Field Training/Workshops

Standard Of Practice Update 2016

This is an opportunity to participate in the Standard of Practice Update Training. This training is now required for those wishing to maintain their PSDS ticket.

Dates to be Announced

Site and Soils Evaluation Field Days

Site and Soils Evaluation Field Days will be held for those interested in learning more about performing detailed site visits and designing systems for difficult situations and soils.  This training workshop will provide information on assessing soil structure and texture, assessing site conditions and constraints, logging information and applying that knowledge to the design of onsite systems.

Dates to be Announced

Mound Installation Demo

Mound Installation Field Days provide instruction for those interested in learning more about designing and installing mounds. Registrants participating in this training session will focus on the following outcomes:

– Understand the basic principles of how mounds work – treatment in sand layer and dispersal horizontally. Apply soil evaluation information. Understand ground water mounding.

– Learn mound design configurations and materials; sand layer, fill, gravel, chambers.

– Basic knowledge of utilizing topography of installation site.

– Know factors in locating the mound – slope vs. level, clearance separations, vertical separations, fill materials for raised bed.

– Ability to design pressure distribution laterals for mound, orientation of orifices, spacing, preferred vs. cost.

– Knowledge of and ability to apply requirements of Standard of Practice:

– Ability to interpret mound design worksheet

– Ability to complete mound design worksheet

– Ability to describe construction practices.

– Ability to perform clarity test on sand.

– Identify typical mound failure.

– Ability to apply soil characteristics at site to mound design, identify key material requirements and calculate mound size.

Please note this workshop runs 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Dates to be Announced

Refresh and Review Pressure Distribution and Timed Dosing & System Design

This two day course covers pressure distribution design, timed dosing calculation and system design, including fields, mounds etc.

Dates to be Announced

Pressure Distribution Refresher Training

With the installation season right around the corner, it is time to dust off your design and calculation skills for pressure distribution systems! This half day training course is designed for those who have completed the Onsite Wastewater Practitioner training and wish to review the process and calculations for designing pressure distribution.

Dates to be Announced

Pressure Distribution Workshops

Pressure Distribution workshops provide instruction on how to plan a pressure distribution system.  Students will learn how different sizes and types of pipes and pumps affect the pressure distribution system, how to calculate friction loss and pressure head and how to plan a system that takes into account the loading constraints of the site it will be installed on.

Dates to be Announced

Adapting to Business in BC Workshop

A workshop on Adapting to Business in BC will be held for those interested in learning about transferring their Alberta credential to a ROWP stamp.

Focus will be on the following topics:

  • Review of transfer process
  • Implications of having a ROWP stamp
  • Continuing education requirements
  • Alberta SOP to BC SPM Review
  • Creating a filing
  • Creating Homeowner manuals

Dates to be Announced

Certified Pumps Installer Workshop

The Little Giant Certified Contractor training class is a comprehensive review of sump, sewage, effluent, grinder and jet pumps, including applications, sizing, operation and trouble shooting. The class instructor has over 35 years experience with Little Giant Pump Company. Upon completion of the class , attendees will receive a certificate of completion, The class is about 5 hours in length.

Dates to be Announced

Problem Soils in Your Backyard

From the literature and conversations with professionals the understanding of soil is the critical component in onsite wastewater management. The trend appears to be that many believe knowing less rather than more about soils is sufficient for their work. This workshop presents the opposite view. An Engineer or designer planning onsite systems should want to know as much as possible about soils and the relationships between the classification of soils, soil forming factors, soil development processes, the description of soils in the field and their interconnected relationships and their implications in wastewater management. Knowing what you don’t know is the corner stone to avoiding costly problems and/or legal setbacks.

How soils develop, factors of soil formation and processes are introduced to set the stage for soil classification. A brief overview of the World Reference Base, US Soil Taxonomy and the Canadian System of Soil Classification will be presented. The ten Canadian soil orders will be covered with specific attention to limiting horizons and their relationship to waste water management. Classifications systems developed as soils were described in the field. “When mapping soils, we can record individual properties at each observation point. We soon discover, however, that sets of properties co-vary, and that we can recognize classes of soils.” ( From soil descriptions elements such as horizon designations, depths, textures, structure, colours, consistence, to name a few, is collected. Some of these variables are critical in planning onsite systems. These variables will be described in detail and where possible related back to orders, formation and processes. Participant exercises will be included to enhance the presented concepts and assist in determining loading rates using the effluent loading rate tables.

Water movement in soils is a critical factor in system design. Some jurisdictions use percolation tests and texture alone in an attempt to determine a hydraulic loading rate. Others use percolation tests, texture, structure and consistence. Other jurisdictions do not use percolation or permeameter testing at all since from literature reviews it is the least accurate variable in the equation regarding loading rates. The research gathered regarding the pro and cons of percolation and permeameter testing will be presented. It is then anticipated that an open discussion will take place in the afternoon portion of the workshop.

At the end of the workshop it is anticipated that one will see that a more in depth understanding of soil, rather than less, will prompt one to learn more, specifically to understand the big picture in their own area regarding the soils they work with daily.

The more one knows the easier the task of describing soils becomes and the more confidence one would have in their work. Knowledge is power: limit your liability.

Numerous training web resources will be provided that cover many of presented topics and ideas. The PowerPoint presentation notes will also be provided in colour for participant’s future reference. Reference to Watson, 2007, Soils Illustrated – Field Descriptions manual will be incorporated within the workshop presentation.

Dates to be Announced

Hydrology & Soils Workshop

From Soils Classification to Hydrogeological Implications

The understanding of soil and the movement of effluent through it is critical in onsite wastewater management.

Designers planning onsite systems need to know soils classification and hydrogeological movement and their interconnected relationships to ensure proper design. If not fully understood, the implications in wastewater management can be extensive and costly. Knowing what you don’t know is the corner stone in avoiding costly problems.

How soils develop, factors of soil formation and processes are introduced to set the stage. The video: “How Water Moves Through Soil” will be presented followed by water movement demonstrations in models similar to those shown in the video. A brief overview of the Canadian System of Soil Classification will follow. The ten Canadian soil orders will be reviewed with specific attention to limiting horizons and their relationship to wastewater management.

Soil elements such as horizon designations, depths, texture, structure, colour, and consistency, and their effect on hydrology will also be reviewed. These critical planning variables will be described in detail and where possible related back to orders, formation and processes. To wrap up, updated research on smectite clay in BC will be introduced. The problem with shrink-swell (smectite) clay appears bigger in the onsite industry than previously realized.

Participant exercises will be included to enhance the take-away design tools presented. Participants will understand how to calculate texture, COLE results, determine soil structure and the limiting layer(s), vertical separation and locate oneself on Table 2 – 8 of the SPM to confidently select hydraulic loading rates. Subsequently participants will understand the hydrological challenges of the soil with respect to other site constraints. Numerous training web resources will be provided that cover presented topics and ideas.

Finally, time allowing, there will be a general discussion on design strategies for difficult sites that do not fit neatly into industry standards of practice.

Dates to be Announced

Advanced Soils Training Session

The objective of this course is twofold. Firstly, introduce the learner to information currently not taught or known, which will be required to be known in the future and secondly, cover the current soil requirements needed to meet the criteria outlined in SPM 2. This site was specifically chosen for its ability to demonstrate parent materials, soils structures and difficult soils features such as redoximorphic soils.

Day 1

Lecture 1: Introduction to WCOWMA course materials.

Lecture 2: Introduction to Soil Orders, Horizons and Limiting layers.
Exercise 1: Identification of soil orders from photographs.
Lecture 3: Describing Soils in the Field, what is the minimum required to meet SPM 2.
Exercise 2: Given soil profile examples determine the limiting layers and the loading rate from Table 2 – 8 from SPM 2.
Lecture 4: Soil Texture, sample preparation for hand texture, jar tests, COLE Tests, wet consistence and plasticity.
Exercise 3: Hand and jar texture, use of textural triangle. Calculate COLE results from sample data from actual soil test pits.
Lecture 5: Soil structure, grade, kind and class.
Exercise 4: Identify structure kind and class and correctly fill in soil log form.
Lecture 6: Consistence
Exercise 5: determine dry, moist, wet consistence and plasticity.
Lecture 7: Roots.Lecture 8: Munsell soil colour and mottles.
Exercise 6: Use Munsell soil colour book to determine soil colour.
Lecture 9: Video 1, how water moves through soil. Video 2, how cemented horizons creates a perched water table.
All exercises to be turned in by all participants at the end of this section for checking by the instructor.
Lecture 10: Parent materials
Field Exercise 1: Examine, identify and describe parent materials in the field. Landform associations will also be discussed.
Field Exercise 2: Instructor will demonstrate how to describe at least 1, possibly 2 profiles, in the field and learners will record the field data on a soil description form.

Day 2

Participants, working in pairs, will describe a minimum of two soil profiles in the field. From the field data the loading rate from Table 2 – 8 of SPM 2 will be determined.All soil logs will be examined for accuracy, completeness and discussed.There will be a great deal of material covered and all participants are expected to participate fully throughout the course. Credit will not be given to anyone who does not participate.

Expect to put in two long days.

Anyone who has a copy of Soils Illustrated; please bring it along as how to use it will also be covered.

Dates to be Announced

Pressure, Pumps, Dosing & Data Logging Workshop

A workshop will be held for those interested in understanding more about the basic advantages of pressure distribution, understanding friction loss, and determining pump performance requirements. Calculating timed dosing systems and setting floats and data loggers will also be covered. Participants will receive a Certificate of Participation for professional development purposes.

Dates to be Announced

Pumps and Controls Workshops

Pumps and Controls workshops provide training in how to size pumps for onsite wastewater design and installation.  Students will learn how to read pump curves, calculate friction loss and pressure head.

Dates to be Announced

Treatment Field Installation Field Day

Participants in this field day will review the design for a pressure distributed field and then apply that design in a field situation.  The training takes place on a live site for a residence that is having a replacement field installed.  Participants will excavate the field, set the pump, build and test the pressure distribution system, install the chamber system and complete the system to complete cover and commissioning.

Dates to be Announced

Upon receipt of your completed registration form, you will be sent the information on the location of the training site along with any other information required.