California Onsite Wastewater Association

Drought has crippled many areas in the western United States making water an even more precious and limited resource.

To combat this growing problem, the California Onsite Wastewater Association (COWA) hosted an Integrated Water Technology workshop in March. “As a result of that successful workshop, the City of Malibu Environmental Sustainability Division is going to host our Onsite Water Reuse Symposium on January 13-17, 2014,” says Kit Rosefield, COWA education coordinator.

The education series will consist of four days of one-day trainings that meet the City of Malibu recertification requirements and culminate with the symposium on January 17. “This event provides a forum for Onsite Industry Professionals and Stakeholders from around the nation to exchange information on treatment technologies that are being employed as both rural wastewater solutions and urban sewer mining strategies,” says Rosefield. “COWA envisions integrated water strategies as the next wave of business opportunities for the Onsite Industry, demonstrating an increased commitment to water resource protection and management. Join us for this look to the future with one eye on sustainability and the other on business opportunity.”

Education Series

Each day of the education series will focus on a different topic. The first day of the event will begin with an overview of California’s new OWTS policy and how it impacts inspections. It will include a discussion on the various types of OWTS inspections including routine maintenance, building permit and property transfer. The day will also cover load testing dispersal components and performance of the soil treatment area.

Day two will bring training on OWTS Technology management and disinfection. This one-day program will focus on Ultra Violet disinfection technologies for the onsite industry. Mark Gross, PhD, P.E. will give an overview followed by hands-on activities with Orenco and Salcor gravity flow UV disinfection units, an Atlantic Purification UV disinfection unit, and a Hallett UV disinfection unit.

Wednesday will focus on OWTS System Controls and start with a discussion of control functions such as demand and timed dosing, sequencing, recirculation, flushing, data logging and remote communication. It will include hands-on demonstrations of the testing and maintenance functions of multiple types of control systems including analog, digital and telemetry. Panel manufactures will be there to discuss and demonstrate features of their control systems.

Thursday will focus on low pressure pipe and drip dispersal fundamentals. COWA’s Nick Weigel P.E. will cover the basics of designing low pressure pipe and drip dispersal systems to help practitioners better understand the importance of soil application rates and even distribution of primary and advanced treated effluent. The class will participate in interactive group design exercises.

The Technology Fair will be open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for the general public and attendees will have 3.5 hours of dedicated breaks for exhibition time. Twenty-minute exhibitor presentations will run all day during exhibition hours. Gourmet food trucks are available for lunch breaks and are included in the cost of registration.


Friday’s culminating symposium will feature a series of presentations about projects, related case studies and discussions on current policies.

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s Chief of Energy Efficiency Engineering Amir Tabakh will kick off the morning with “Urban Onsite Water Reuse-Need and Potential.”
Neal Shapiro, CPSWQ, CSM, Supervisor, Watershed Section, City of Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment will follow up with a talk about restoring an urban watershed through green infrastructure and harvesting dry and wet weather runoff.

After the two presentations, there will be a one-hour break for attendees to visit the technology fair and product presentations.

Late morning sessions will include “Water Reuse-No Discharge System” by Lombardo Associates and “Wastewater Reuse in Commercial Buildings: Best Practices from Down Under” by Phoenix Process Equipment before breaking for lunch.

In the afternoon, attendees will hear about “Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) Technology for Onsite Wastewater Re-Use Applications,” “Graywater Reuse Systems Utilizing Textile Media Filters,” “Harvesting the Perennial Stream—Treated Effluent for Sustainable Moisture Management,” “Integrating Onsite Water Reuse into Landscape Design,” and “Effects of Graywater Diversion on OWTS Treatment Processes.”

These eye-opening sessions will not only help onsite industry professionals look at ways of conserving our precious water, but also give them ideas about new business opportunities. Registration is open through January 10.

For more information, visit

Story by Jennifer Taylor

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