Septage Variance Transition

Group B Plumbing Safety Codes Officers are granted authoritative powers via the Safety Codes Act to issue variances. A variance application is submitted to the local authority or Agency working on their behalf. Supporting documentation needs to be supplied with a variance application to demonstrate the context and reason for the request and any necessary information for the Safety Codes Officer to evaluate the request and determine if code equivalency can be achieved. 

Fees for variance applications may be applied, however this is dependent on the Municipality the variance request falls within. If a variance is denied, it cannot be appealed at this time. However if the concerns that resulted in the variance denial can be addressed by other means, the variance application can be amended and resubmitted for reconsideration. 

The Safety Code Council policies (Policy 7.2 and 9.8) that restricted setback variances will be amended to adjust the scope of which Safety Codes Officers can issue variances for. As of October 1, 2019 – Safety Codes Officers have the authority to issue variances in relation to setback distances. Previously such applications were made to Alberta Municipal Affairs. With the adjustment to this policy, your local Safety Codes Officer has the authority under their certification to review variance applications for setbacks. 

A Variance Transition Working Group was developed and co-chaired by the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) and Municipal Affairs. They were tasked with reviewing the transition of private sewage setback variances and the needs of various parties involved in this consideration. A Guidance Document was developed to assist Safety Codes Officers (SCOs) in processing variance applications and the municipalities in guiding the development and subdivision process to provide the supporting documentation that SCOs require. The transition of setback variance consideration to the local level allows more effective management and better ability to meet the needs of development activities. 

For more information:

or contact your local Safety Codes Officer.