Education Day at the Pumper & Cleaner Expo delivers an array of business-building knowledge for septic service, industrial vacuum loading and portable sanitation companies

Education Day at the 2012 Pumper & Cleaner Expo moves to Monday, Feb. 27, with a full lineup of seminars given by representatives from the industry’s leading trade associations. You can attend as many as six sessions, selecting from among 46 courses given in eight tracks.

You can learn about new tools, technologies and methods for solving specific problems, fine-tune your knowledge of basic in-the-field practices, and learn business leadership practices to help transform your performance and profit. Here is a list of seminars of special interest to liquid waste hauling and portable sanitation professionals. Additional seminars are being scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 28 and 29.

The Expo runs Feb. 27 to March 1 at the Indiana Convention Center. For complete seminar schedules and more information on the Expo, visit The early registration price through Jan. 20 is $50, a savings of $20.

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Seminars of particular interest to pumpers

National Association of Wastewater Transporters (NAWT)

8 to 9 a.m.: Bob Kolvey, What I Need to Know About Trucking Safety

This presentation will introduce and stimulate a discussion about new CSA (compliance, safety and accountability) requirements and how they will impact drivers and companies. It’s a topic vital to small businesses that operate truck fleets. There also will be a discussion about accurately filling out logbooks.

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9:30 to 10:30 a.m.: Kit Rosefield, Setting the Dose, Establishing the Pump Delivery Rate and Relative Control Sensor Adjustment.

Explore the use of different types of pumps and sensors, and techniques for measuring tank capacities, performing a drawdown test, determining the pump delivery rate and how they relate to setting sensors to meet designers’ specified dose.

11 a.m. to noon: Jim Anderson, Ph.D., Certification and Septic System Inspections

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The NAWT education coordinator will discuss the importance of certifications for industry professionalism and elaborate on three types of inspections: the compliance inspection performed at the time of installation, the operations and maintenance inspection, and the operation inspection performed at the time of property transfer.

1:30 to 2:30 p.m.: Tom and Todd Frank, Is There Value in Processing My Own Sludge?

This presentation from pumpers who run their own septage processing plant will help liquid waste contractors determine the feasibility of operating an independent dewatering facility. They will walk through the NAWT Excel cost spreadsheet to help contractors answer financial questions.

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3 to 4 p.m.: Jeff Rachlin, Maintenance Frequency Standards and Requirements

This seminar will combine a number of system types and user scenarios to explain how to approach maintenance standards and requirements for onsite septic systems.

4:30 to 5:30 p.m.: David Gustafson, P.E., Working with Small Communities: System Management

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Service providers will learn techniques to work effectively with small communities on issues involving soil-based treatment systems. A University of Minnesota small community education template will be discussed, including topics like homeowner education, caring for systems and necessary reporting.


Portable Sanitation Association International (PSAI)

1:30 to 4 p.m.: Panel Discussion, Cost Analysis: Delivery, Removal, Moves and Tipovers (two sessions)

Experienced portable restroom contractors will talk about many aspects of expenditure tracking to help operators understand their actual cost per service and avoid pricing their services below actual operating cost. This panel discussion will span two seminar hours.


Northwest Michigan Onsite Wastewater Task Force

8 to 9 a.m.: Harnessing the Power of the Internet to Grow Your Business

Does the world of social media seem daunting or of questionable value to your business? This session will teach you how to tweet effectively, use Facebook to your advantage and join other companies in your area on LinkedIn.

9:30 to 10:30 a.m.: Social Media – Taking it to the Web, Infinity and Beyond!

Do you need to be a graphics wizard to have a cool website? No, but a few basic design rules and a simple free Web service like can get a business up and running online in very little time. This session looks at how COLE Publishing organizes its Web content and how a business can incorporate the social media tools reviewed in the previous session.


National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)

8 to 9 a.m.: Anthony Smithson, Promoting Competence: What’s in it for Me?

This seminar focuses on how obtaining credentials can benefit an onsite business and the onsite wastewater industry. It includes ways to promote a business and industry as a competent, knowledgeable professional.

9:30 to 10:30 a.m.: A. Robert Rubin, Septic Tank Science

This presentation covers the basic science of what happens inside septic tanks. It will help beginning and experienced professionals understand the biological and chemical processes at work in the tank and how they affect the overall treatment process.

11 a.m. to noon: Kevin M. Sherman, Advanced Treatment: What does that Mean?

This presentation explains how sewage is chemically and physically altered as it goes through various advanced treatment unit processes.

1:30 to 2:30 p.m.: Kevin M. Sherman, Successfully Dosing Pipe Networks

Dosing a pipe network requires a firm grasp of centrifugal pump performance and pipe hydraulics. This in-depth presentation uses computer animation, Internet resources and low-cost spreadsheets. It demonstrates pump selection software for multiple manufacturers. The goal is to give attendees tools to create better-operating and longer-lasting systems.

3 to 4 p.m.: A. Robert Rubin, Pump Replacement

This presentation covers the types of pumps available for septic systems and when and how they can be replaced.

4:30 to 5:30 p.m.: Doug Lassiter, State of the Industry: The Forecast, The Strategy, The Tools


National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA)

8 to 9 a.m.: Sara Heger, Aerobic or Anaerobic: Which One is Better?

Within most septic systems, both anaerobic and aerobic processes treat the wastewater. This presentation describes each process, tells where each process is dominant, and shows how to evaluate systems to determine if they are working properly.

9:30 to 10:30 a.m.: Tom Fritts, Mound Systems – Not Just for Wisconsin!

Mound systems are valuable soil treatment systems designed and installed when there is limited appropriate soil available on-site for wastewater treatment. This presentation will go over the range of mound applications and options.

11 a.m. to noon: Sara Heger, Dead Bacteria: How Overuse of Cleaners and Household Products Kill!

More septic systems are being negatively affected by the use of varying chemicals, cleaners, medicines and anti-bacterial products. This presentation explains how to identify these problems and troubleshoot systems.

1:30 to 2:30 p.m.: Tom Fritts, Onsite Electrical Understanding the basics of electricity in relation to onsite systems is critical for service providers and installers. This class covers those basics, including voltage choices, calculating electrical usage, and even minor electrical troubleshooting.

3 to 4 p.m.: Sara Heger, Managing Commercial Wastewater Treatments

Onsite systems serving commercial facilities are subject to many additional challenges, particularly surges in flows and organics. This course covers design and management options to help these systems operate more effectively.

4:30 to 5:30 p.m.: Tom Fritts, Choosing the Right Float to Control Your Pump

This seminar covers all the different float configurations, from the simplest two-float system to four-float duplex systems. It also looks at other non-float pump activation devices.


Scott Hunter, Business Coach

8 a.m. to noon: Keeping Employees and Customers Happy

Ninety percent of new companies fail within 10 years. One key reason: unhappy employees or unhappy customers. It takes leadership to create and keep a winning atmosphere at work. This three-part session teaches how to do exactly that. It tells why people become unhappy and customers get disappointed – and how to produce the opposite result.

3 to 5:30 p.m.: How to Be Successful and Profitable in any Economy

Many companies fail because their owners run them by the seat of their pants and have never learned what to do for a company to succeed. This program tells what it takes, day in and day out, no matter what is going on in the economy, to have a company that is profitable and fulfills the owner’s vision and objectives.

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