BCAB #1772 - Water Treatment Device, Sentence 2.6.2.1.(2) of Book II: Plumbing Systems (BC Plumbing Code)

August 25, 2015

BCAB #1772 - Re: Water Treatment Device, Sentence 2.6.2.1.(2) of Book II: Plumbing Systems (BC Plumbing Code)

Project Description

The project is an existing multi-family residential building. The addition of a water treatment system is proposed to protect the building’s water distribution system from premature failure.

Reason for Appeal

There is a disagreement on whether the proposed water treatment system conforms to the BC Plumbing Code. Sentence 2.6.2.1.(2) permits a water treatment system to be installed if it can be demonstrated that it will not introduce substances into the building’s water distribution system that may endanger health.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the water treatment system is in compliance with the BC Plumbing Code and specifically conforms with Sentence 2.6.2.1.(2). The installation includes the provision of a Reduced Pressure backflow preventer to prevent the contamination of supply water. The water treatment system uses a mineral (sodium hydroxide) that is approved by NSF (Public Health and Safety Organization) and is also commonly found in foods. The equipment used is also suitable for potable water systems.  The system introduces only a small amount of this mineral into the drinking water system and has safeguards to prevent excess mineral distribution.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the water treatment system does not comply with Sentence 2.6.2.1.(2) of the BC Plumbing Code as it introduces substances into the potable water system that may endanger health. Further, the system contravenes Sentence 1.1.1.2.(1) of Division A of the Book I (General) of the BC Building Code, which does not permit the level of building safety and performance to be altered to a level below that which already exists.  The building is currently supplied with potable water and the introduction of substances into the potable water, or the possibility of equipment failure would decrease the level of safety.

Appeal Board Decision #1772

It is the determination of the Board that the appellant has not provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the proposed water treatment system will not introduce substances into the building’s water distribution system that may endanger health.

Article 2.3.1.2. of Division C could be used for guidance in determining sufficient evidence.

Lyle Kuhnert, Chair

 

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