Kansas Small Flows Looks to Expand Association

Training can be a lifeline to business owners. Learning new techniques, new regulations, new equipment, or business-related topics can mean the difference between growing your business and going out of business. The Kansas Small Flows Association (KSFA), although relatively new, has a wealth of knowledge to share with members and nonmembers alike. Currently, they offer 15 classes with 130 training hours.

Some of their board members are also involved in NOWRA and have attended train the trainer classes so that members of KSFA benefit from the same classes that NOWRA provides. KSFA membership also includes membership in NOWRA and all of the benefits that brings such as member pricing and financing.

KSFA also offers fantastic training at their conference to help you learn how to improve your work and grow your business. This year, they were able to offer a contractor day so that they could come free for a day. For the conference in February they are trying to arrange it so that anyone can attend for free with a paid membership.

One of the great things about conferences that shouldn’t be overlooked is the opportunity to network. Meeting people in your field can broaden your knowledge base and give you access to people who have walked in your shoes on the same soil that you’ve walked on.

New for the 2013 conference will be the NOWRA-sanctioned Roe-D-Hoe event. The winner will have a simulation of what he or she will be facing at the National Pumper show. “One of our previous members is also on the Missouri board and NOWRA board,” says Charlene Weiss, treasurer of KSFA. “We were able to work through him to get the event at our conference this year. It’s a great opportunity and we are excited to bring it to our conference this year.”

One of the biggest challenges for septic professionals in Kansas is that each county requires them to be licensed in that county, which also carries its own fee. KSFA is working on moving the state to one overall license with one fee. One of the challenges to that is getting the individual counties to agree to forgo their fees. “A lot of the states such as Minnesota, Washington, and Florida have state codes,” says Weiss. “Since we don’t have a state code in Kansas, we are looking to see if we can call it something other than a license.”

Most of those counties have different requirements for their licensing. “Some counties have used our classes for their continuing education requirements,” says Weiss. If this is passed, then those septic professionals who operate in several counties will save money.

In addition to training and the conference, becoming a member of KFSA allows septic professionals in Kansas to join together to get things accomplished. It brings a level of professionalism to the industry and can increase your opportunity for new business.

“We are working on a number of initiatives for our members,” says Weiss. “We’ve added a contractor list to our website to bring them more exposure to new customers. In addition to the licensing, we are looking at trying to get cheaper loan rates and supplies. We are always looking into new ways to create opportunities for our members.”

Right now, regulators from across the state make up the majority of the membership. “We would like to grow our contractor membership and see them take advantage of their association and its many benefits. There are many advances being made in the onsite field and it’s important to keep up with the latest developments.”

“Membership in KFSA also brings you the power of NOWRA,” says Weiss. “Their lobbying capabilities, their resource library, their vehicle financing, homeowner folders and many, many other benefits. Membership also gives you a larger voice within the state and nationally so that you can make a difference.”

To join KFSA, simply go to their site and fill out the membership form. Members also receive newsletters twice per year and inclusion in their email blasts about upcoming classes and the latest news in the industry. Paying the non-member price of a class also gains you membership.

Weiss has more than 20 years of experience in the onsite industry. She is currently retired, but runs a soil consulting business. “The onsite industry is a passion of mine,” says Weiss. “Onsite systems are not common knowledge and I enjoy telling people more about them.”

For more information on Kansas Small Flows Association or on how to become a member, visit them at www.ksfa.org.

Story by Jennifer Taylor

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