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WISCONSIN: Guiding Code

Wisconsin Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association board members Todd Stair and Sue Schambureck represent the organization on the Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment System Code Advisory Council. The state Department of Commerce convened the council because 2010 legislation allows counties a two-year delay in implementing a POWTS inventory and maintenance-tracking program, thus requiring a code change to reflect the new law.

Other items the council will consider for the code rewrite procedure include the concrete tank corrosion issue, requiring time-of-sale evaluations, establishing a minimum size for septic tanks, determining education requirements for maintenance providers, and requiring deeds to indicate the system’s treatment capacity.

WOWRA member Richard Otis of Madison was named president of NOWRA’s board of directors. WOWRA board member Tony Birrittieri of Petersen Supply in Fredonia also joined the national board.

MICHIGAN: New Board Members

The Michigan Septic Tank Association elected Joe Hall of Hall’s Serv-All in Posen as president. Elected to the board of directors were Ken Goike, Rick Throop, Keith Chamberlain and Walt Steuer.

Hall’s Serv-All helped police investigate the death of a boy who drowned after falling into an open septic tank on property owned by the boy’s grandfather. The tank had a screwed-on plastic cover that the owner removed when he experienced toilet problems.

“The screws were not attached, and we assume the boy stepped on the lid, which flipped, allowing the child to fall in and drown,” Hall says. He recommends that pumpers constantly enlighten customers about the safety deficiencies in their systems, and to make sure all covers are adequately fastened.

CALIFORNIA: Freak Accident

Four workers suffered first-, second- or third-degree burns while decommissioning a septic tank in Camp Meeker. Two employees of Dale Homes Inc., a Redding general construction and demolition company, were trying to break the tank’s concrete floor from outside using a sledgehammer and steel pipe. One employee then entered the tank with a jackhammer, while the other stood outside and watched. Two employees from another firm also observed the workers’ progress.

According to the California Department of Occupational Safety and Health, a jackhammer triggered an explosion caused by leaking propane pipes. The men were hospitalized, and one was transferred to a burn center.

TEXAS: Conference at Risk

The Texas Onsite Wastewater Association reports that it will lose its annual conference if the Sunset Advisory Commission disbands the 11-member OnSite Wastewater Treatment Research Council.

The commission identifies and eliminates waste, duplication, and inefficiency in government. Its staff recommended that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality incorporate the council’s duties, which include improving the state’s onsite industry, organizing the association’s annual conference, and providing low-cost continuing education credits.

The TCEQ has a staff of three full-time and one part-time employees working in the onsite department. The advisory commission recommended that TCEQ sponsor the TOWA conference and consider combining it with TCEQ conferences. TOWA members began a letter-writing campaign to oppose the action.

CONNECTICUT: Multiple Roles

The Connecticut Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association elected Douglas DiVesta, P.E., of DiVesta Civil Engineering Associates Inc. in Roxbury to its board of directors. DiVesta also is on the state’s Code Advisory Committee and is a COWRA onsite installer instructor.

WASHINGTON STATE: Scholarship Winners

The Washington On-Site Sewage Association awarded a $3,000 scholarship to Kendra Phillips, daughter of Leonard Phillips of Spanaway. She attends George Fox University in Newberg, Ore., and will graduate this year with a degree in elementary education.

Paige Bronson, daughter of Greg Bronson of Graham, received a $2,000 scholarship. She attends the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, is majoring in psychology and anthropology, and will graduate in 2013. Yuxuan Wang, the daughter of Menglou Wang of Seattle, received $1,100. She attends the University of Washington and will graduate in 2012 with a degree in civil engineering.

NATION: Updated Homeowner’s Guide

NOWRA updated its Homeowner’s Onsite System Guide and Record Keeping Folder. The publication explains what an onsite system is and how it works, provides a list of dos and don’ts, and includes a place to keep all critical information on the system. A free download in PDF format is at Print copies are available.

Training & Education


The Arizona Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association and the University of Arizona Onsite Wastewater Education Program have these classes:

  • April 14-15 – Introduction to Designing Onsite Systems, Pinal County
  • June 8 – NAWT Inspection Training and Recertification, Radisson Suites Hotel, Tucson.

Call Kitt Farrell-Poe at 520/621-7221 or e-mail or visit


The California Onsite Wastewater Association is offering these classes:

  • April 8 – Onsite Controls, Citrus Heights
  • April 18 – Principles of Plan Checking, Ventura
  • April 18 – California Environmental Health Association Conference Onsite Training Track: Biology of Wastewater Treatment, Ventura
  • April 19-21 – Science of Soils, Operations and Maintenance, and Regulatory Update, Ventura
  • April 21 – Science of Soils, Operations and Maintenance, and Regulatory Update, Ventura
  • May 13 – Science of Soils, San Luis Obispo

Call Kit Rosefield at 530/513- 6658 or visit


The Georgia F.O.G. Alliance has a training course for FOG inspectors April 27-29 at the Merle Manders Conference Center in Stockbridge. Visit


The University of Minnesota Extension has these classes:

  • April 5-7 – Basic Design of Onsite Systems, St. Cloud
  • April 12-13 – General Continuing Education, Rochester
  • April 19 – Design Continuing Education, Hinckley
  • April 19-20 – Design and Inspector Continuing Education, Hinckley
  • April 20 – Inspector Continuing Education, Hinckley
  • April 22 – Troubleshooting, St. Cloud
  • April 25-27 – Introduction to Onsite Systems, Grand Rapids
  • April 28-29 – Installing Onsite Systems, Grand Rapids
  • May 2-4 – Pumping and Maintaining Onsite Systems, Mankato
  • May 2-6 – Pumper/Maintainer/Service Provider, Mankato
  • May 3-6 – Service Provider, Mankato
  • May 10-12 – Basic Design of Onsite Systems, Mankato
  • May 18 – Soils Continuing Education, Farmington
  • May 24-27 – Advanced Design of Onsite Systems, Mankato

Call Nick Haig at 800/322-8642 (612/625-9797) or visit


The Missouri Smallflows Organization is offering these CEU courses:

  • April 5-6 – Operations and Maintenance, St. Clair
  • April 12 – Media Filters, Camdenton
  • April 13 – Aerated Treatment Units, Camdenton
  • April 26 – Selling Systems, Hannibal
  • April 27 – Drainfields and Water Management, Hannibal
  • May 10-11 – Operations and Maintenance, Springfield

Call Tammy Yelden at 417/739-4100 or visit

New England

The New England Onsite Wastewater Training Center at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston has these courses:

  • April 14 – Designing Conventional Onsite Systems
  • April 19 – All About Series: Septic Tanks
  • April 21 – Bottomless Sand Filter Design and Installation
  • April 27 – Conventional Onsite System Inspection
  • April 27-28 – Conventional Onsite System Inspection and Field Training
  • May 5 – Functional Inspections
  • May 12 – Innovative and Alternative Technologies
  • May 19 – All About Series: Sand Media
  • May 26 – Installing Conventional Onsite Systems

Call 401/874-5950 or visit

New Hampshire

The Granite State Designers and Installers Association is offering its Certified Septic Evaluator Training Program May 3 in Bow and May 7 in Rochester. Call 603/228-1231 or visit


The Virginia Center for Onsite Wastewater Training has these classes at Pickett unless stated otherwise:

  • April 25-29 – Onsite Design Camp I
  • May 9-13 – Soils (Site Evaluation), Ashland
  • May 23-27 – Onsite Design Camp II, Farmville

Contact Lydia Shepherd at 434/292-3101, e-mail, or visit

Washington State

The Washington On-Site Sewage Association and Washington State Department of Health in cooperation with Washington State University are offering these certification courses at the training center in Puyallup:

  • April 6 – Maintenance Basics
  • April 13 – Pumper Basics
  • April 20 – Design of Subsurface Drip Systems
  • May 3-4 – Basics of Electrical Applications in Onsite Systems
  • May 11 – Basics of Installing, Part 3
  • May 25 – Electrical Control Panels

Call WOSSA at 253/770-6594 or visit

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