Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association

The Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association (MOWA) represents companies and individuals who are involved in designing, constructing or providing maintenance and repair service for septic systems. Pat Martyn, MOWA’s Executive Director, proclaims proudly, “We’re pretty active here.” The statewide association boasts 250 companies, which Martyn explains, “We’re not like most associations. We count companies, not individuals.” Although, he does say that MOWA has over a thousand members and that includes businesses that are both big and small and cover all areas of the septic industry, including installers, pumpers, designers, inspectors, engineers, soil scientists, regulators, educators, manufacturers, suppliers, students and professionals.

In fact, it is the latter two that MOWA caters heavily to. The association specializes in continued education and promoting professionalism through course offerings and networking through access to their free directory and web listings. MOWA also has a very active annual show, and 2012’s convention is sure to be no exception.

Held January 29 through February 1, the show will take place at the DoubleTree Hotel on highways 494 and 100 in Bloomington. Martyn says MOWA will run several tracks of information and education so those attending will be able to absorb a vast amount of information on an extensive range of topics. The show will also provide peer opportunities for those looking to network, and finally, Martyn says, “We try to throw in some fun.” If their looking for a way to fill their nights, attendees will be able to compete and show off their skills at various challenges in a street fair-like atmosphere. Martyn says, “It will be an outstanding show. Outstanding.”

MOWA also specializes in advocacy with regulators and finding ideas and solutions for consumers, in addition to industry insiders. Members receive MOWA’s monthly newsletter, The Little Digger, keeps members abreast of innovations in the septic industry, as well as provides legislative updates, a calendar of upcoming events and a schedule of available continuing education courses.

MOWA, according to Martyn, has existed in some incarnation for decades, and a large portion of the association’s success lies in their active membership solicitations. Martyn says, “We do a lot to really try and drive membership.” And once accepted, members enjoy the ability to participate in MOWA committees and also have the ability to influence state and national rules and policies by taking on a participatory role in the process.

But non-members also benefit from MOWA’s knowledge and expertise. On the association’s website, people can find an extensive FAQ section designed to assist homeowners with any questions they may have about their septic system. And the questions are broken up into neat, concise sections depending on if they’re being asked of a pumper, designer, installer or inspector. Martyn says MOWA has been around for decades, and it shows—they’ve thought of everything in order to provide members and non-members, alike, with the most comprehensive resource of septic industry information.

For more information on MOWA visit www.mowa-mn.com or call 888.810.4178.

Story by Megan McClure

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