Get Your Hands Dirty

The California Onsite Wastewater Association is hosting a two-day course that will cover soil hydrogeology and it’s relationship to groundwater. Participants will learn about soil geomorphology, color characteristics of soil, texture analysis of soil, evaluating soil structure, identifying soil horizons and site evaluation. They will also learn which components make up a professional soil profile description, and gain understanding of the important role soils play in the operation of all types of onsite wastewater systems.

Participants get a chance to get their hands dirty with a field trip to see if they learned anything on the first day or were just sleeping. They will determine where to dig test pits, perform an evaluation of soil characteristics in various test pits under the supervision of the trainers and participate in a texturing exercise.

The intensive course also includes COWA’s look to the future and the significant work being done by the Environmental Protection Agency in regards to protecting water resources while supporting the expansion of the Decentralized Wastewater Option.

This course is based on the Consortium of Institutes for Decentralized Wastewater Treatment’s (CIDWT) Water Movement in Soil educational materials. COWA has improved and expanded their original program “Science of Soils” to include a better understanding of water movement in soil with additional hands-on activities.

The three trainers teaching the course are Shane Cummings, Debra Robertson and Evelyn Rosefield. Robertson is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist. Rosefield is COWA’s executive administrator.

Cummings performs and oversees field investigations for geotechnical and geologic hazard evaluations including earthquake fault and surface rupture, environmental site assessments and investigations and hydrologic investigations. Mr. Cummings is the past President of the Feather River Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), a Subject Matter Expert with the California Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, and participates in the licensure for Certified Hydrogeologist (CHG) and the California Supplemental Component to the Professional Geologist (PG) exam. Mr. Cummings has a Bachelors of Science in Geology from Chico State University. His professional registrations and certifications include Certified Engineering Geologist and Professional Geologist (California) and Certified Hydrogeologist (California).

The course will be held at the North Coast Builder’s Exchange, 1030 Apollo Way, Santa Rosa, California on May 20 from 8 am – 2:40 pm and May 21 from 7:30 am – 5 pm.

For members, registration is $400, and $500 for non members.

Story by Jennifer Taylor

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