Septic Sense Homeowner Education – Coming to a Community Near You!

For the past two years, AOWMA has been working with the Land Stewardship Centre to further develop our out-reach to homeowners through public education.

Homeowner education programs focus on proper operation and maintenance of onsite wastewater systems, the importance of having your onsite system designed and installed by a certified contractor, liability issues and trouble-shooting.

The Land Stewardship Centre (LSC) got involved in this project when they were provided with funding to research the need for homeowner education by the Alberta Water and Wastewater Association. LSC consulted with the AOWMA on this research, which then resulted in a partnership to develop and deliver the homeowner education workshops, under the name Septic Sense.

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation then provided funding to develop the education presentation and deliver it in half a dozen municipalities as a pilot. Following the pilot, it was determined that a full program should be developed and marketed to the municipal districts and counties. A similar program delivered on water wells has been delivered throughout the province for several years and has been very well received.

Funding was sought from various agencies for the further development and ongoing delivery of this program. Re-cently, Alberta Innovates provided a grant to deliver this homeowner education over the fall and winter of 2016/2017.

Training materials will be updated and developed over the summer months with a target for beginning delivery of the program in October 2016. AOWMA will provide input on the training materials and presentation along with a facilitator for training delivery.

Association members have indicated that since these homeowner education sessions began, they are noticing that homeowner understanding has increased. That understanding will lead to better ongoing care of onsite wastewater systems in future and a better appreciation for having the system designed and installed properly.