

Under the OBC 8.9.2.3 (2) — No person shall operate a treatment unit other than a septic tank unless the person has entered into an agreement whereby servicing and maintenance of the treatment unit and its related components will be carried out by a person who (b) is authorized by the manufacturer to service and maintain that type of treatment unit.

(3) — The person authorized by the manufacturer to service and maintain the treatment unit and who has entered into the agreement referred to in sentence (2) with the person operating the treatment unit (Property Owner) shall notify the chief building official if,

(a) the agreement is terminated, or
(b) access for service and maintenance of the treatment unit is denied by the person operating the (Property Owner) the treatment unit.

   
   Maintenance Contracts
   
 

Property Owner’s Responsibly:

  1. Copy of a service report by a manufacturer trained service provider within the last 6 months, or
  2. Proof of manufacturer training by your selected service provider, if requested by this office, or
  3. Contact your service provider to renew/renegotiate a service contract. A copy of the renewed service agreement must then be submitted to the Ottawa Septic System Office on or before the existing contract’s expiry date, and a) Contract must be signed by both parties, that being the current property owner on title & the designate from the service provider, and b) Service provider must indicate on renewed contract that client’s account is in good standing order, which means that it is clear of any service suspensions.
  4. If change of property owner occurs, current property owner must disclose to prospective purchaser existing treatment unit contract & advise service provider of impending sale & name of new owner.

Service Providers Responsibility:

  1. To conduct inspections on the treatment unit in accordance to the regime suggested by the manufacturer. Typically this requires at least an annual inspection of the electrical & filter components & testing of the resultant effluent on an as needed basis. Speak to your service provider for exact details; they may vary depending on manufacturer.
  2. To provide sufficient notice to property owner that contract is approaching expiry & make necessary arrangements for renewal in a timely fashion.
  3. Reflect any changes on contract which may affect adequate servicing as per contract
  4. Indicate on contract if property owner account is in good standing or suspended during life cycle of agreement.

What would happen if I don’t renew my service agreement with my current service provider?

Without a current contract or proof of regular servicing the property owner would be in violation of the Ontario Building Code which stipulates that:

“No person shall operate a treatment unit other than a septic system, unless the person has entered into an agreement whereby servicing and maintenance of the treatment unit and its related components will be carried out by a person who:

(b) Is authorized by the manufacturer to service and maintain that type of treatment unit.” O.B.C reference 8.9.2.3

What are the consequences of not having a valid & current contract?

Failure to have a valid & current contract will result in an Order to Comply issued from our office. If the property owner takes no action, this will result in a summons to court under section 36 of the Building Code Act , 1992

   
   
 
Phase One
Mailed Notice —indicating requirement of proof of servicing or valid contract
 
Phase Two
Registered Mail — including explanation letter and
Order to Comply
 
Phase Three
Phase Three Issue in person —Part 3 Summons to Court
 
   
 

Applicable OBC regulations:

Reference Ontario Building Code 8.9.2.3:

“No person shall operate a treatment unit other than a septic system unless the person has entered into an agreement whereby servicing and maintenance of the treatment unit and its related components will be carried out by a person who:

(b) Is authorized by the manufacturer to service and maintain that type of treatment unit.”

Reference Ontario Building Code 8.9.2.3. (3)(a):

“The person authorized by the manufacturer to service and maintain the treatment unit and who has entered into the agreement referred to in Sentence (2) with the person operating the treatment unit shall notify the chief building official if:

(a) the agreement is terminated, or
(b) Access for service and maintenance of the treatment unit is denied by
the person operating the treatment unit.

Wells

The distance of a well to various components of a private sewage system is covered in Part 8- Sewage Systems sentence 8.2.1.6.(1) of the Ontario Building Code. (Link to section) Private Wells are regulated by the Ministry of the Environment under the Ontario Water Resources Act, R.R.O. 1990, REGULATION 903 Wells.

For more information concerning installation, maintenance and records of wells please contact the Ministry of the Environment at 1-800-267-0974.

 

 
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