Monthly Board Report - March 2001
The Role of the Health Unit on Activities under the Building Code Act
Submitted by Mark Green, Senior Public Health Inspector, Chief Building Official (Part 8)
The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has been conducting approvals and inspections to private sewage disposal systems for over 50 years of its existence.
In 1997, the Ontario Provincial Legislature passed Bill 152, the "Services Improvement Act". Schedule B of the Bill addressed amendments to the Building Code Act in particular the transfer of Part VIII of the Environmental Protection Act (Private Sewage Systems) to the Ontario Building Code. The intent was to provide a "one window" approach to the issuance of building permits.
Municipalities were given the option of:
- Enforcing the legislation themselves, or
- Entering into an agreement with local public health units or conservation authorities giving them the authority to act on their behalf.
Presently, the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit has agreements with all but 2 municipalities in the Tri-County area. Rideau Lakes Township & Bathurst, North Burgess & South Sherbrooke are administering their own programs under the Act.
The major activities carried by the Health Unit in respect to this legislation include:
- Issuing all permits related to private sewage systems. Copies of these permits are routinely forwarded to the appropriate municipality.
- Completing inspections and providing comments on applications for minor variances and zoning by-law amendments.
- Inspecting and commenting on all applications for land severance and plans of subdivision where private services are proposed.
- Attending municipal council meetings and other related meetings upon request to discuss issues related to sewage systems.
- Providing annual in-services to sewage installers and contractors.
- Maintaining a high level of provincially certified staff with knowledge on sewage systems and related topics
The program is funded on a fee for service basis at no cost to the municipality. All records are maintained by the Health Unit in accordance with the legislative requirements.
As public health inspectors responsible to enforce Part 8 of the Building Code Act, our staff provides a high quality service, especially, in respect to health issues related to the proper and safe disposal of human wastes and the protection of ground water.