UPDATE TO RECENT CHANGES TO EJECTOR SYSTEM REGULATIONS IN MANITOBAGemma L. Brown
THE NEW REGULATIONS:
The province has finalized amendments to its Onsite Wastewater Management Systems Regulation to address concerns about the province's phase-out of sewage ejectors. In October, 2009, new regulations were passed that were aimed at phasing out existing disposal systems to alleviate the problems with leaking systems, and run-off into Manitoba's water ways. Recently, the Provincial Government amended the regulations of The Environment Act, known as the Onsite Wastewater Management Regulations (60/2010), concerning sewage disposal in the Province. We are told the new amendments respond to the concerns of rural homeowners while continuing to ensure the protection of human health and the environment.
Effective June 5, 2010, rural homeowners considering transferring or subdividing a property, prior to the sale or transfer, may now apply to Manitoba Conservation requesting that an ejector system be allowed to remain on the property, and not have to be replaced. However, the sewage ejector system must meet the following minimum requirements:
- not be located within an environmentally sensitive area,
- be located on a minimum of 10 acres, and
- be in compliance with all other regulatory requirements.
The regulatory requirements that must be met include all provisions of Schedule E to the Regulations, including the location and operation of an ejector. For example, all wastewater effluent discharged must be contained within the boundaries of the property onto which it is ejected, and minimum setback distances must be met (such as 200 feet from water courses, property boundaries, dwellings, or wells).
Application fees for Certificates of Exemption are $150.00 plus GST, and a certificate issued may contain certain restrictions or conditions, which will continue to apply to the owner. It is important to note that a Certificate of Exemption is not transferrable to a subsequent owner without the prior written approval of the director of Conservation. Therefore, a further application for exemption will be required upon subsequent transfers. Persons wishing to retain an existing ejector system must, prior to transfer or subdivision, submit an application together with the fee to Manitoba Conservation. Manitoba Conservation will then review the application, and inspect the property to confirm compliance with the regulations. We are told that inspection and processing is estimated to occur within ten working days of receipt of a completed application.
Homeowners selling their property may also apply to transfer the responsibility of phasing out the ejector to the new homeowner. Further, homeowners may apply to the province to extend the time available for the phase-out following a transfer. In addition, where an owner subdivides land but does not transfer the parcel of land upon which an ejector system is located, the homeowner may make an application to extend the time by up to two years within which they are required to decommission the ejector system.
As in the original rules, the new requirements have no impact on any property owner who is not transferring or subdividing.
The recent amendments also exempt transfers resulting from the death of a transferee’s spouse or common-law partner.HOW WE CAN HELP:
We understand that these issues are very complex and could potentially result in significant costs to property owners. As a law firm that services rural clients, we keep ourselves up to date on these issues and would like to help you avoid the potential liability associated with breaches of these new regulations. Please feel free to contact one of our lawyers for more information on the new rules affecting sewage disposal, or to discuss how these new rules may affect you.Download the printable version of this article