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In this issue:

SOP Update Training: Don't Lose Your Certification!
Computer Tip
Septic Awareness Survey Results 
AOWMA Throughout the Province
Flood Risk in BC
Upcoming Training Events 
Events Calendar
...and more!

Don’t Forget to Renew Your Certificate of Competency with Alberta Municipal Affairs

If you have completed the 2021 SOP Update Training, you still need to apply to Alberta Municipal Affairs to renew your Certificate of Competency.  To renew your Certificate of Competency, submit a copy of your training documents to Municipal Affairs at along with the application form found at Safety Codes Officers should submit copies of their documents to the Safety Codes Council as a component of required training compliance.

To ensure your Certificate of Competency does not expire, you must complete the required SOP Update training by October 31, 2022.

If your Certificate expires on October 31, 2022, you have until February 28, 2023 to complete the SOP Update training and have your Certificate reinstated. 

Update from Municipal Affairs 

Alberta Municipal Affairs has now extended the date by which people need to have completed their SOP Update training.  Although Certificates of Competency will expire by October 31, as long as the contractor has completed their update by the end of February 2023, their CoC will be reinstated.

The Case for Embracing Water Re-use in Canada

There is a perception that Canada has an abundant freshwater supply. In some regions of the country, where drought conditions do not exist, this is certainly the case. There are, at times, large volumes of freshwater available.

But this is by no means the case for the entire country. 

Re-use of treated wastewater will significantly reduce the demand for freshwater and also eliminate or reduce the discharges, thereby reducing the contaminant loadings to the freshwater sources.

Read more on WaterCanada.

From Flood Risk to Resilience in B.C.

In mid-October, the Governemnt of BC released an intentions paper, From Flood Risk to Resilience in B.C., outlining how it hopes to balance public safety with a sustainable environment and stable economy. 

“Flooding is by far the most common, costliest disaster in Canada,” the report says.

We can all recall the flooding in November of 2021 where videos of people boating down the roads of Abbotsford went viral. Countless onsite wastewater systems failed and the Province advised owners of sewer systems who live in flooded areas of B.C. about potential risks for human health and the environment, and how to mitigate them.

The intentions paper notes flood risks in B.C. are “substantial and continue to grow due to land use pressures and climate change.”

The documents says river flooding is expected to be 10 to 20 per cent more frequent. Local floods from heavy downpours, meanwhile, are expected to be 40 per cent more frequent. 

That all comes as sea levels are forecast to rise at least one metre by the end of the century — squeezing many coastal communities between river and the ocean. 

Learn more.

Septic Awareness Week

In order to make next year even better, we polled our homeowner list on the results of our 4th annual Septic Awareness Week.

"Mostly a refresher on what I'd heard before but good to hear it again."

"I didn't know anything about septic systems so I took away a lot.  The layers of the septic tank is one example."

"I'm now much more aware of the various septic systems and how they operate. Not only that, but now realize the value in regular maintenance."

"Great content. Some reminders about the systems, terminology and other information that I was not aware of."
Over 225 people registered to attend the numerous workshops we hosted throughout the week. Feedback was excellent and those who attended really appreciated the information they received.

Regional Districts and municipalities in any of the Western provinces are welcome to contact WCOWMA to arrange a Septic Sense Workshop in their area.

AOWMA Throughout the Province

The AOWMA is being represented by hosting booths at a few trade shows this fall. We hosted a booth at the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI) in Edmonton on October 24 & 25, 2022. The stakeholder group this speaks to are the health inspectors on First Nations lands and other Federal Lands, and Health Inspectors that work for Alberta Health Services.
On November 8, the AOWMA will host a trade show booth at the Rural Municipalities Association (RMA). This event also takes place in Edmonton at the Shaw Centre. This is an opportunity to connect and network with representatives from the municipalities throughout the Province and to promote our Septic Sense program.
The Association has also been invited to the RMA Appreciation Cocktail party that evening which is an opportunity to meet the Minister of Municipal Affairs, and the Assistant Deputy Minister as well. The final trade show in November takes place in Red Deer on the 30th. This is the Rural Utilities Safety Association event. These are the municipal representatives that deal with land development and construction in unserviced regions.


The WCOWMA websites feature a Locate-A-Pro tab where our members are listed by the type of work they do, and the region they work in. This is an excellent resource for those looking for their services. For homeowners it is a great way to find an installer or maintenance provider; for those working in the industry it’s a great place to find a manufacturer or supplier.

If you are a member of WCOWMA-BC, you should be listed in Locate-a-Pro. Why not take a minute to review your listing? If you see any errors, please let us know so we can ensure your listing is up-to-date.

SOWMA at the CIPHI Convention

SOWMA had the pleasure of hosting a booth at the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors in Regina on October 4th and 5th. Approximately 50 Environmental Health Officers attended the event.

By participating in this event, SOWMA strengthens its relationship with the ministry and its representatives. 

Association member, Souris Valley, also hosted a booth.

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.

If you are practicing in Saskatchewan, and have not yet completed the short survey, please contact Adrienne in our office at 855-872-2650. 

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.

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.

BC Installation Day - Kamloops

WCOWMA-BC hosted an installation in Kamloops, BC on October 20 & 21st. This installation day was sponsored in part by FRP Manufacturing (2010) the homeowner had requested an EnviroSeptic system if the site was suitable. Other sponsors to the event were MCM Sales who supplied the effluent filter and PumpTech who supplied the control panel.

Students were able to review the system plan with the trainers and then participate in the entire installation from start to finish. The system will not be commissioned until Spring as the residence has only been constructed to the foundation stage, so the installer will return at that point to remount the control panel, set the dosing and commission the system.

More details on this installation will be featured in the winter edition of the Onsite Informer magazine.

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). 

The AOWMA training was developed in consultation with Alberta Municipal Affairs. It is a two day program covering the changes to the Standard of Practice and reviewing the application of those Standards to onsite wastewater systems. Participants can take Day 1 and Day 2 back-to-back, or they may complete Day 1 during one session and return for Day 2 at another time if that is more convenient.

November 8/9 | Virtual Classroom
November 17/18 | Virtual Classroom
November 23/24 | Virtual Classroom
November 29/30 | Edmonton, AB

Register online now

If you complete your SOP training through the AOWMA, we will automatically update your information to show you are still certified. If you have taken the training elsewhere, please notify us, otherwise your listing will be updated to show you are no longer certified. 

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

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.

November 21 - 25, 2022
December 6 - 9, 2022

Register online or contact the association office at 1-855-872-2645 for more information.
January 6, 7, 13, 14, & 20, 2023
January 21, 27, 28, February 3 & 4, 2023

Register online or contact the association office at 855-872-2650 for more information.

November 1 - 4, 2022
November 15 - 18, 2022

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 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

Placement of Your Monitor

Where your monitor is can make a difference for eye strain, back pain and productivity. Follow these tips for a better experience: 

1. Position the monitor at least 20 inches (51 cm) from your eyes—about an arm’s length distance. If your screen is larger, add more viewing distance.

2.  Adjust the monitor height so that the top of the screen is at—or slightly below—eye level.

3. Your eyes should look slightly downward when viewing the middle of the screen.

Inspirational Message

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine, and shadows will fall behind you.”

                -  Walt Whitman

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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