Association News

Onsite Installer invites your state association to post notices and news items in this column.

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New Board Member

The Wisconsin Onsite Water Recycling Association appointed Steve Jentges of WSK Service Company/Statewide Septic Services to complete the remainder of Tony Birrittieri's term on the board of directors.

Backwash Recommendations

Based on questions raised through the Subsurface Sewage Treatment System Advisory Committee and from local onsite officials, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Department of Health, and the Department of Labor and Industry are developing guidelines for when water softener backwash can enter onsite systems and identifying discharge options that exclude daylighting. Draft recommendations will be shared with the Advisory Committee in mid-December.

Bill Gates Funds Quest to Build Better Toilet

Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, gave grants to eight institutions to develop low-cost toilets that can operate for 5 cents per user per day, don't require a sewer or water to flush, and are hygienic and sustainable for the world's poorest populations.

The winning entry went to the California Institute of Technology's solar-powered white ceramic toilet and stainless metal urinal combination. While the unit looked normal from above, underneath was a holding tank that separates solids and liquids before they move to an electrochemical reactor that disinfects waste and generates hydrogen to be used as fuel.

Second place went to Loughborough University, based in the United Kingdom, whose hydrothermal carbonization reactor turns fecal matter into biological charcoal that can be used as soil or fertilizer. The system also generates clean water from urine and fecal matter, as well as energy by burning the biological charcoal. The University of Toronto's third place entry dries and smolders fecal matter to sanitize it, while using a sand filter and UV light to disinfect urine.

The next step is testing prototypes of the models, then conducting small pilot studies in sub-Saharan Africa and Bangladesh around 2015.

Don't Mess with Pumpers

Ray Daniels of Daniels Septic Service in Sterling, Mich., pumps tanks and grease traps, augers lines, and does minor onsite repairs. This summer, a thief stole a vacuum truck from his yard.

Writing in the fall newsletter of the Michigan Septic Tank Association, Daniels wondered what the man was thinking when he decided to heist a truck with the company name on both sides. As the 56-year-old pumper pounded barefoot down a gravel road after the departing vehicle, he also wondered what he would do if he caught up with the driver. He didn't have to worry. The police located the truck and incarcerated the thief, who is in his 20s. Then a deputy made an appointment to have his septic tank pumped.

California EPA Scholarships

The U.S. EPA Region 9 funded the California Onsite Wastewater Association to offer scholarships for local, state, federal and tribal environmental health specialists and other water quality regulators. Association members and non-members can take any two training programs, and single agencies can send up to six staff members until May 28, 2013. The scholarships support onsite wastewater treatment technologies. Visit

Certification Program

The Indiana Onsite Wastewater Professionals Association Certification Committee developed a program to certify onsite inspectors and maintainers. After the committee presents a checklist of items to cover in an inspection to members at the annual conference in January, they will begin developing training and testing programs with written and hands-on components.

Jan. 8-10

Michigan Onsite Wastewater Conference, Kellogg Center, East Lansing. 989/275-4947;

Jan. 9-10

Iowa Onsite Waste Water Association Conference, Iowa Events Center/Hy-Vee Hall, Des Moines. 515/225-1051;

Jan. 15-16

Ohio Onsite Wastewater Association Conference and Trade Show, Hyatt Regency, Columbus. 866/843-4429;

Jan. 17-18

Colorado Professionals in Onsite Wastewater Educational Conference, PPA Event Center, Denver. 303/551-3266;

Jan. 21-22

Pennsylvania Decentralized Wastewater Conference and Trade Show, Valley Forge Casino Resort, King of Prussia. 717/763-7762;

Jan. 22-23

Missouri Smallflows Conference and Trade Show, Boone County Fairgrounds, Columbia. Call Tammy Trantham at 417/739-4100 or visit

Jan. 23-26

Wisconsin Onsite Water Recycling Association and Wisconsin Liquid Waste Carriers Association Joint Convention, Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center, Stevens Point. 800/377-6672;

Jan. 25-26

Washington On-Site Sewage Association Conference, Yakima Convention Center, Yakima. 253/770-6594;

Jan. 28-29

Indiana Onsite Wastewater Professional Association Winter Conference, Camp Camby, 317/889-2382;

Jan. 29-31

Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association Convention and Expo, Arrowwood Resort Convention Center, Alexandria. 952/345-1141;

Jan. 31-Feb. 1

North Carolina Septic Tank Association Convention and Expo, Hickory Metro Convention Center, Hickory. Visit or email


The Connecticut Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association is holding its Installer School Jan. 17, 24 and 31 and Feb. 7, 14, and 21, with a snow date of Feb. 28. Students enrolled in the Installer School are automatically enrolled in the Pumper/Cleaner School on Feb. 21, with a snow date of Feb. 28. The courses, which prepare attendees for the state licensing exam, are at Wesleyan University, Middletown. Call Janice Cavanaugh at 860/267-1057 or visit

North Carolina

North Carolina State University has the following courses:

Jan. 17 – Introductory Drip Design for Wastewater Systems, Raleigh

Jan. 29 – Onsite System Technologies, Bolivia

Jan. 30 – Advanced Treatment for Improved Field Performance, Bolivia

Jan. 31 – Wastewater in the Environment, Bolivia

Feb. 12 – Onsite System Technologies, Raleigh

Feb. 13 – Advanced Treatment for Improved Field Performance, Raleigh

Feb. 19-20 – Septic System Options for Difficult Sites, Wilmington

Feb. 20 – Navigating Decentralized Reuse Rules and Technologies, Morganton

Feb. 21 – Advances in Water Table Management, Wilmington

Feb. 27 – Onsite System Technologies, Mills River

Feb. 28 – Advanced Treatment for Improved Field Performance, Mills River

Contact Joni Tanner at 919/513-1678 or


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 Puyallup training center unless stated otherwise:

Jan. 9 – Proprietary Systems

Jan. 17 – First Aid/CPR

Feb. 6 – Electrical Control Panels, Spokane

Feb. 20 – Design Siting, Vancouver

Feb. 21 – First Aid/CPR

Feb. 26-27 – Using WAC 246-272A, Mt. Vernon

Call WOSSA at 253/770-6594 or visit


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