A Follow-up to Last Month’s Article on GARP

The GARP guideline is not intended as a guide to the siting of new onsite sewage systems.  The applicable rules and guidelines for the siting of new onsite sewage systems are the Sewerage System Regulation, the Standard Practice Manual, and the APEGBC Professional Practice Guidelines – Onsite Sewerage Systems.  Instead the information was brought forward to avoid triggering “further assessment” if the Stage 1: Hazard Screening and Assessment Screening was carried out for a new community water source.

If a new onsite sewerage system complies with the SSR, it is not considered a “probable” source of virus contamination.  This has been confirmed in a court of law in Wilkinson v. VIHA, 2008 downloadable at: http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/SC/08/15/2008BCSC1521.htm  This court case provides a defendable line of reasoning to justify the system location and its low potential risk to the community water supply if health officers question placing on-site within the 300 m yet outside the 90 m horizontal separation.  When assessing the risk to water quality in a public water supply well, the assessment should be completed by a qualified groundwater professional based on an expert assessment of all available information and site-specific testing.  The assessment should not be based only on the horizontal setback distance.