Pennsylvania Septage Management Association

The Pennsylvania Septage Management Association (PSMA) is an active association committed to the industry as well as its approximately 235 regular and associate members who service all or parts of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The trade association assists members with questions, training, an annual conference, website hosting, legislative advocacy, and more to help raise the standards of the industry.

Training/Annual Conference

PSMA joined with the National Association of Wastewater Transporters (NAWT), the Pennsylvania Association of Professional Soil Scientists (PAPSS), and the Pennsylvania Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (POWRA) to host their annual conference in January at the Valley Forge Casino Resort.

Attendees were able to attend educational sessions, such as Excavation Safety Awareness, Telephone Etiquette, Confined Space Entry and Working Safely Around Natural Gas Facilities. Attendees can also benefit from Competent Person Training, a Defensive Driver Program, an Installer Training Program and Exam, Eljen Design and Review Training, and the DRIP Irrigation System Inspection Certification Program.

The conference also allowed specific time set aside for attendees to view and meet with exhibitors, meet with others in their region, and network.

PSMA also offers additional training throughout the year to help members attain their continuing education credits and certifications, including: spring training, April 2-3, 2013, in Reading, PA; and summer/fall trainings are typically held in Chesterfield, NJ as well as West Chester and Montoursville, PA.

Website Hosting & Marketing Support

“Members can create their own company webpage for only $100, a value of $600,” says Alison Evans, PSMA communications manager. “It will include their logo, one photo, address and contact information, and five customizable content areas.”

Members can also use the PSMA logo on their marketing materials and website, and receive a link from PSMA’s website to their own. Potential customers can go through PSMA’s service provider locator to find a PSMA member.

Legislative Advocate

PSMA advocates on behalf of its members and the industry by working with state legislators and the Department of Environmental Protection to protect members’ rights.

“Vince Phillips is PSMA’s Lobbyist,” says Evans. “He meets with legislators and invites members to join him as well. He provides PSMA members with a detailed legislative report and Capitol Gains, a shorter version of the legislative report that highlights the most important information. Members receive both documents monthly.”

Insurance and Other Benefits

Insurance can be expensive and tough to get. PSMA offers members Alteris SeptiCover business insurance and Errors & Omissions insurance to a variety of members.

All of these benefits are communicated to members along with industry news and updates through newsletters, emails, and the website. Members also stay up-to-date through regional meetings which can provide them with local news, information and education.

“When an individual inquires about membership, their main desire is to connect with other industry professionals, to receive certification, and receive benefits for their company,” says Angela Burkett, PSMA membership director. “Networking with other industry professionals for support, guidance, information and advice is one of the biggest benefits.”

PSMA will also pay a member’s PA One Call fee when they simply forward their bill to the association. PA One Call must be called before people start digging to prevent damage to underground utilities by large equipment.

Scholarship

“To honor Frank Sears, PSMA made this annual scholarship available to students who are employees or the relative of an employee of a PSMA member company,” says Evans. “The organization will annually award a total of $1,000, in increments to be determined during the application process, to successful applicants. Last year’s recipient is a junior at Shippensburg University.”

Sears was a very active member of PSMA. Born in Philadelphia and raised by foster parents in Parkesburg, PA, he graduated in 1954 from Scott High School in Coatesville and served in the US Army. Sears owned and operated his own septic business from 1968. In addition to running his own business, he was also employed by the former Lukens Steel Company and retired from that job in 1987.

Sears was also an active member of the Skerrett Masonic Lodge #343 F&AM of Cochranville, where he served twice as Worshipful Master. He was a member of the Consistory Valley of Reading, the Coatesville Royal Arch Chapter #267, the Continental Commandery #55 Knights Templar of Coatesville, the Goodwin Council #19 of Lancaster and a life member of the GAP VFW Post #7418.

He also enjoyed go-kart racing and was an avid NASCAR fan. He was married to Marry L. (Pierce) Sears for 38 years. With all of these benefits, it’s easy to see how PSMA has a strong membership.

For more information on PSMA, visit www.psma.net.

Story by Jennifer Taylor

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