Meet Your Speakers

2017 Convention and Trade Show – Meet The Speakers!

The Schedule of Events is building for the upcoming convention and trade show taking place February 23 – 25, 2017 at the River Cree in Edmonton, Alberta!

A diverse and interesting group of presenters is being gathered to provide delegates with information on regulatory issues, technical innovations, the newest information in research and interesting and innovative projects that are changing the face of decentralized wastewater.

Don’t miss your opportunity to listen, learn and network at this exciting event!

Banu Ormeci, Ph D, P Eng – Keynote Speaker

Ormeci, Banu

Prof. Banu Örmeci received her Masters and PhD degrees from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University (USA). She is a Jarislowsky Chair in Water and Global Health and a former Canada Research Chair in Wastewater Treatment Engineering at Carleton University. She leads an internationally recognized research program on wastewater and biosolids treatment, and her collaborative research with the wastewater industry has resulted in several patents and new technologies in the market. Prof. Örmeci serves as the Chair of the International Water Association Sludge Management Specialist Group. She is also the chair of the Royal Society of Canada Water Focus Group and the Canadian Focal Point for the Inter-American Network of Academies of Science Water Program. She is the recipient of several research, teaching and mentoring awards.

Decentralized Wastewater Treatment and Reuse: New Trends, Technologies and Opportunities

Decentralized and on-site treatment systems can provide high-quality wastewater treatment at a smaller-scale and lower-cost. Research shows that many communities can achieve better and cheaper wastewater treatment and create opportunities for water reuse by adopting innovative design approaches to small-scale wastewater treatment. Dr. Örmeci’s presentation will provide an overview of novel approaches and technologies that are being developed for on-site wastewater treatment and reuse, and will present successful case studies from around the world. She will also discuss the contaminants of concern for water reuse and the regulatory barriers that are faced by the industry.

Steve Brubacher, P Eng
Steve Brubacher PhotoSteve Brubacher is a principal and water practice leader at Urban Systems.  Steve has over 16 years of experience in the planning, design and construction of over $350 million of sanitary sewer and water infrastructure.  His experience spans the very small systems through to large regional systems.  Steve has been involved in the development of both of the policies for sustainable water and sanitary sewer service provision for the Fraser Valley Regional District.  Email:

Harmony Integrated Water Systems Master Plan – Cochrane, AB

As part of a master planned community located between Cochrane and Calgary covering 700 hectares, we prepared the Harmony Integrated Water Systems Master Plan, which is a comprehensive and integrated plan of four water systems; rainwater, wastewater effluent, potable water, and irrigation. The water system goals are capture, reuse, and reduce. Harmony will not connect with any regional system, but rather must construct its own water supply source (Bow River and stormwater), reservoir (Harmony Lake), potable treatment plant, effluent treatment plant, effluent storage, and effluent disposal system (spray irrigation with zero setbacks). The master plan’s analysis had to consider the interactions and sensitivities of a host of parameters. With regulatory approvals in place, construction began in fall 2014 and the first phase of the lake is now complete and the water treatment plant is operational with the wastewater treatment plant scheduled to be commissioned in February.  The first homes were occupied in November 2016.

This presentation will highlight the approach that has been taken and the lessons learned.

Stephanie Munn, P Ag

Munn, StephanieStephanie Munn was raised in the sewage industry. A plumber-in-training from birth, her folks wanted an education for their girl. A Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Alberta in Edmonton was obtained, punctuated by some “real” learning – a small scale study on the first LFH At-Grades for Bruce Sylvester, and excessive dinnertime discussions of the the 1999 Code Revision. After a short time earning her stripes at an Engineering Firm, Stephanie began taking on Sewage Design work. Projects such as the Leisure Campground on Pine Lake, at 5500 gal/day,  the Wetaskiwin Rest Area at 5000 gal/day and the Pipestone Creek Campground at 4500 gal/day are the heavyweights in a design career now spanning 15 years.

But as we all know, the real lessons are learned when we get messy, and Stephanie would like to thank every installer she followed around for an hour or a day. Each and every treatment plant and septic tank you have opened for me teaches a lesson; aroma, colour, smell, normal, heavy strength, cancer in the home, paint in the tank. Learning how to rip apart a pump and remove the rags wound around the impeller and put it all back together was a high point, ranking right up there with my first time going into a 25 year old tank – thank you. In appreciation for all you have taught me, I would like to share some of what I have learned with you; about soil and how to design for the most difficult ones, how to avoid trouble (callbacks), and give you the language to discuss soil with each other, inspectors and homeowners, ultimately increasing the $$ that stay in your pocket.

Identifying and Analyzing Limiting and Restricting Layers in Soils

Mrs. Munn will discuss the design process for a challenging site. Beginning with soil logs and important terminology, such as redoximorphic features, mottling, gleying, structure and texture, limiting and restrictive layers will be identified and characterized. The discussion will continue with application of the loading rate table and determination of suitable types of systems.The session will be completed after choosing a suitable location, while avoiding the very real pitfalls that encountered in the field.

Gillian Demencu, P Eng, Clearford Industries Inc.      

Demencu, GillianGillian Dumencu is a senior engineer at Clearford Water Systems, a wastewater service provider in Ottawa.  Since 2013, she has acted as project engineer, supported business development efforts, and advanced research & development related to Clearford’s decentralized wastewater technology.  Previously, Gillian has worked in consulting engineering on land development and municipal projects.  She is a graduate from the University of Ottawa in Civil Engineering and a member of the Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association.


Yuxin Wang, Clearford Industries Inc.  

Wang, Yuxin croppedYuxin Wang is a project manager with over fifteen years’ experience in civil and environmental engineering.  Through her work as project manager at Clearford, she has been involved in a diverse range of project activities for the design and implementation of sanitary collection, onsite treatment, and water supply systems.  This broad experience leads her to develop sustainable and environmentally responsible engineering solutions for projects world-wide.

Decentralized Wastewater Collection and Treatment Case Studies
This presentation will discuss two case studies, one in Ontario, Canada and one in Gujarat State, India. Both are case studies of the installation and operation of a small bore decentralized municipal wastewater collection and treatment system. But that is their only similarity. One system is a small trailer park in Eastern Ontario under a Ministry of Environment Order. The Municipality was obliged to take over the site and there were not adequate funds available for a solution to address the MOE Order. A group of local companies in the wastewater business got together and initiated the activities to find and deliver a solution.

The other system is in a rural Indian village. The completion of the project will enable this village to be cited as the first open defecation free village in Gujarat state.

The Ontario case study will discuss several important aspects of the project including: an overview of the site history; the decentralized wastewater collection and treatment system design; a discussion of the process and issues related to certifications and approvals; and the Design-Build-Operate-Finance model instituted to allow the project to proceed.

The Indian case study will also discuss the site history; the decentralized wastewater collection and treatment system design; the process and issues related to certifications and approvals. In
addition the case study will discuss the Corporate Social Responsibility funding mechanism. An important aspect of the project, to a North American audience, is the need to provide the toilet itself as part of the wastewater collection and treatment system.

The case studies will highlight the decentralized collection network and show how using this allowed for a more cost effective and thorough solution in each situation. The presentation will also discuss the different funding mechanisms which allowed the projects to proceed.

Kent Watson, B Sc

Kent WatsonKent Watson obtained his BSc. in Geology from UBC in 1974.  He became a research assistant in the UBC Faculty of Forestry in 1973 and from there completed his MSc. in Agriculture through the Department of Soils Science in 1977.  He specialized in Remote Sensing, Range Ecology and Soil Classification.  He taught at UBC from 1975 – 1979 both as a Teaching Assistant and Sessional instructor in the Faculty of Forestry.  He was hired at Cariboo College in 1986 as a part time instructor and became full time in 1996.  He began teaching soil science in 1994 at now Thompson Rivers University.  In 1997 he produced his first manual on describing soils in the field.  This was revised and published as a field guide “Soils Illustrated – Field Descriptions” in 2007 and revised in 2009.  He is a member of the Canadian Society of Soil Science and is actively involved with the Pedology Soils Sub Committee.  He has been invited by the CSSS to write a chapter in the upcoming revision of the Canadian System of Soil Classification.  That work, to be completed in 2013, will be modeled after his Soils Illustrated field guide.  Kent is a firm believer that field work is essential.  In this regard he has volunteered over the last four summers with other BC soil scientists in delivering soil one week long field courses to university graduate and undergraduate students and professionals.  Kurt has extensive soil teaching (classroom and field) experience with various organizations and institutions within BC.

Advanced Site Evaluation – From Soils Evaluation to Hydrogeologic Implications

The understanding of soil and the movement of effluent through it is critical in onsite wastewater management.  Designers planning onsite systems need to understand 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 cornerstone in avoiding costly problems.

How soils develop, factors of soil formation and processes are introduced to set the stage.  Discussion on how water moves through soil will be followed by a brief overview of the Canadian System of Soils Classification.  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 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 and restricted layers, and vertical separation.  Use of the effluent loading rate chart to confidently select hydraulic and linear loading rates will be reviewed.  Subsequently, participants will understand the hydrological challenges of the soil with respect to site constraints.


Colin Boog

Boog, ColinColin Boog has worked as a consultant for over 20 years.  One of his first introductions to wastewater treatment and biosolids management was with the Project Engineering Department of the Greater Vancouver Regional District.  The experience was excellent and led him to meeting one of the owners of Bionest Technologies, one of Canada’s largest companies singularly focussed on wastewater treatment.

Colin has enjoyed successfully introducing Bionest to Western Canada and has developed a solid reputation for working collaboratively with other wastewater professionals to design, implement, and maintain very successful and environmentally sensitive systems for both residential and commercial applications.  Mr. Boog is proud to be working throughout BC with people who are committed to getting systems properly designed, installed professionally and working to protect the environment.

Providing a Wastewater Treatment Solution for a Floating Lodge

This presentation will look at the challenges of planning and designing a unique system of wastewater treatment for a remotely located fishing lodge. Multiple floats with high guest capacity made working with the owner/contractor from the start a necessity. The floats are eventually covered in concrete so pre-planning on placement of piping, electrical, drainage and other conduits was critical and unforgiving. Making use of tanks that were pre-manufactured to not-quite-right specifications made the job even more demanding.

High Strength Waster water – When is residential not commercial?

This presentation and discussion include the many factors that contribute to the differentiation between residential and commercial strength effluent and its treatment considerations.

Key considerations of effluent characteristics and influent factors will be discussed including what to look for when assessing commercial strength effluent.   Key source contributors such as FOG (Fat, oil and grease), blood, baking goods, cooking oil, butter, dairy products, cleaning agents, floor stripping agents and other influents such as Winery production water and coffee grinds will be highlighted and discussed.

David Spiess,     Geographic Information Systems Team Lead Land Use

Environmental Strategy and Research Section

Environmental Stewardship Branch

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry


David SpiessDavid Spiess has broad experience in the Agricultural Engineering and geographic information science disciplines.  He is the custodian for the public digital soils information AGRASID and published soil surveys in the province of Alberta and has  14 plus years of experience in web-based mapping application development projects and extension.


David’s current project interests include:

o   Project Management of research related to ecosystem model (“Ecosys”) calibration with a view to demonstrate the climate change and economic benefits of farm practice changes that adhere to 4R approach to nitrogen fertilizer placement on selected grain crops, soil properties, terrain properties, and climate inputs.

o   Practical application of decision mapping techniques as they apply to land use planning at the regional and farming scale, to target Alternative Land Use

o   Agricultural land fragmentation and conversion monitoring,

o   Facilitating animal traceability.

He is the proud father of 5 and grandfather of 1, this southern Alberta ex-pat enjoys choir singing,

biking, camping and travel.

Agrisid – How to Extract Data and Use the Soil Information Viewer for Design Purposes

The focus of this live demonstration will be of interest to wastewater professionals interested in become proficient in the fundamentals of:

  • Getting started with the Alberta Soil Information viewer ,
  • How to:

o   Find your farm (locate a land parcel, or area of interest),

o   Know your soil as well as soil quality, and

o   Accomplish other audience guided soil information viewer activities such as site mapping or printing, or data extraction as time permits.

Yvonne Wille, Alberta Safety Codes Authority

Willie, Yvonne

Yvonne Wille is the Contract Manager for Alberta Safety Codes Authority (ASCA), a new division of the Safety Codes Council.  ASCA is responsible for administering the Safety Codes Act and associated legislation including safety codes permitting, inspections and related compliance services within unaccredited municipalities.

Yvonne has over 25 years in leadership roles within private and government agencies and worked on the project team to develop the business processes and policies for the launch May 1, 2016.

Yvonne has advanced education in business management including her designations as a Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) and Project Management Professional (PMP).

Winds of change from ASCA

In May 2016, ASCA took over the responsibility for issuing private sewage disposal systems in the unaccredited areas of Alberta.  Permit issuing agencies were provided with standard pricing and processes for managing the permits.  Come learn the findings for 2016 and the new outlook for 2017.


Leah Boutillier, Onsite Services Program Coordinator, Nova Scotia Environment

Leah Boutillier

Leah Boutilier is an Environmental Engineer who has been working for the Province of Nova Scotia’s Department of Environment as the On-site Services Program Coordinator since 2012. Her role as the NS On-site Coordinator includes program, regulation and policy development, internal training, and industry education and certification. Leah maintains a strong connection with Dalhousie University’s Centre for Water Resources Studies’ on-site wastewater research program. Leah’s previous experience includes wastewater treatment and wetland assessment in Nunavut, on-site sewage system design and research on treatment performance and hydraulics. Additional experience includes surface water quality and watershed assessment, industry association government liaison, technology review, facilitation, and project management.

Leah completed her doctorate degree through Dalhousie University’s Centre for Water Resources Studies in 2009, her research focused on E. coli kinetics in constructed wetlands used for dairy and domestic wastewater treatment. Leah’s graduate work and additional research on wastewater treatment has been published in leading peer reviewed journals in the field of water, wastewater, and wetlands research.

On-site sewage program management in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia’s Department of Environment’s on-site sewage program has evolved significantly over time and continues to change based on capacity growth within the industry and an increased demand on government resources. This presentation will outline the history of the NS on-site sewage program including the private-public partnership with the industry association, Wastewater Nova Scotia (WWNS), on-going collaboration with local research institution, Dalhousie University, and recent regulatory changes. This presentation will discuss recent regulatory changes that resulted in a more streamlined process by moving from an approval based process to a notification based process. The notification process relies more on industry professionals while maintaining an appropriate level of government oversight and intervention.

The Effects of Dosed versus Gravity-Fed Loading Methods on the Performance and Reliability of Contour Trench Disposal Fields Used for Onsite Wastewater Treatment

In Nova Scotia, Canada, contour trench disposal fields are the most common type of onsite wastewater system. In this study, two identical contour trench disposal fields were monitored for 3 yr to compare performance under gravity-fed versus periodically dosed loading conditions. Influent and effluent from both systems were analyzed for a suite of water quality parameters, and the hydraulics of the systems were assessed using tracer studies and measurements of ponded water depth in the distribution trenches. Ponded water depths in the distribution trench of the gravity-fed disposal field were observed to increase steadily during the monitoring period, indicating progressive clogging. This was not observed in the periodically dosed field. Regarding treatment, both systems performed well, consistently producing effluent with 5-d biochemical oxygen demand and total suspended solids (TSS) concentrations <10 mg L−1 and achieving >5 log reductions in Escherichia coli. However, the gravity-fed system produced statistically lower average effluent concentrations for total P and TSS. It is speculated that the slightly better treatment performance achieved by the gravity-fed system is due to enhanced biomat formation. This study demonstrated adequate treatment of residential wastewater by contour trench disposal fields regardless of loading method. However, because the hydraulic performance of these systems is heavily dependent on pretreatment and loading methods, it is recommended that a dosing system be used to distribute wastewater to contour trench disposal fields to help prevent hydraulic failure.

Shawn Innes, VP, Tanks-A-Lot Ltd.

Shawn InnesShawn Innes is the Vice President for Tanks-A-Lot Ltd., a concrete precast manufacture specializing in septic tanks, wastewater treatment plants and cisterns.  Shawn has instructed training programs for residential waste water treatment systems offered to members of the installer community.  Shawn has taken many industry related courses and holds a level 1 Precast Concrete Certificate through the NPCA.  Shawn has been a key contributor to Tanks-A-Lot’s marketing, focused on programs that promote growth and improvement in its customer’s business.  Shawn was born and raised in the Edmonton area, often spending weekends in the summer at his family lake lot near Athabasca.  Shawn is married with 2 young boys and is active in sports and recreation; he is a current volunteer with the Canadian Ski Patrol and the past VP of Operations for the zone.

Site Preparation and Concrete Tank Installation 

With proper installation concrete tanks can last for decades.  Good site execution enhances the installer’s reputation and opportunity for referrals.  This seminar will focus on best practises for:  Site access for picker trucks; excavation and tank bedding; proper application of concrete joint sealants; inlet and outlet connections before, during, and after construction; backfill and landscaping.

Dean Collin, Norman H. Collin & Associates

Dean Collin



Setting Timed Dosing – Bluetooth Monitoring

Learn how timed dose systems function, how to set timed dosing and how to monitor systems using Bluetooth.



Joe Howdle, Prairie Regional Manager, Canplas

Howdle, Joe

Joe Howdle is the Prairie Sales Manager for Canplas Industries Ltd, and has worked with Canplas in different capacities for 14 years. As a member of the Plumbing division, he works closely with Engineers, Wholesalers and Contractors to help develop solutions to complex issues in the construction industry. Joe lives in the Edmonton area, and when not working, enjoys spending time outdoors with his family.

Engineering with Confidence: Solutions for the Operational Management of Fats, Oils and Grease

This presentation will focus on the various types of Grease Interceptors, with a look at the model codes, how to size the systems and general maintenance requirements.

Curtis Harren, CEO Co-Pilot

Harren, CurtisThriving in 2017: Key Elements of Success that Drive Profitability

I work with business owners, executives and leaders to provide perspective, a renewed sense of purpose, a system for accountability and to bring the word FUN back into the fundamentals of business.

Like you I understand the value (or the cost) associated with the time and energy it takes to run a business. I have seen the value of having a highly effective team operating on all cylinders, or the cost when your engine isn’t operating at its best.

I work with business leaders and teams to discover, rediscover (or even create), their vision for their organization and create ways to achieve their goals. I am here to help my clients improve their business’s and even personal lives. My passion has always been helping people, the strength of my experience and the 35+ years of powerful material assembled via FocalPoint can really make a measurable, positive impact on the business’s performance and on the lives of my clients.

Identifying needs, understanding critical constraints and key indicators, team and leader development all have incredibly positive impacts on a business’s performance, profitability and overall satisfaction (be it customer, employee, executive or owner) a business brings to its people. I am passionate about finding and overcoming a business’s obstacles and reaching for peak performance.

Dominic Mercier, Eng. M.A.Sc.

Mercier, DominicGraduated from Laval University in Quebec City in Civil Engineering 20 years ago and having completed a Master Degree in Environmental Engineering from University of Windsor in Ontario , Mr. Mercier has worked mostly in Onsite Water and Wastewater Treatment.  He was involved in the development, certification and commercialization of many treatment technologies and designed several hundred septic systems for residential, commercial and communal applications.  He is the founder and president of Enviro Neptune Consulting, a small Quebec based firm doing residential and commercial septic designs. More recently he founded Enviro-STEP Technologies, a company developing and distributing simple, affordable, innovative and performing wastewater treatment technologies for the Canadian Onsite industry and is proud to introduce its products in Alberta in 2015.

The Impact of Water Softeners on Onsite Wastewater Systems – A different approach

The impact of water softener discharge on septic systems has been discussed for many years.  Looking at the literature, we can probably find as many studies claiming none to limited impacts as we could find statements that this is very detrimental to septic tanks and treatment systems.  The treatment technology suppliers seemed to have adopted the safe and more drastic approach of voiding warranties if backwash from a water softener is sent to their units. This is probably more a risk management decision but none the less, there is a reality often forgotten: the users of those septic systems are for the majority living on groundwater supply and using water treatment devices is a common reality.  Should they have to choose between the quality of their drinking water or the warranty on their septic system ?  This conference will present an approach based on scientific findings from a study from Virginia Tech University that allowed the designer to quantity the level of risk and make a decision to accept or refuse the discharge from a water softener going to the septic system.

Laura Machial, M Sc, P Bio

Laura MachialLaura Machial has been working as a biologist with indigenous communities for over five years. She has her Masters of Science from the University of Northern BC and is a professional biologist. Laura has been working on source water protection planning with First Nations in Alberta since 2012 and is passionate about drinking water safety and environmental stewardship. When not at work, Laura spends her time enjoying nature: hiking, biking and exploring.

Source Water Protection Planning with a Focus on Onsite Wastewater Management

The importance of protecting drinking water sources has been gaining increasing attention in Canada since May 2000 when a large contamination event occurred in Walkerton, Ontario (resulting in 7 deaths, 1400 illnesses). This event was partially due to a lack of attention to the drinking water source. Since Walkerton, it has been recognized that protecting source water is integral to public health protection. Source water protection planning is the first step in the multi-barrier approach to safe drinking water. One method of protecting source water is to develop a Source Water Protection Plan (SWPP). Source water protection plans identify different potential causes of contamination to source water. They then come up with management actions to mitigate the risks and lay out a plan for implementing the management actions. Improperly managed wastewater can have devastating effects on drinking water sources. This talk will explore different case studies that have arisen in source water protection planning that illustrate how source water protection planning can be used to identify more effective ways to manage onsite wastewater.

Duncan Ellison

Throughout his career, and continuing in his retirement, Duncan has been active in public and environmental risk assessment and management, and in standardization activities.  He became the Executive Director of Canadian Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) in 1993 when he retired from the federal public service (Environment Canada and Health Canada). He retired from that position with CWWA in 2012 but continues to work in standardization activities.  He currently chairs three Canadian ISO Mirror Committees related to water services, asset management, and biosolids; and several national and US-based standards Committees.  He is an Honorary Member of CWWA, the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI), a member of the AWWA Hall of Fame, and an Emeritus Member of NSF International’s Council of Public Health Consultants.

Standardization of on-site domestic wastewater systems

Not all Canadians have the privilege of sewered sanitation systems, nor for that matter do citizens of many countries; but at least we and those in developed countries have the benefit of non-sewered sanitation systems that are standardized[2].   In most cases, these systems operate within a sustainable framework where the technologies and management processes are organized to add societal value. Yet there remains an estimated 32% of the world’s population without an improved sanitation system. That is 2.4 billion people facing health risks, shortened lives, low living standards, and not achieving normal contributions to human productivity and the economy and their society.

Two standardization initiatives in particular will be reviewed and discussed – the work of:

1.      ISO TC 224 WG 8 – Onsite domestic wastewater management using low technologies published their work recently as ISO 24521 Guidelines for the management of basic on-site domestic wastewater services, and
2.      ISO PC 305 – Sustainable non-sewered sanitation systems which is in the process of developing ISO 22094 – Non-sewered sanitation systems – General safety and performance requirements for design and testing.
[1]       T. D. Ellison is a former Executive Director of the CWWA and a continuing participant in standardization activities of the CSA, BNQ, NSF and ISO.
[2]       Standardized means having the technology developed through a consensus development process of experts in multi-stakeholder categories.

Brian Ilnicki, Executive Director Land Stewardship & Nature Alberta

Ilnicki, BrianBrian is the Executive Director of Land Stewardship Centre and Nature Alberta and has spent the past 30 years bringing people together to work on common priorities for achieving sustainability on the landscape. Working throughout the diverse landscapes of Alberta, Brian has partnered with individuals, organizations and all levels of government to design and implement conservation and stewardship programs that benefit landowners, land managers and biodiversity.

Septic Sense – An Innovative Approach to Engaging Landowners – focuses on the collaborative approach taken in designing, developing and implementing a robust extension program for rural residential property owners. Shared responsibility for water resource management includes engagement with landowners and increased awareness of responsible wastewater treatment and release. The goal of Septic Sense is to enhance local accountability for water resource management through education and engagement with landowners who have private wastewater systems on their property. The program provides consistent and standardized resources to inform stakeholders of regulatory requirements, public health and environmental considerations, and ongoing management of private wastewater systems. Land Stewardship Centre in cooperation with the Alberta Onsite Wastewater Management Association has compiled existing resources and, in collaboration with a technical committee of topic specialists, has developed a prototype private wastewater system management workshop and supporting materials for landowners. Brian will review the development of Septic Sense, from early concept and need identification, through to content development, current implementation approaches and the challenges that arise when a program’s success is outstripping the resources available for implementation.

Jeff Easton

Jeff Easton is a principal process engineer at WesTech Engineering, where he has worked for nearly 30 years.  He holds a bachelor of mechanical engineering degree from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing a PhD in Chemical Engineering.  Jeff is a registered professional engineer who’s field of expertise is liquid-solids separation including a broad background in physical-chemical and biological processes. He has contributed to several journals and books on the subject of sedimentation, filtration and biological treatments.  Jeff is the father of four, grandfather of one and lives with his lovely wife Liz in the foothills outside of Salt Lake City, Utah where he enjoys tinkering in his workshop.

Utilizing Unconventional Water Sources for Industrial Processes – Wastewater Reuse

Clean water is a rapidly diminishing commodity influencing both availability and cost.  Growing demand has strained conventional sources of water and has led many industries to seek alternative supplies.  This presentation will;

  • Introduce unconventional water sources and how they are used to supplement or replace currently stressed resources.
  • Help process engineers understand that water quality is a key component in matching process water needs with potential alternative sources.
  • Explore the social, technological and economic barriers to unconventional sources and water reuse, and their role in long-term sustainability.

Van A. Ridout, P.Eng., Founder/CEO

Van Ridout holds an Honors Bachelor of Science in Water Resources Engineering from the University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada, and a Diploma in Integrated Forest Resources Management from Lakehead University, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Van is a highly talented, energetically creative and compassionate leader with over 22 years of progressive consulting engineering experience in water resources engineering, both within Canada and the United States.  Van is the founder of Western Water Resources (WWR) Inc., an environmental science and water resources engineering company based out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and the co-founder and principal of Integrated Resources Development (IRD) Inc., a company dedicated to bringing new and proven innovative water and wastewater technologies to the Canadian market.

Van has an exceptional reputation within private and public sectors for his uncompromising dedication to defining and setting new standards of excellence in the engineering of green, sustainable, Low Impact Developments. His company has been tremendously successful in helping numerous land developers gain approvals for their subdivisions over the past 13 years.  In recognition of the high standards set by Van, his company was the youngest engineering company selected within Alberta to pioneer the launch of the Model Process Assessment, developed by the Province of Alberta to help minimize the environmental impacts of rural septic systems on Alberta’s water resources.

Van was hand-selected by one of the largest communication training organizations in the world where he underwent rigorous training in communications and human psychology, subsequently delivering with mastery, seminars to introduce their foundational communications program.  This training, coupled with Van’s unique gift of building relationships and quickly garnering the trust of others, has permitted him to successfully address highly inflammatory issues related to water resources development, advancing challenging subdivision developments, and opening up new avenues of opportunity to make a positive difference for those of whom he is in service to.  Van is a compassionate business leader with a servant’s heart who is deeply and passionately committed to serving family, friends, his colleagues, and reaching out to offer a helping hand and heart to those in need….while never compromising on his principles.  Finally, Van is a passionate outdoorsman and loves to canoe-trip in the summer and ski in the winter months.

The Model Process Assessment

Streamlining and Standardizing the Onsite Wastewater Site Assessment Process

Western Water Resources (WWR) Inc. first introduced the process through a presentation to Rocky View County Council in 2004.  It was subsequently ratified and adopted as policy by RVC Council and we were asked to help the County launch it through Administration in October 2007.   We have since introduced it to Mountain View County, Wheatland County, and to the Municipal District of Foothills, and were most recently asked by the Manager of Planning Services at Wheatland to help them further with a number of their subdivision development policies, which we have agreed to do.

The focus of my presentation will be to lay out the elements defining the structure of the process and to highlight and discuss its most critical parts; this for the purpose of giving installers and/or site assessors and/or designers a greater understanding and awareness of the importance of the streamlining of the process to ensure that no critical information is inadvertently omitted that could result in either a poor design and/or a subsequently impact to those resources that could potentially be impacted.

Stu Campana, Ecology Ottawa

Stu Campana is an international environmental consultant, with expertise in water and energy. Currently the Water Team Leader with Ecology Ottawa, he specializes in community-based solutions to environmental problems. He has a master’s in Environment and Resource Management and writes on water and energy issues for Alternatives Journal

Depave Paradise: Building Community Support for Stormwater Management

The ubiquity of impermeable surfaces in Canadian cities has led to dangerous and costly flooding. Small-scale stormwater management solutions have been piloted across the country, but still have not earned full public or political support. This presentation will show how a schoolyard stormwater initiative in Ottawa was able to leverage community leadership into city-wide enthusiasm for stormwater management solutions.

Wm. Patrick Lucey, B.Sc., B.A. (WD), M.Sc., R.P. Bio., CBiol, MRSB

Patrick LuceyMr. Lucey, the president of Aqua-Tex Scientific Consulting Ltd., is a senior aquatic ecologist with a background in freshwater and marine science, urban and resource management and political science. His specialties are managing water resources that add financial value to development projects and demonstrating how regeneration and enhancement of ecological function can provide cost-savings on infrastructure and result in a healthier environment. He has established a personal reputation as a specialist in design and construction of quality rainwater management systems and is respected by both clients and regulators for his ecologically sound, yet innovative approaches to protecting water resources within urban environments. He is a co-author of a report commissioned by the Province of BC, entitled “Living Water Smart: British Columbia’s Water Plan” which formed the basis for the new Water Sustainability Act.

Patrick supervises graduate students at the University of BC, Royal Roads University, University of South Florida, and the University of Victoria where he conducted research in the Department of Biology for two decades. Mr. Lucey was a Special Advisor to the British Columbia Government on Water Policy, the Climate Change Action Plan and Green Cities Initiative programs, as well as the United State’s Federal Government’s Office of Sustainability, in Washington DC. Mr. Lucey is a Member of the British Royal Society of Biology.

The New Alchemy: Governed & Engineered Ecology – navigating the shoals – ecosystems as municipal infrastructure

Developed during the 20th century, our social and resource management governance and policy structures have left a legacy of fragmented and disintegrated landscapes whose ecological function is significantly degraded. New, innovative governance policy must integrate social equity, economics, and ecology. Natural and built landscapes managed under this new regulatory framework will lead to enhanced protection of ecosystem health, provide for ongoing prosperity, build community capacity and social cohesion, significantly reduce water and energy consumption, and re-establish equitable and sustainable financing of municipal infrastructure. Policies must be developed at community scales and aggregated for larger landscape units, such as cities and regions. An aggravating factor is the dramatic escalation in natural disasters and the financial losses – both uninsured and insured – associated with these events. Two pressing questions face human civilization: 1) are these disasters (earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, as well as weather related catastrophes) random events or a consequence of a global trend, and 2) can ecosystem services (Natural Capital) be valued in a free market economy? The intent of this presentation is to review initial progress in reforming governance and providing examples of development in the transition to a One Water Management paradigm.

Lanny Laroche, P. Eng

Pressure Distribution and Mound Refresher Workshop

Just in time for the upcoming installation season, Lanny will provide attendees with an overview of the key concepts for pressure distribution and their application in mound design.  Attendees will work through case studies to practice applying the concepts in the design process.

Dean Morin, Chief Inspector, Private Sewage, Province of Alberta

Dean MorinHaving been involved in the private sewage industry in some capacity for almost 20 years now, it has been an interesting adventure that has led me to my current position as Chief Inspector/Technical Administrator of Private Sewage with Alberta Municipal Affairs. Being involved in some of the early at-grade research that produced a paper for the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) Conference in 2000, I could see early on how my education in Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta in water and wastewater treatment could benefit the private sewage industry. After graduating from my undergrad in 2002, I undertook a Master’s degree in Geoenvironmental Engineering, which involved research that assessed the ability of various sampling technologies in monitoring natural attenuation at upstream oil and gas sites. This degree focused on remediation of contaminants in groundwater and soil environments. This is the same consideration and knowledge that is fundamental to the soil based treatment of onsite systems.

Using these learned skills I then gained practical experience in designing and installing through my close to 4 years as a project manager with EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd.: I had the chance to apply my knowledge throughout the National Parks, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. It was in 2008 that an opportunity presented itself to take a more active role in the legislated and policy aspects of the private sewage industry and I joined the Private Sewage discipline of Safety Services within Municipal Affairs. It is in this role over the last 9 years that as a safety codes officer I have worked closely with many of you in the private sewage industry. Through my involvement in industry training delivery, public education outreach, committee work and managing issues throughout the province, I have heard the industry’s challenges and concerns.

It was based on this experience that I felt it was the right timing to take on the next stage of my career as the Technical Administrator. As many of you have experienced, there has been a drastic change in the legislated world of private sewage, especially within the Standard of Practice (SOP) in 2009. The technical demands of the industry have led to many challenges with competencies and the proper application of the science behind the SOP, which has resulted in a lot of uncertainty in the industry. That is why I will be focusing my efforts on training, continued education and certification review in order to reinstill the public’s confidence in the industry. There needs to be greater accountability within the industry if we are to be considered professionals. It is with this in mind that I think the presentation I will be giving has been aptly named “Changes at the Helm”. Welcome aboard and I look forward to sharing some of this direction with you at convention and hearing your thoughts on how we best move the industry forward.

Changes at the Helm

Changes in the Safety Services department at Alberta Municipal Affairs have resulted in a new Chief Inspector, Private Sewage.  This presentation will provide delegates with an overview of how the provincial management of onsite wastewater is structured, changes that have occurred over the past year and plans for the future.

John Richardson, Premier Plastics

Gravity Powered Pressure Dosing

The Flout Dosing System offers a simple, self-contained and trouble free method of delivering intermittent effluent dosing to pressure fed and gravity fed septic fields.  Sites where the distribution field can be located at a lower elevation than the septic tank/treatment system opens an opportunity to avoid the cost and complexity of pumped delivery.  This saves on added standby volume, pumps, controls, wiring, installation and maintenance.  The new, easy to use ‘SQUIRT 2016’ Performance APP can be utilized to evaluate any site for pressure field performance.


Dennis Herr

More Paydays – Less Risk

Dennis is a graduate of NAIT in Business Administration and attended the University of Manitoba (Brandon) in Arts.

He is a noted Toastmaster and is a past winner of the Canadian Day Speech Contest.  He was, at the time, the only western Canadian to share this distinction.  Dennis’ industry experience goes back to 2002 and he is well-known by contractors and suppliers in the onsite wastewater industry.

Dennis is currently employed by Alberta Wilbert Sales, working on a Special Assignment that will be the topic of this seminar.

Kassi Zaba, Alberta 1-Call

The Locate Process

Information on how to request locates online, excavator and member responsibilities, what’s new with ground disturbance, new Alberta One-Call system features that help excavators and the locate process.