Resolutions

Option to Delegate Plumbing and Sewage Inspection Services

Year: 2016

Resolution

Whereas plumbing permitting and inspection services and sewage inspections are generally administered by regional health authorities under The Public Health Act, 1994; and

Whereas Section 10 the act allows a public health authority to delegate to a public health officer any of the powers or responsibilities that are given to the local authority, which are as binding and effectual as if they had been performed by the local authority; and

Whereas cities in this province may want to assume these responsibilities to address interrelated plumbing, storm water and sewage issues in their community;

Therefore be it resolved that the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association advocate with the Government of Saskatchewan to allow health authorities to delegate plumbing and sewage inspection and permitting responsibilities to a city council, where a city and the regional health authority mutually consent through a service agreement.

Background information 
Severe storm events in the province require a coordinated effort to ensure that municipal and private storm water and wastewater systems are separated.

Local health authorities in some areas may use a random inspection model to perform their responsibilities in order to mitigate risk, particularly in growth areas. In cases where storm water events can have a larger impact on public health and property, cities may want to assume the responsibility for plumbing inspections to mitigate premature surcharging of wastewater systems by diverting storm water.

Municipalities have the ability in place to conduct inspections under all other areas of the National Building Code, under a similar permitting and inspection regime, where the costs are borne by the property owner. There would be no adverse effect on municipal or health region finances; rather, the necessary human resources would be put in place, as well as the most appropriate inspection model, where it is needed.

In Ontario, Section 6 of The Building Code Act provides for the development of agreements between boards of health and larger municipalities to deliver plumbing permitting and inspection services.

Not all municipalities will want to take advantage of this arrangement, so a permissive amendment to the act or regulations will allow for the delegation of authority through mutual agreement between the regional health authority and a city.

Provincial Response

The Public Health Act, 1994, contains provisions for municipalities to be designated as a "Local Authority" for the purpose of administering and enforcing the Act and/or pursuant regulations within their jurisdictions. In the case of municipality that wants to be responsible for The Plumbing Regulations, the municipality should contact Mr. Tim Macaulay, Environmental Health Director, Ministry of Health at 306-787-7128 or at tim.macaulay@health.gov.sk.ca to discuss the appointment process.

The cities of Regina, Saskatoon, and Lloydminster and the Global Transportation Hub are declared local authorities for administering and enforcing The Plumbing Regulations and operate their own program for plumbing inspection services. 

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