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In this issue:
Holiday Closures
Convention Poll: In-Person or Virtual (Have Your Say)
Tips to Beat the Cold on the Jobsite
COVID Rapid Test Information
Upcoming Training Events
Events Calendar
...and more!
The WCOWMA office, and its provincial chapters, will be closed from December 23rd, 2021 until January 3, 2022. 

Staff will be sporadically checking their email, but response times will be longer than usual. If the matter is urgent, please contact us via phone and we will do our best to assist you. 
ASTTBC Bulletin

This practice bulletin is being issued to registrants of the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC to provide clarity on the practice requirements for Registered Onsite Wastewater Practitioners (ROWP) as it pertains to adhering to the BC Ministry of Health Sewerage System Standard Practice Manual (SPM).

Registrants are expected to adhere to these requirements in addition to the Professional Governance Act, ASTTBC Bylaws, applicable industry codes, standards, and ASTTBC practice guidance documents when carrying out work.

Download the bulletin here.

Washington, DC Sewage Plant Spins Human Poo into Fertilizer Gold

This “resource recovery plant,” as it is called by workers there, is hard at work creating “Bloom.”  Bloom is described as "a nitrogen-rich, slow-release fertilizer product."

The full article can be found on Good News Network's website

COVID-19 Rapid Testing and Screening in Workplaces

The Government of Canada, some provincial/territorial governments and distribution partners are providing free rapid COVID-19 tests to organizations. These tests are to be used for regular workplace screening of employees.

Businesses and not-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply.

Please see their website for more information.
Don’t Let Guests Park On Septic Field

The holiday season with its happy gatherings of family and friends may not seem like the perfect time to talk about proper use and maintenance of septic systems, but it is.

Holiday preparations and get-togethers can mean hosting out-of-town guests who can overwhelm a system and may not be familiar with necessary septic system precautions. No one needs the extra cost of repairs or cleanups, especially during the gift-giving season.

Download a one page flyer for your clients here. 

2022 Alberta Standard Of Practice Has Been Released

The Alberta Safety Codes Council has released the 2022 Alberta Standard of Practice.  Download a free digital copy of the 2022 SOP by following this link: Alberta Private Sewage Standard of Practice Available Now: Comes into Force November 1, 2022 – Safety Codes Council

Information on upcoming Standard of Practice Update Training will be released shortly.  Certificate of Competency (CoC) holders have one year from the release date to complete their Standard of Practice Update Training and renew their CoC.

SOWMA Site & Soils Day

On Friday, November 19, the SOWMA hosted our last Site & Soils Day for the season.  We were blessed with amazing weather for mid-November. This practical training day was great opportunity to get hands-on experience evaluating a site, as well as practicing hand texturing and sampling. Many installers who are signed up for January 2022's Onsite Wastewater Practitioner Training Program were able to get a jump start on the program by taking the required Soils Day this autumn.

Keep an eye on our website and future issues of this newsletter for more training opportunities. 

Join the WCOWMA Facebook Group

We've expanded beyond pages! Come join the group, chat with other with people in the industry, and stay up-to-date with WCOWMA news. 
In-Person or Virtual Convention: Have Your Say

The AOWMA Convention Committee is working on plans for a live convention and trade show to take place in Red Deer, AB on February 15, 16, & 17, 2022.

The WCOWMA-BC Board of Directors is working on plans for a convention and trade show on March 3, 4 & 5, 2022.

With on-going changes to public heath requirements for groups and gatherings, the Associations are trying to gauge industry support for an in-person event. We would appreciate your response to the brief survey below. 

AB convention and trade show survey
BC convention and trade show survey

The survey is only four questions, and should be able to be completed in under two minutes. We hope you'll participate. 
Tips To Beat the Cold

Working while cold can be generally unpleasant, but severe cold stress can also lead to hypothermia, which can be fatal. Cold stress can affect people working in cold or wet environments. Workers may show symptoms ranging from shivering to loss of consciousness. Hypothermia often happens so slowly that you don’t realize you’re in danger.  Reducing the risks is an important step in keeping safe on the job site.

Dress for Success
When it comes to the cold weather, layers are a key strategy in staying warm. Layers allow you to adjust how warm you are as you can easily remove a layer of clothing. More than that, air is trapped between each layer and warmed by your body, insulating you from the cold. Water and wind proof gear is important as well since being dry is a key component of staying warm in the cold weather.

In particularly cold weather, try using long underwear or thermal underwear. Cotton can hold water against your body, so try synthetic fabrics or wool. Polyester, spandex, lycra, and nylon are often combined with other natural fibers to provide the right amount of moisture wicking properties and heat retention required.

Your daily pants and shirt also play an important role. If fit incorrectly, or made from the wrong fabrics, they may trap moisture from the layer below. This will make you feel damp. It is best to use synthetic fabric, wool, or a combination. You can layer more than one wool sweater on top of another if it is particularly cold, or if the sweaters are thin. Wool is an ideal fabric as it will stay warm, even when wet.

Finally, ensure you have an appropriately insulated coat and a hat. Most body heat is lost through the head. Coats should be waterproof. It that isn’t possible, try adding a water-resistant shell or a windbreaker.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Dehydration can lead to exhaustion and hypothermia. Drink plenty of fluids, but limit your intake of coffee and tea. Try hot water with lemon and honey, warm broth, or just plain water. Alcohol, even in small amounts, can increase body cooling.

Keep Moving
Bodies generate heat through movement. Depending on your job, you may be moving a lot, but if you aren’t, consider taking a short break to move around.

Stay Warm
Depending on the job site, consider an electric or propane heater you can take a break near. In some cases, a temporary enclosed shelter could be erected, or a trailer could be brought in. If those aren’t options, look into heated insoles for your shoes, heated vests, and/or heated gloves. Warming packs you can stuff into your pockets are another option. There are one-time use ones, and rechargeable ones.

If someone is showing signs of hypothermia, it is important to get their core temperature back up. Get them to a warm, dry area and remove any wet clothing. Use blankets, additional clothing, and heating pads. If they are conscious, give them warm liquids to drink. If they aren’t breathing or are unconscious, contact 911 immediately and perform CPR.
Additional Tips:
* Use a hat or headband that covers your ears
* Wool socks
* Wool lined gloves when possible
* Use a non-cotton scarf for wind protection
* Use ChapStick to keep your lips from drying out and cracking
* Try composite boots instead of steel-toed ones as they can be a “cold sink”
Keep an eye on your mailbox! The Winter edition of our Onsite Informer magazine includes a list of hot lunches (that aren't soup!) to pack in your insulated container. 
Beer From Wastewater

During the spring of 2020, we shared some information about a Calgary company that used treated wastewater in their beer. The project was completed via a partnership between a local brewery, the University of Calgary and Xylem Inc., which produced a limited batch of 1,600 cans of Village Blonde beer using treated wastewater.

The excitement has reached the media once more, and an in-depth article, including an interview with Christine O’Grady, program coordinator at the University of Calgary’s Advancing Canadian Water Assets, can be found on Water Canada's website

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.

Virtual Classroom
Days 1 - 5 December 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 2021
Days 6 - 10 January 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 2022

Visit our website or contact the association office at 1-855-872-2645 for more information.

Virtual Classroom
January 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, 2022
February 4 & 5, 2022

Visit our website or contact the association office at 855-872-2650 for more information.

Virtual Classroom
January 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 2022
Exam Day January 24, 2022

Download a registration form 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



Upcoming Industry Events

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

British Columbia
World Soil Day
December 5, 2021

Septic Con
January 28—29, 2022
Tacoma, WA

AOWMA Convention & Trade Show
February 15—17, 2022
February 21—24, 2022
Indianapolis, IN

WCOWMA-BC Convention & Trade Show
March 3—5, 2022

World Water Day
March 22, 2022

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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