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Our offices will be closed on August 1st.
We wish you and yours a safe and healthy weekend.
We will reopen on Tuesday, August 2nd.
In this issue:

New SOP Update Training Dates Available
Inspections Curriculum Development
Monitoring or Observation Ports
WCOWMA-BC and the Ministry of Health Update
Out and About in Saskatchewan
Using Drones in Site Evaluations
Alberta Water Well Drillers
Have a Site for a Soils Day?
Computer Tip
Septic Awareness Week
Site & Soils Days in BC
Site & Soils Days in MB
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.

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!

Out and About in Saskatchewan

SOWMA had the privilege of attending a staff and industry appreciation pig roast and factory tour on July 22nd at FRP Manufacturing Ltd. Seventy-five people were in attendance.

Additional photos have been posted to our Facebook page.

Homeowner Newsletter

The summer edition of our homeowner newsletter was distributed to homeowners across Western Canada this month.

If you'd like to view it, or share it with your clients, you can find it here

WCOWMA-BC and the Ministry of Health

Exectuive director, Lesley Desjardins, has had two phone meetings with the new Ministry of Health Representative, Lindsay Johnson. Lindsay is keen to reinstate the committee of stakeholders that deal with onsite wastewater. This committee would include representatives from: WCOWMA-BC, ASTTBC, MoH, EGBC, FNHA, CRD, etc. Dialogue between all these groups is important as we are finding a significant disconnect largely due to the changes in staffing at MoH, the implementation of the PGA, and the lack of interaction due to COVID.

More information will be forthcoming.

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 August and 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.

Sad Days for AOWMA

It is with great sadness that the AOWMA announces the loss of two of its long-time members, Floyd Crough and Jim Screpnek. Both gentlemen unexpectedly passed away this summer.

Floyd Crough passed away on June 21, 2022 at the age of 63. He joined his father’s company, Phil Crough & Son Trucking and Backhoe LTD, in 1980 and has worked in the industry since then. Floyd worked in the Counties of Wetaskiwin, Leduc, Pononka and Camrose. He became an AOWMA member in 1998 and was often seen at training and industry events.
Jim Screpnek passed on July 9, 2022. He was 62 years old. Jim worked up in the northern part of Alberta in the Northern Sunrise, Northern Lights and Peace regions. Jim was an AOMWA member since 2014 and was elected to the AOWMA Board of Directors in February 2020, serving for one term.
Our sincere condolences to Floyd’s and Jim’s families, friends and business associates. Both men will be truly missed.
Using Drones in a Site Evaluation

Check out this drone photo from our Site & Soils Workshop in Kamloops, BC!
For more information on using drones for a site evaluation, take a look at the Summer issue of our Onsite Informer magazine. Physical copies were mailed out last month, and a digital copy can be found here.

Thank you to Liesbeth Glotze for the great photo, and demonstrating drone use at the workshop.
AOWMA Meets with Alberta Water Well Drillers

Representatives from the AOWMA Board of Directors met with the Alberta Water Well Drillers Association to learn about their apprenticeship program for water well drillers.  Journeyman water well drillers must undergo a two-year apprenticeship prior to getting their journeyman ticket.

This is a different process than that for Onsite Wastewater Practitioners and the AOWMA Board of Directors is looking at advantages and disadvantages to an apprenticeship model for our industry.

Both organizations are subject to the regulations their disciplines work under and it was helpful to share challenges and solutions between the two groups.

Another meeting will be held in the future to further explore synergies between the organizations as we share some members and have similar goals.
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. 

French Creek Pollution Control Centre Project Receives $733K Grant

The Regional District of Nanaimo is undertaking the FCPCC expansion to meet growing wastewater service demands to 2040 through increased capacity, renew aging infrastructure and improve odour control. The grant will be used to fund two sustainable design features of the new process building: solar panels and heat recovery.

FCPCC treats trucked waste from homes with septic systems and holding tanks.

Learn more.

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.

Updated Installation Information from Manitoba Climate, Environment, & Parks

Manitoba Climate, Environment, & Parks has uploaded new information on their website to clarify the design and installation requirements for disposal fields based on the specifications provided in the Supplementary Information Manual (2010).  The updates address the following:

  • Interpreting Soil Lab Analysis Reports
  • 85 – 100% Sand
  • 40 – 60% Clay
  • Pressure Distribution

Click here for more information.


ASTTBC recently sent out a survey asking their member’s opinions on the potential to de-register a number of disciplines that they currently certify and then just maintaining ROWPs and RFPTs as technicians within the PGA.

There appears to have been no consultation with industry on these proposed changes, so many were caught off-guard. This lack of consultation will be discussed at the upcoming meeting with ASTTBC and MoH.

ASTTBC has updated their jurisprudence exam, and it is now ready for people applying to their ROWP stamp. 

For more information, please contact ASTTBC

Inspections Curriculum Development

An interprovincial committee representing all four western provincial associations met on July 14 to begin developing a framework for an inspections training course. The industry is receiving more and more demands for private inspections for such things as property sales and for other reasons.

The initial meeting looked at provincial requirements for inspection services and began the review of definitions for both performance and compliance inspections.

In BC, private inspectors perform both performance and compliance inspections, however in the prairie provinces, environmental health officers or safety codes officers perform compliance inspections and industry performs performance inspections, typically for real estate purposes.

The committee will be developing required core competencies for inspectors, defining the role of inspectors for both compliance and performance inspections, and then developing curriculum that meets the provincial requirements for each province. Currently, as BC has the most developed provincial regulatory requirements for inspectors the committee will use that framework as the basis to build curriculum around. The curriculum will then be adapted to each provincial jurisdiction.

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.

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). 

August 18-19, 2022 | Virtual Classroom
August 30-31, 2022 | Red Deer, AB
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

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

AB Onsite Wastewater Practitioner Training

The AOWMA has seen approximately 60 students go through our practitioner training since the beginning of this year. 

Our next session is open for registration, and you can sign up here.

August 9 – 12 & August 23 – 26, 2022 | Virtual Classroom

MB Site & Soils Day

The MOWMA hosted a Site & Soils Evaluation Field Day in Teulon on Monday, July 18th.

These practical training days are 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.

Thank you to Brett Gaudry site host.

Those wishing to attend future workshops, should keep an eye on our website or this newsletter for future dates. 

Additional photos have been posted to our Facebook page.

BC Site & Soils Day

The WCOWMA-BC hosted a Site & Soils Evaluation Field Day in Kamloops on Monday, July 11th. It was a beautiful day, but very hot, reaching the mid-thirties by the afternoon.

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. 

The Association has held four Site and Soil Evaluation Field days throughout the province this year. Of the four site and soil days, two of them have the potential to be installation sites, along with a site from last year. Installation days will announced for the late summer / early fall. 

Additional photos have been posted to our Facebook page.

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.

Virtual Classroom
August 9 – 12, 2022
August 23 – 26, 2022

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
International Conference On Water And Environmental Sciences
August 5 - 6, 2022

Septic Awareness Week
September 19 - 23, 2022

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

Summer is here and the weather is great. You decide to catch up on some work from your laptop in the backyard, but overheating your computer could be a disaster.

Here are a few ways to ensure your laptop stands a chance in the warmer weather:

Avoid Direct Sunlight. It can make it hard to see, but it can also damage computer components.
Keep the Fan Clean. Dust and debris caught in the fan can cause it to malfunction, which can lead to overheating. 
Place It on a Flat Surface. Placing the laptop on a cushion or lap can contribute to improper air flow with the vents. This can lead to overheating. 
Shut it Down Well. If the device hasn't finished powering down before you close it, it might not have cooled down properly. This can lead to, you guessed it, overheating. 

Inspirational Message

“I don't live to work; I work to live.”
                -  Noel Gallagher

Fun Fact

International Left Handers Day is August 13th. Lefties make up 10-13% of the worldwide population. 

The day was first observed in 1976 by Dean R. Campbell, founder of Lefthanders International, Inc. International Lefthanders Day was created to celebrate sinistrality and raise awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed in a predominantly right-handed world.

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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