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Our offices will be closed on September 5th.
We wish you and yours a safe and healthy weekend.
We will reopen on Tuesday, September 6th.
In this issue:

New AB SOP Update Training Dates Available
SK Site & Soils Workshop Available
Monitoring or Observation Ports
Have a Site for a Soils Day?
Computer Tip
Septic Awareness Week
Applying for a Permit in the Saskatoon Area
Upcoming Training Events
Events Calendar
...and more!

Septic Awareness Week

WCOWMA is holding Septic Awareness Week from September 19 - 23.

FREE workshops are scheduled across all of the western provinces, and registration is now open!

We'd love for you to help spread the word. Invite clients, talk to your Regional District and health officials, invite friends or family to attend, and join us on social media

There is no cost for these informative workshops. 

Please Join Us For A Virtual Septic Sense Workshop:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

AB Septic Sense Zoom Webinar

When: Sep 19, 2022 07:00 PM MST
Topic: Alberta Septic Sense

Register in advance for this webinar.


BC Septic Sense Zoom Webinar

When: Sep 20, 2022 07:00 PM PST
Topic: Septic Sense

Register in advance for this webinar.


SK Septic Sense Zoom Webinar

When: Sep 21, 2021 07:00 PM MST
Topic: Saskatchewan Septic Sense

Register in advance for this webinar.


MB Septic Sense Zoom Webinar

When: Sep 22, 2022 07:00 PM CST
Topic: Manitoba Septic Sense

Register in advance for this webinar.

Did you know? The AOWMA has held 8 Septic Sense Workshops so far in 2022. Regional Districts in any of the Western provinces are welcome to contact WCOWMA to arrange a Septic Sense Workshop in their area.

Low Pressure City Main Changes in Grande Prairie, AB

We recently received the following information from Robert Renschler, Safety Codes Manager, Planning & Development in the County of Grande Prairie:

Please be advised that we at the County of Grande Prairie #1 as of September 30, 2022, will be strictly enforcing that all tanks that tie into the low-pressure city mains will be sized as per the number of bedrooms in the homes as set out in the Standard of Practice 2021.

We will no longer be approving 1000-gallon tanks being installed in all subdivisions that have low pressure city main tie ins.  

Please see the attached letters that explain this change.

Cover Letter  |  Step Sewer Tanks

Do You Have a Site? 

Are you waiting to get your certification and have a site you need to complete? Or do you just have a site and are willing to host a workshop there? 
We can host a site and soils field day or an installation workshop. 
Contact us to set something up. There's no cost to you!

Sad Days for WCOWMA-BC

It is with great sadness that the WCOWMA-BC announces the passing of longtime member Mitch Gordic.

Mitch contributed much to the onsite wastewater industry and his absence will be deeply felt. 

Mitch was born on June 12, 1959 in Hrgud, Bosna & Hercegovina. He emigrated to Canada in the early 1980s and always remained proud of his Serbian upbringing and values. Smart and hardworking, Mitch built an amazing legacy and family. He married Clara (nee Buono) in 1986 and had four loving children. A wonderful husband, father and grandfather, actively involved in all of their lives. He cherished his grandchildren who brought so much joy to his life. Mitch was sincerely kind and funny, always helping others, someone you could lean on, and a true example of a gentleman. He was a giant of a man with a heart to match and will be missed by many.

The obituary can be found online.

Industry Survey – Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Ministry of Health has reached out to SOWMA to gather information from industry as they undertake a review of the Private Sewage Works Regulation and the Shoreline Pollution Control Regulation.

A survey of this nature was first undertaken in 2017/2018 and that data was used to inform changes that the industry was hoping to see in the regulatory framework at the same time the 2018 Saskatchewan Onsite Wastewater Disposal Guide was released, however the regulations were not updated in conjunction with the release of the SOWDG as had been expected.

Unfortunately, once COVID became the primary focus, work on the regulatory framework for private sewage was set aside.  That work is now being revived and a survey will help to determine the state of the industry in the four years since the new SOWDG was released.

SOWMA will be contacting its members and industry stakeholders to participate in this short survey throughout September 2022. 

Website Changes Forthcoming

WCOWMA and its provincial chapters are undergoing some long-overdue updates to our websites. The website build is coming along nicely and we will be moving from the ‘construction’ phase to the ‘editing’ phase in the next couple of weeks.

Once the sites are fully reconstructed, they will be made live. We are very excited about the coming changes, which should provide a better interface and a more satisfactory user experience for both members and the general public. The new website will feature enhanced member resources as well as an expanded homeowner section. 

Applying for a Permit in the Saskatoon Area

The Saskatoon office of the Saskatchewan Health Authority released a letter on June 10, 2022 regarding the Onsite Wastewater Disposal Guide, November 2018.

The information in the letter is pertinent to all contractors who design and install onsite wastewater systems in Saskatchewan as they are all operating under the same provincial regulatory framework.

Please ensure you have read and understand the letter. 

Download the letter now.

Join the WCOWMA Facebook Group

We've expanded beyond pages! Come join the group, chat with other  people in the industry, and stay up-to-date with WCOWMA news. 
Scholarship Application Period Open

The Alf Durnie Education and Research Scholarship Fund was developed in memory of Alf Durnie, Technical Administrator, Private Sewage Systems (Chief Inspector), Province of Alberta.

Alf’s work focused on the private sewage discipline from 1996 to September 2016. He led the development of technical standards for private sewage systems, the development and implementation of programs for the management of onsite systems and provided interpretation of standards. Alf led the development of the Alberta Private Sewage Systems Standard of Practice and its supporting handbook, which substantially improved the quality and standard of onsite wastewater treatment and dispersal in the Province of Alberta. The success of the process and extensive stakeholder input used in developing the standard and handbook was recognized by a Premier’s Award of Excellence.

Alf has made many contacts across Canada and was recognized provincially, nationally and internationally as a subject matter expert in onsite wastewater management. He was a leader in the effort to establish a National Canadian Standards for Onsite Sewage Systems.

Alf worked closely with the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts & Counties as they developed a Model Process for the Consideration of Subdivisions that Rely on Private Sewage Systems. He often dealt with issues involving land use and planning in municipalities as they relate to wastewater management.

In the course of his work life, Alf served on and chaired many committees addressing onsite wastewater issues including rainwater recapture and wastewater recapture and reuse.

The Alf Durnie Education and Research Scholarship Fund will be directed towards:

a) Students who are enrolled and accepted in a post-secondary program or are within the returning years of their respective full-time programs. Preference will be given to applicants who are enrolled in programs that will benefit the onsite wastewater industry. Some examples of qualifying programs are: Environmental Studies, Public Health Enforcement, Wastewater Treatment, Civil Engineering, Plumbing, Water Technology, Soils Science (Agrology), Onsite Wastewater or a Heavy Equipment Construction Program.

b) Graduate students engaged in research focused on onsite wastewater treatment and dispersal, environmental management, hydrogeology or a related research topic

The Alberta Onsite Wastewater Management Association (AOWMA) is sponsoring one annual education and research scholarship award to support students who are enrolled in a post-secondary program and are within the returning years of their respective fulltime programs.
The value of the annual scholarship is:
  • University Award $2000
  • College or Technical School/Technical Program Award: $1500
Learn more here.

Technical Corner: Monitoring or Observations Ports

The Association offices often gets calls regarding various technical aspects of installation and recently there have been a number of requests for examples on how to construct and install monitoring ports, also called observation ports. All Western Provinces require monitoring/observation ports to allow for inspection within the soil treatment component to determine whether ponding is present. Placement of the monitoring/ observation ports in the soil treatment component may vary from province to province, but a general outline is included here. More detailed information is included in each province’s Standard. Key information from each Standard is listed from west to east. Diagrams for both construction and placement are included at the end of the article.

SK Site and Soil Evaluation Day

Space Still Available
The SOWMA is hosting a Site & Soils Evaluation Field Day in the Saskatoon Region on Friday, September 9, 2022. This practical training day is a great opportunity to get hands-on experience evaluating a site, as well as, practicing hand texturing and sampling. 

Installers who have recently completed the Onsite Wastewater Practitioner Training Program will be able to take their new knowledge and apply it on-site. Experienced designers and installers should also consider this opportunity to continue their education. 

Register Online | Download Registration Form

Alberta SOP Update Opportunities 

Opportunities are now available to participate in the Standard of Practice Update Training. This two-day training is now required for those wishing to maintain their Certificate of Competency in Private Sewage (PSDS ticket). 

September 8-9, 2022 | Virtual Classroom
September 15-16, 2022 | Calgary, AB
September 22-23, 2022 | Virtual Classroom
September 27-28, 2022 | Virtual Classroom
September 29-30, 2022 | Edmonton, AB
October 3-4, 2022 | Virtual Classroom
October 11-12, 2022 | Virtual Classroom

Register online now

Alberta Standard of Practice Manuals

Print copies of the new Standard of Practice Manuals are available through the AOWMA storefront.

Students who order the SOP training and the SOP manual at the same time can save on shipping. 

Digital copies can be downloaded from the Safety Codes Council

WCOWMA-BC Site and Soil Evaluation Day

A Site and Soil Evaluation has just been announced! Join us on September 30th in the Nelson Region. This practical training day is a great opportunity to get hands-on experience evaluating a site, as well as practicing hand texturing and sampling. 

For more information, or to register, please contact our office

AOWMA Site and Soil Evaluation Day

The Site and Soil Day in the Bearspaw Region was a great opportunity for the students to experience a site with many site constraints. This site would fall under the definition of a “Complex System” in the 2021 Standard of Practice. Thanks to Owen Grendus for allowing us to use his site. 

Don't miss out on your opportunity to attend a Site and Soil Evaluation! Join us on September 13th in the Hinton Region. This practical training day is a great opportunity to get hands-on experience evaluating a site, as well as practicing hand texturing and sampling. 

Register Online | Download Registration Form

Onsite Wastewater Practitioner Training

The Western Canada Onsite Wastewater Management Association provides an excellent industry training program for Onsite Wastewater Professionals throughout Western Canada.

This training program has been found to meet or exceed the requirements of the Agreement on Internal Trade, the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement, and the New West Partnership.

Training, including the number of days, varies by province. More details on each program can be found on the provincial training pages, or by contacting our office.

Students will be required to complete an online training component prior to attending the classroom sessions.

Dates to be Announced

Contact the association office at 1-855-872-2645 for more information.
Dates to be Announced

Ccontact the association office at 855-872-2650 for more information.

Dates to be Announced

Register online or contact the association office at 877-489-7471 for more information.  

Manitoba students are being directed to Alberta or Saskatchewan for participation in their training programs at this time.
Contact the association office at 855-872-2659 for more information.  

Provincial/Federal Job Grants Continue to be Available for Training

The Provincial associations have all been receiving training applicants who are being funded by the various federal/provincial job grants that are currently available.  

Funding varies between the provinces, but can be upwards of $10,000 per applicant. Employers may have to pay a portion of the tuition and training must involve more than 24 hours of contact/study.

For more information on the job grants in your province, click on the appropriate link below: 


British Columbia


Manitoba (NEW!) 

Upcoming Industry Events

You can keep up-to-date on industry events on our events pages:

British Columbia
Septic Awareness Week
September 19 - 23, 2022

SK CIPHI Convention
October 4 - 5, 2022
Regina, SK

Customer Service Week
October 3 - 7, 2022

NOWRA Mega-Conference
October 30 - November 2, 2022
Springfield, MO

World Toilet Day
November 19, 2022
World Soil Day
December 5, 2022

Septic Con
January 27 - 28, 2023
Tacoma, WA

February 20 - 23, 2023
Indianapolis, IN

WCOWMA-BC Convention & Trade Show
March 2 - 4, 2023
Nanaimo, BC

Computer Tip

Has your Facebook account been hacked? 
No-one wants to log into an app and discover someone has hacked their account.

If a friend has received a suspicious message from someone who looks like you, you may not have been hacked. Attackers may download your picture and create a fake account using your name. This does not mean that you've been hacked. Your contacts should be wary and not accept the friend request, but the attacker is likely not accessing your account. 

You may also get messages with malicious links. Always check the email address of the sender. Don't click suspicious links. 

If in doubt, check your activity log.  
  • On mobile, follow the path Settings & privacy > Settings > Password and security > Where you’re logged in.
  • On desktop, follow the path Settings & privacy > Activity log.
Check to see what devices are logged in. If you don't recognize one or more, you could have been hacked. Log out of those devices and change your password. You should also consider using the "Secure Account" option. 

Read more.

Inspirational Message

“Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

                -  Jim Rohn

Find us on Facebook

Stay up-to-date on industry news, learn about our latest training sessions, and check out photos of some of our events all on our Facebook pages!

AOWMA Facebook page
WCOWMA-BC Facebook page
SOWMA Facebook page
MOWMA Facebook page
WCOWMA Facebook page
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