BCAB #1628 - Building Drain/Building Sewer Definition, Article (1998 BCBC)

May 3, 2007

BCAB #1628

Re: Building Drain/Building Sewer Definition, Article (1998 BCBC)

Project Description
The subject is a multi building complex with the majority of the buildings built over an underground storage garage. The sanitary drainage system for the complex was designed by a registered professional. Part of one building is constructed slab on ground, with the sanitary piping under slab and leaving the building underground. This piping then enters the adjacent underground storage garage, where it continues to collect other sanitary drains until it finally exits the underground storage garage to connect to a city sewer.

Reason for Appeal
The Building Code defines building drain and building sewer :
Building drain “means the horizontal piping, including any vertical offset that conducts sewage, clear water waste or storm water to a building sewer.
Building sewer means a pipe that is connected to a building drain 1 m outside a wall of a building and leads to a public sewer or private sewage disposal system.

Appellant’s Position
The appellant contends the portion of piping in question, that being the underground piping 1 m outside the building, which continues and re-enters the adjacent underground storage garage and further continues connecting drains until it exits the underground storage garage, should be considered a building drain. The appellant further contends there is no reference in the code that prohibits a building drain from leaving a building and re-entering the same or another building on the same property. Therefore the piping in question can be classified as a building drain as it does not lead directly to a public sewer.

Building Official's Position
The Building Official interprets the Code that it requires that once a sanitary building drain leaves a building, it then becomes a sanitary building sewer and may not re-enter a building but must go directly to, in this case, a public sewer.

Appeal Board Decision #1628
It is the determination of the Board that the subject piping is a building drain. The Code does not restrict the exiting and/or re-entry of building drains.

George Humphrey, Chair