Meet Your Speakers

Lawrence (Larry) A. Kapustka, Ph.D.
Certified Emeritus Senior Ecologist

I work as an independent consultant in the areas of ecological risk assessment, ecosystem services, and sustainability. With 40 years of experience in basic and applied ecological aspects of environmental assessment and management, my work has extended across a wide range of topics involving natural sciences and environmental policy.

After receiving my doctorate in 1975 from the University of Oklahoma, I worked as a university professor at the University of Wisconsin-Superior and Miami University, Oxford Ohio. Later I worked for nearly three years at the US EPA Laboratory in Corvallis, Oregon as lead of the Plant Toxicology and Hazardous Waster teams. Since 1991 I have been a consultant in a company I formed and then with Golder Associates in Calgary and SLR Consulting in Calgary. Although semi-retired, I continue to consult and offer training in ecological risk assessment, ecosystem services, water quality issues, and sustainability.

Locally, I serve as Vice Chair of the Turner Valley Oilfield Society, a group that strives to advance public understanding and knowledge of the unique history of petroleum discovery and development in southern Alberta centred on the Turner Valley oilfield, including the Turner Valley Gas Plant, and to promote energy literacy. I was a founding member of the Foothills Energy Co-op and served as Secretary for the first year plus of operations. And I appear as Santa.

The Ecology of Nutrient Loading
Larry Kapustka

Human populations are expanding rapidly into rural and semi-rural areas.  The collective footprint of households on acreages is encroaching on what only recently was semi-pristine ecological areas.  This includes increases in nutrients from households and small businesses that threaten to adversely affect water quality.  Proper design, installation, and maintenance of on-site wastewater treatment systems are critical in minimizing releases of nitrogen and phosphorus that can contaminate groundwater systems.  Contaminated groundwater can of course migrate into domestic drinking water wells resulting in health concerns in humans, especially young children.  Upon reaching surface waters, these nutrients as well as co-migrating toxic substances can trigger algal blooms or otherwise result in degraded water quality.  This talk will consider the ecological processes that operate to handle nutrients, describe what happens when a system is overwhelmed by excess nutrients, and touch on the ever-increasing regulations put in place to manage wastes.

Even Santa is Trained and Certified
Santa Larry

“We are all kids at heart!” is the tag line in my book Gifts for Santa.  The journey to become a professional Santa underscores a truism of any avocation and career – We are never done with learning!  How hard is it to be Santa?  Well, pretty easy – unless you want to be good at it.  To be more than mediocre, one needs to be nimble to field a wild array of situations.  There are important skills borrowed from the performing arts that can make all the difference – gestures, movement, voice modulation, empathy, and more that require refinement, development, exploration, variety.  Annual refresher courses prepare a Santa for the hectic season.  These are specific to one profession, but at a higher level it is easy to see how a mindset for continual improvement applies to any profession.  The old adage applies – if you don’t evolve you will be left behind to die.  Maintaining currency with new regulations, new permit requirements, new materials, new techniques, new competition all exert pressure to seek training.  Certifying competency in specific areas helps market your skills and stay competitive.  Some insights from being Santa and being a Certified Ecologist will be sprinkled throughout the talk.


Dr. Sara Heger
University of Minnesota, Onsite Sewage Treatment Program

Dr. Sara Heger is an engineer, researcher and instructor in the Onsite Sewage Treatment Program in the Water Resources Center and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering Department. For over 20 years, she has been conducting research and providing education and technical assistance to homeowners, small communities, onsite professionals and local units of government regarding onsite wastewater treatment.  She presents at many local and national training events regarding the design, installation and management of septic systems and related research. Sara is the vice-president of the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association and the education chair of the Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association.  Sara serves on the NSF International Committee on Wastewater Treatment Systems.  She is also the chair of the Minnesota State Advisory Committee on Decentralized Systems.  She has a BS in Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering and an MS and a PhD in Water Resource Science.

Compaction – the Enemy of System Longevity

Humans along with all our activities cause widespread soil compaction. Compaction constrains oxygen (O2) movement in the soil and shifts soil toward anaerobic conditions. Less O2 diffusion into the soil leads to a chemically reducing soil environment. Compaction leads to smaller pore spaces and slower infiltration rates.  This presentation will discuss the causes of compaction including wet soils, material handling and the weight of vehicles/equipment, pedestrians, and animals.  It will then focus on avoidance methods and potential solutions for sites have been compacted.

Chemicals of Emerging Concern

More water bodies and septic systems are being negatively impacted by the use and disposal of varying chemicals, cleaners, medicines and anti-bacterial products.  Typical sewage definitions includes household cleaners, medications, and other constituents in sewage restricted to amounts normally used for domestic purposes but does not define “normal”. This presentation will discuss what CECs are. It will highlight that having a good septic system and well are key to limiting the impact of CECs in drinking water. The presentation will then discuss what maintenance is required by homeowners for their septic systems and wells and how septic professionals can educate homeowners about CECs through management plans. How to identify problems related to CEC and troubleshooting the system will be covered.

Case Studies of High Strength the Wastewater (includes dara from two studies below)

Onsite systems used for non-residential high strength waste (HSW) applications which can encounter significantly different usage patterns, waste strength and waste stream characteristics. An overview of key design parameters will be discussed as well as potential design solutions. Then the presentation will discuss two recent research project as case studies of HSW. Adult foster homes provide assisted-living services—including nursing and 24/7 care— for individuals requiring special medical and behavioral needs. Wastewater from these homes and the corresponding effects on conventional onsite sewage treatment systems, likely differs from average residential sources but is not fully understood. This presentation summarizes the project findings and recommends septic system management practices that may help prevent future problems. In addition, 52 existing septic systems on rest stops were evaluated across Minnesota. The goal of the assessments was to evaluate risk. The full assessment included a preliminary review of the site, a facility assessment, effluent sampling, septic tank inspections, evaluation of advanced treatment units when present and an inspection of the soil treatment system. The information from the assessment was used to develop a risk matrix. This risk matrix and the results will be presented along with recommendations for future design and management. This risk analysis process could work well for other state and local jurisdictions looking to evaluate systems with a systematic approach.


John Kenyon
Dynamic Rescue Systems Inc.

With 35 years of experience in the Municipal Fire Service and over 20 years in program and instructional development, John Kenyon is recognized as an expert in technical rescue and confined space safety programs.

As co-owner of Dynamic Rescue Systems Inc, a technical rescue and confined space rescue service provider, John instructs to industry, fire service and municipal agencies in the development of their confined space programs.

As a Technical Committee member on the CSA Z 1006, Standard for the Management of Work in Confined Spaces and involved in a number of training manuals for rescue services, John’s experience
brings a hands-on approach to dealing with all of the requirements and responsibilities that need to be achieved for work being done in confined spaces.

A charismatic speaker, John has presented at many safety conferences throughout North America. He brings an understanding of the due diligence required for safely working in confined spaces.

Working in Confined Spaces for Onsite Wastewater Treatment Works

This 4-hour course is designed to give basic understanding of the procedures required by regulation to do work in confined spaces, specifically in septic systems.

Work in confined spaces is deemed 150 times more dangerous than the same job outside of the confined space and, every year there are fatalities related to confined space work. Specific precautions need to be addressed before this work can take place safely and this course aims to introduce the best practices to ensure entrant safety.

This basic awareness program will address identification, responsibilities, hazards, control measures, permits, gas detection and rescue planning.

This is a classroom session with demonstrations of some of the required equipment for this type of work to engage students with the safe work practices and assist with demystifying regulations and practices in industry.

A certificate will be awarded for all attendees who complete the workshop.


Christine Reyes
Refresh Marketing

I have been in the industry for over 20 years. I developed a niche for technology and how users interact with it. Agencies and PR companies over the years have hired me to do their specialty work in the digital realm.

I worked for different marketing firms where I had the opportunity in various director roles to develop fully integrated marketing strategies and campaigns for some of the biggest brands in Canada. Over the years I’ve had the privilege of working with WestJet, Best Buy, Canadian Tire, HBC, Forzanies Group (Sport Chek & Sport Mart), Travel Alberta, Napa, various Insurance as well as Oil & Gas companies; just to name a few.

I have also had the opportunity to work with clients across Canada and North America developing everything from your beautiful brochure websites to loyalty systems, e-commerce sites, contests, CRM systems, mobile applications & communication systems; all with a business development focus. I also have worked with small start-ups and help with product development, analyzing all sides of their business to help them become successful.

I truly have been exposed to every side of the digital marketing world, working closely with Google gives me a vast knowledge of how & when to use the marketing tools available. With this knowledge, I create business development strategies that make sense for each individual business I work with. I love sharing my knowledge and work with companies to help take away some of the myth and fear out of digital marketing, showing them just how impactful it can truly be.

Marketing Your Small Business

Jump in the driver’s seat, step on the gas and head in the right direction to grow your business. Refresh Marketing Masterminds have a practical, creative & refreshing approach to everything marketing. We focus on unique strategies for your particular business that are all about getting results and helping you grow clients in today’s market. We’ll be your coffer, navigator and co-pilot, so you can sit back and enjoy the ride. With over 20 years experience behind the marketing wheel driving all company types and sizes we know how things have changed & know how to use the right tool for the right job exclusive to your needs. We’ll help you avoid the digital marketing potholes & mud puddles that will blur your vision or get your business stuck. Let us accelerate your business and fly down the road to your desired destination – while having a little fun along the way.

How has the market changed with technology and how does that affect marketing and how you grow your business.

  • Refresh marketing will do a quick explanation of what the changes have been and how they affect the attendees specifically.
  • We will explain what some of the common terms and buzzwords used by the industry so businesses are more educated on the different types of strategies.
  • We will touch on branding and review gathering and why that is important.
  • We will also explain why and how you as a brand have to tell your unique story and play a little game with the attendees on what that looks like by using examples of other successful businesses.
  • Finally, we will break down the industry terms and digital marketing strategies into tactics that are used and give an explanation of how they all play together (Website, SEM, Social Media etc..)

Open forum for questions if time permits


Dean Morin
Alberta Municipal Affairs

Dean MorinDean completed an undergraduate degree in Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta in 2002, which focused on water treatment, wastewater treatment, stormwater management, solid waste management and other environmental concerns. In 2008, Dean completed a Master’s degree in Geoenvironmental Engineering at the University of Alberta. His Master’s research 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.

While completing his Master’s, Dean worked with EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd. in their Environmental Group for 3.5 years project managing contaminated site remediation throughout the National Parks, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Dean joined the Private Sewage discipline of Safety Services within Municipal Affairs in January of 2008. Over this time Dean’s focus was to assist Safety Codes Officers and municipalities with technical concerns with respect to private sewage issues. This has involved giving many presentations and meeting with municipal councils, accredited agencies and planners/development officers throughout the province. In late 2016, Dean took over the technical lead for the Province of Alberta by taking on the Provincial Administrator of Private Sewage role under the Safety Codes Act. Since that time he has initiated a number of initiatives that are creating greater accountability with respect to certification, training and competencies in general in the private sewage
industry. Much of this effort has been dedicated to building efficient and effective policy in support of these efforts.

Continuing Education and Certification
2019 will be a busy year as our industry looks forward to the next version of the Standard of Practice in 2020 and a number of initiatives to better align the competency application of the Standard of Practice. Updates will be provided on the possibility of certified designs being required for permits and what designer certification could look like, as well as what continuing education could be required. Also efforts within the work camp industry and with our municipal partners will be discussed. This presentation will focus on a number of technical and certification challenges faced by the industry and look to gather feedback from industry on what direction is needed in order to address these concerns.


Scott Shaw
Alaqua Water Systems Inc.

Scott Shaw has been installing septic systems for nine years and has held his Certification in Private Sewage since 2010. Scott mainly Installs package treatment plants around the Calgary area. Scott’s family has been in construction in Alberta for a number of generations and helped him get the experience he needed to start his own company, Alaqua Projects Inc.

Having installed all different types of septic fields Scott has a lot of experience with different sites and soils. This summer Scott was nominated to sit on the Certification Review Committee, which aims to make people more accountable when issues arise from an install. Scott looks forward to helping our industry grow over the coming years.

Documenting Your Work – Which Files Are Important?
This presentation will demonstrate the proper way to document a worksite from start of the job to completion. Information will be shared on how to properly save and store your permitting files on your computer. Discussion will focus on the importance of taking onsite pictures that key into consistent landmarks and installation details that should be documented. The goal of this presentation is to provide delegates with the tools they need to protect themselves, their work and their customers.


Charles Hallett
Alberta Safety Codes Authority

Charles has a Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health from the University College of Cape Breton. Charles has worked in both the private and public sectors as an Environmental Health Officer with certifications as a Public Health Inspector and a Plumbing Group B Safety Codes Officer. Charles recently joined the Safety Codes Council as the Director of the Alberta Safety Codes Authority (ASCA), which is responsible for providing safety codes
services, including inspection and permitting services, in unaccredited municipalities throughout the province.

Why are there so many PSDS permit applications in Alberta?
Some individuals are of the understanding that the Alberta Safety Codes Authority (ASCA) has multiple Private Sewage Disposal System (PSDS) applications for a permit. The presentation and associated discussions will help to clarify the issue and examine the process of obtaining a permit within the unaccredited areas of Alberta.


Nicole Paggett
Park Enterprises

Nicole Paggett has worked as the Partnership Manager with Park Enterprises for the past 10 years and works closely with numerous Municipalities, contractors, homeowners and various government bodies in the Province of Alberta. She is a certified Private Sewage Installer, and will receive her certification as a Safety Codes Officer in March 2019. Passionate about change, education and continual improvement, she has developed and contributed to many initiatives and improvements within the safety code industry. She participates in various industry associations and presently sits on the Board of Directors with the Alberta Onsite Wastewater Management Association.

Permit Applications – How Do You Measure Up?
A discussion surrounding permit applications-when we need them, what is often overlooked and areas to further benefit ourselves. As this industry grows in demands, needs and knowledge – where will you be and how are your permit applications evidence of that?


Tim Callander
SJE Rhombus

Tim Callander is a Regional Manager for SJE Rhombus covering all of Canada and 9 States in the Southern USA.

He has a Technical Engineering Degree from Brown College and a Business Degree from Anoka-Ramsey College.

Tim has been married for 39 years, has 3 children and 5 grandchildren. Tim has given presentations all over North America and Europe ranging from precision measurement to Basic Electrical Theory and Controls.

Basic Electrical Theory and Control Panel Troubleshooting
Identifies basic elements of electricity, Introduction to Schematic symbols and how to navigate through control panel circuits and diagrams to solve problems within the control and alarm circuits.


Dr. Chris Kinsley
University of Ottawa

Chris Kinsley worked as a Professor and Senior Researcher at the University of Guelph-Campus d’Alfred and Manager of the Ontario Rural Wastewater Centre from 1998 until 2018 following which he moved to the University of Ottawa,
where he continues his work today.

His major research areas are decentralized wastewater management and farm waste treatment. Mr. Kinsley has conducted a wide range of applied research studies of both aerobic and anaerobic treatment of domestic, farm and industrial effluents, septage, municipal sludges and manures. Mr. Kinsley has worked extensively with First Nation communities and with colleagues in N. Africa to develop training, demonstration and applied research programs for
small community water and wastewater treatment. Mr. Kinsley is a Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario and has been working at the University of Guelph since 1998.

The Impact of Water Softeners on Septic Systems
A field study of septic tank performance was conducted in order to determine whether water softener backwash addition to the septic tank had a significant effect upon tank performance. The sample group consisted of septic tanks receiving water softener backwash (n=27) and tanks not receiving water softener backwash (n=48).

This study does not address impacts upon the performance of leaching fields


Barry Rumsey
Bioharmony

Barry Rumsey was educated in the Province of BC and subsequently joined and served with the Canadian Military, British Columbia Dragoons and was stationed twice to the European theater.

From the Canadian military, Barry went on to obtain a Diploma in Forest Technology from British Columbia Institute of Technology. Upon his graduation and after obtaining work experience in Forestry, Barry joined the RCMP and was stationed throughout Canada. Upon retiring from the RCMP, Barry started in the sewage industry in 1995 obtaining his certifications through BCOSSA and BCWWA. He created BioHarmony Inc, which is a company that sells, installs and maintains sewage treatment systems ranging from Septic, Type 1, 2 and 3 as well as commercial systems. With over 20 years in the design, installation and maintenance of sewerage systems, this time has provided a wealth of knowledge with respect to the issues related to these 3 subjects.

Installing for Maintenance
Routine maintenance of onsite wastewater systems is a must. It is important that the planner take maintenance into consideration during the planning process in order to aid in the sustainability of the system.

Once the plan has been developed, the actual installation may be completed by an installer that has very little to no experience servicing them.

The installation, while at the outset may look appropriate, may create issues for the maintenance provider and the
client. This can cause the client added expense to have the issue repaired by the maintenance provider.

This presentation will examine various system problems discovered during maintenance visits that could be mitigated or avoided through the planning and installation phase of the system.


Joe Petryk
Alberta Municipal Affairs

Joe works for Alberta Municipal Affairs – Community & Technical Support – Edmonton – as a Technical Advisor for private sewage systems regulated under the Safety Codes Act.

Joe is a graduate of NAIT, obtaining a diploma in the discipline of Civil Engineering Technology.

Joe has been providing a public service for over 35 years in various roles related to the building and development industry with the past 15 years directly related to the private sewage industry. The private sewage industry continues to evolve on the fronts of code development, installation standards and product development and provides for a very active and interesting relationship with industry stakeholders.

Joe and his wife Gail have recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary and are proud grandparents to 3 grandchildren.

Joe grew up on a farm north of Edmonton and is no stranger to waste management (relocating many an outhouse).

Contractor Responsibilities Under the Safety Codes Act
A look at the Safety Codes Act and related Regulations as they apply to Contractors. Lets clarify the 5 W’s of the legislation as it pertains to the private sewage discipline. We will have an opportunity to discuss the Permit Regulation and how permits are managed in Accredited Municipalities versus Unaccredited Municipalities. General discussions on contractor issues are more than welcome.


Clayton Foster
Acreage Development Solutions

Growing up in the septic business, Clayton has seen the industry evolve and change over the past 30+ years. Primarily an installer, his company Acreage Development Solutions also focuses on maintenance, repairs, small jetting and steaming jobs as well as providing vacuum truck services.

Clayton demonstrates passion and dedication to the industry through his time spent working with multiple university studies, public education initiatives and several years as an AOWMA director.

Tanks and Lid Safety
Each year, tragedy impacts the onsite wastewater industry when a child or beloved pet falls into an open septic tank.

Clayton Foster will go over best practices to help avoid these senseless events. Tank and lid safety both at the time of installation and during maintenance and pumping will be the focus of this talk.


…and more!