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Ministry of Health

Sewage Systems

Sewerage System Standard Practice Manual

Consultation on DRAFT Version 3 of the B.C. Sewerage System Standard Practice Manual

The B.C. Sewerage System Standard Practice Manual (SPM) is the primary reference for B.C. wastewater practitioners responsible for designing, installing and maintaining onsite sewage systems, pursuant to the Sewerage System Regulation and Public Health Act.

SPM Version 2 is currently designated for use in B.C. However, concerns about the format, readability and broad applicability of Version 2's standards to modern sewage systems have prompted the development of an updated manual.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Health has been working with independent contractors and industry stakeholders – including registered onsite wastewater practitioners, professional engineers and regional health authority staff – to develop an updated SPM.

The consultation draft Version 3 is now available and we invite public feedback. The goal of this initiative is to replace the current SPM Version 2 with a finalized SPM Version 3 as the primary onsite standard in B.C. referenced in the Sewerage System Regulation.

Please note that SPM Version 2 still applies. The consultation draft Version 3 will not be finalized for general field use until the consultation, editing, and rollout process has been concluded.

After the consultation closing date (May 30, 2014), Ministry of Health staff will integrate the feedback and finalize the document for publication.

The consultation draft SPM Version 3 is divided into four volumes:

  • Volume 1, Introduction: Provides background information on the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders and organizations affected by the SPM.
  • Volume 2, Standards: Contains the core standards that will be applied by most wastewater practitioners when conducting design, construction and maintenance work.
  • Volume 3, Guidelines: Provides supporting information for the core standards in Volume 2 and provisions for advanced system design, installation and maintenance.
  • Volume 4, Rationale: Provides further clarification – based on scientific (peer-reviewed) references – in support of the standards and design considerations in Volumes 2 and 3.

This improved approach to organizing the SPM is based upon separating the core standards – or information an Authorized Person under the regulation needs to know – from the supplementary information in the remaining volumes.

Please enter your comments in this feedback form and forward the finished version to Rupert.Benzon@gov.bc.ca before May 30, 2014.

We anticipate an extensive rollout phase that will include further stakeholder training on the use of Version 3. There will also be a transition period from the current Version 2. Details on this rollout will be provided at a later date.

Current Sewerage System Standard Practice Manual, Version 2: