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Guiding Code

Wisconsin Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association board members Todd Stair and Sue Schambureck represent the organization on the Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (POWTS) Code Advisory Council. The state Department of Commerce convened the council because 2010 legislation allows counties a two-year delay in implementing a POWTS inventory and maintenance-tracking program, thus requiring a code change to reflect the new law.

Other items the council will consider for the code rewrite procedure include the concrete tank corrosion issue, requiring time-of-sale evaluations, establishing a minimum size for septic tanks, determining education requirements for maintenance providers, and requiring deeds to indicate the system’s treatment capacity.

WOWRA member Richard Otis of Madison, was named president of the NOWRA board of directors. WOWRA board member Tony Birrittieri of Petersen Supply in Fredonia also joined the national board.

Updated Homeowner’s Guide

NOWRA updated its Homeowner’s Onsite System Guide and Record Keeping Folder. The publication explains what an onsite system is and how it works, provides a list of do’s and don’ts, and includes a place to keep all critical information on the system. A free download in PDF format is at Print copies are available.

New Board Members

The Michigan Septic Tank Association elected Joe Hall, of Hall’s Serv-All in Posen, president. Elected to the board of directors were Ken Goike, Rick Throop, Keith Chamberlain and Walt Steuer. Voters in the 33rd District chose Goike, a former MSTA director and president and owner of Goike Trucking in Ray, as their state representative.

Hall’s Serv-All helped police investigate the death of a boy who drowned after falling into an open septic tank on property owned by the boy’s grandfather. The tank had a screwed-on plastic cover that the owner removed when he experienced toilet problems.

“The screws were not attached, and we assume the boy stepped on the lid, which flipped, allowing the child to fall in and drown,” says Hall. He recommends that pumpers constantly enlighten customers about the safety deficiencies in their systems, and to make sure all covers are adequately fastened.

Multiple Roles

The Connecticut Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association elected Douglas DiVesta, P.E., of DiVesta Civil Engineering Associates Inc. in Roxbury, to its board of directors. DiVesta also is on the state’s Code Advisory Committee and is a COWRA onsite installer instructor.

Scholarship Winners

The Washington On-Site Sewage Association awarded a $3,000 scholarship to Kendra Phillips, daughter of Leonard Phillips Spanaway. Kendra attends George Fox University in Newberg, Ore., and will graduate this year with a degree in elementary education.

Paige Bronson, daughter of Greg Bronson of Graham, received a $2,000 scholarship. She attends the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, is majoring in psychology and anthropology, and will graduate in 2013. Yuxuan Wang, the daughter of Menglou Wang of Seattle, received $1,100. She attends the University of Washington and will graduate in 2012 with a degree in civil engineering.

Conference at Risk

The Texas Onsite Wastewater Association (TOWA) reports that it will lose its annual conference if the Sunset Advisory Commission disbands the 11-member Onsite Wastewater Treatment Research Council.

The commission identifies and eliminates waste, duplication and inefficiency in government. Its staff recommended that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) incorporate the council’s duties, which include improving the state’s onsite industry, organizing the association’s annual conference, and providing low-cost continuing education credits.

The TCEQ in Austin has three full-time and one part-time people working in the onsite department. The advisory commission recommended that TCEQ sponsor the TOWA conference and consider combining it with TCEQ conferences. TOWA members began a letter-writing campaign to oppose the action.

Wastewater Summit

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) and State Onsite Regulators Alliance (SORA) will present a joint Onsite Wastewater Systems Summit in conjunction with NEHA’s 75th Annual Educational Conference and Exhibition June 18-20 in Columbus, Ohio. The summit is designed for regulators and industry representatives and will focus on wastewater issues and sustainable wastewater solutions. To register or for more information, go to

Freak Accident

Four workers suffered first-, second- or third-degree burns while decommissioning a septic tank in Camp Meeker, Calif. Two employees of Dale Homes Inc., a Redding general construction and demolition company, were trying to break the tank’s concrete floor from outside using a sledgehammer and steel pipe. One employee then entered the tank with a jackhammer, while the other man stood outside and watched. Two employees from another firm also observed the workers’ progress.

According to California Department of Occupational Safety and Health spokeswoman Krisann Chasarik, when the worker started the jackhammer, it triggered an explosion caused by leaking propane pipes nearby. The men were hospitalized, and one later was transferred to a burn center.


March 11-12

Oregon Onsite Wastewater Association Conference, Valley River Inn, Eugene. Call 541/389-6692 or visit

March 22-23

Pennsylvania Septage Management Association Annual Training, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Reading. Call 717/763-7762 or visit

April 3-5

Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association Conference and Exhibition, Deerhurst Resort, Huntsville. Call Denis Orendt at 905/372-2722 or visit

April 27-29

Georgia F.O.G. Alliance Conference and inspector training course, Merle Manders Conference Center, Stockbridge. E-mail Kemnetta Pillette at or visit

Training & Education


The Arizona Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association in sponsorship with the University of Arizona Onsite Wastewater Education Program has these classes:

• April 14-15 – Introduction to Designing Onsite Systems, Pinal County

• June 8 – NAWT Inspection Training & Recertification, Radisson Suites Hotel, Tucson

Call Kitt Farrell-Poe at 520/621-7221 or e-mail or visit


The California Onsite Wastewater Association is offering these classes:

• April 8 – Onsite Controls, Citrus Heights

• April 18 – Principals of Plan Checking, Ventura

• April 19-21 – California Environmental Health Association Conference Onsite Training Track: Biology of Wastewater Treatment, Science of Soils, Operations and Maintenance, and Regulatory Update, Ventura

• May 13 – Science of Soils, San Luis Obispo

Call Kit Rosefield at 530/513- 6658 or visit


The Georgia F.O.G. Alliance has a training course for FOG inspectors April 27-29 at the Merle Manders Conference Center in Stockbridge. Visit


The University of Minnesota Extension has these classes:

• April 5-7 – Basic Design of Onsite Systems, St. Cloud

• April 12-13 – General Continuing Education, Rochester

• April 19-20 – Design and Inspector Continuing Education, Hinckley

• April 19 – Design Continuing Education, Hinckley

• April 20 – Inspector Continuing Education, Hinckley

• April 22 – Troubleshooting, St. Cloud

• April 25-27 – Introduction to Onsite Systems, Grand Rapids

• April 28-29 – Installing Onsite Systems, Grand Rapids

• May 2-4 – Pumping and Maintaining Onsite Systems, Mankato

• May 2-6 – Pumper/Maintainer/Service Provider, Mankato

• May 3-6 – Service Provider, Mankato

• May 10-12 – Basic Design of Onsite Systems, Mankato

• May 18 – Soils Continuing Education, Farmington

• May 24-27 – Advanced Design on Onsite Systems, Mankato

Call Nick Haig at 800/322-8642 or visit


The Missouri Smallflows Organization is offering these CEU courses:

• April 5-6 – Operations and Maintenance, St. Clair

• April 12 – Media Filters, Camdenton

• April 13 – Aerated Treatment Units, Camdenton

• April 26 – Selling Systems, Hannibal

• April 27 – Drainfields and Water Management, Hannibal

• May 10-11 – Operations and Maintenance, Springfield

Call Tammy Yelden at 417/739-4100 or visit

New England

The New England Onsite Wastewater Training Center at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston has these courses:

• April 14 – Designing Conventional Onsite Systems

• April 19 – All About Series: Septic Tanks

• April 21 – Bottomless Sand Filter Design and Installation

• April 27 – Conventional Onsite System Inspection

• April 27-28 – Conventional Onsite System Inspection and Field Training

• May 5 – Functional Inspections

• May 12 – Innovative & Alternative Technologies

• May 19 – All About Series: Sand Media

• May 26 – Installing Conventional Onsite Systems

Call 401/874-5950 or visit

New Hampshire

The Granite State Designers and Installers Association is offering its Certified Septic Evaluator Training Program training on May 3 in Bow and on May 7 in Rochester. Call 603/228-1231 or visit


The Virginia Center for Onsite Wastewater Training has these classes at Pickett unless stated otherwise:

• April 25-29 – Onsite Design Camp I

• May 9-13 – Soils (Site Evaluation), Ashland

• May 23-27 – Onsite Design Camp II, Farmville

Contact Lydia Shepherd at 434/ 292-3101, e-mail, or visit www.south

Washington State

The Washington On-Site Sewage Association and Washington State Department of Health in cooperation with Washington State University are offering these certification courses at the training center in Puyallup:

• April 6 – Maintenance Basics

• April 13 – Pumper Basics

• April 20 – Design of Subsurface Drip Systems

• May 3-4 – Basics of Electrical Applications in Onsite Systems

• May 11 – Basics of Installing, Part 3

• May 25 – Electrical Control Panels

Call WOSSA at 253/770-6594 or visit


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