COWA Course Catalog

COWA is happy to work with regulatory agencies and community groups to develop a custom curriculum and address particular needs.  Please contact us for more information.

Greywater Reuse I
Greywater systems take available water and nutrient resources and use them as assets instead of throwing them away as liabilities.  These low-cost systems save money and embedded energy through decreased utility usage, bringing multiple benefits to the site.  It’s an idea whose time has come!

This course includes: Site assessment considerations • A description of simple systems, including gravity fed laundry to landscape and branch drain systems • An introduction to pumped and advanced systems • Greywater coding and safety requirements • Distribution system design considerations, including plant friendly products, mulch basin design, client education, and plant water requirements.

Greywater Reuse 2
This course builds upon Greywater Reuse 1 and includes: Coding and safety for Greywater storage and transmission • Filtration and media options • Potable water make-up options for intermittent use locations • Considerations for multifamily and commercial applications • Site evaluation and trouble-shooting.

(Prerequisite: Greywater Reuse 1)

Rainwater Harvesting and Utilization 1
For every 1,000 square feet of roof area, over 600 gallons of water can be captured per inch of rain!  This means that even small structures in dry areas can harvest and reuse large amounts of water.  This water can be used for irrigation, shower, toilet flushing, laundry, fire suppression, water security and more.

This course includes: Site considerations and cost-benefit analysis • Utilization options, including coding and safety requirements • System sizing and container options • Conveyance and filtration • Gravity fed and pumped systems • Overflow planning.

Rainwater Harvesting and Utilization 2
This course will focus on advanced applications and will include: Rainwater treatment for potable use • System design and maintenance, including particulate filtration and UV treatment • Coding and safety considerations for residential vs commercial applications • An introduction to considerations needed for large scale systems including container design, engineering and seismic requirements.

(Prerequisite: Rainwater Harvesting and Utilization 1)

Water Shed Ecology and Economics
A sound understanding of conventional and emerging science as it applies to watershed scale resource management has been under appreciated.  Improving this understanding will be a catalyst for effective change from government policy to small decentralized system design and everything in between.

Discussion will include: The large and small water cycle models • Emerging thought in climate adaptation • The effect of improved synergy between onsite water technologies and distributed/centralized system planning • The water-energy nexus and its implications • The primary and secondary benefits of sustainable water management plans for wild lands, communities and local economies.

COWA Soils, Hydrogeology, and Site Evaluation
This two-day course begins with insight into COWA’s look to the future. We will move into discussion on soil hydrogeology and its relationship to groundwater before exploring topics including: Soil Geomorphology •  Color • Texture • Structure • Horizons and Site Evaluation.

Participants will learn the components that compose a professional soil profile description and will gain an understanding of the important role the soils play in the operation of all types of onsite wastewater systems. A valuable field component engages participants in site layout and open trench profiling where you will practice the evaluation of soil characteristics in various test pits under the supervision of the trainers.

COWA Low Pressure Pipe & Drip Dispersal Design Fundamentals
Developed and delivered by COWA’s own Nick Weigel, this overview of the basics of designing Low Pressure Pipe and Drip Dispersal systems is adapted from CIDWT materials and will help all practitioners better understand the importance of soil application rates and even distribution of primary and advanced treated effluent. The program includes materials from the California Wastewater Training & Research Center and the Consortium of Institutes for Decentralized Wastewater Treatment.

NAWT Onsite Wastewater Systems Inspector Training and Certification
There is a growing trend in the onsite industry where regulatory agencies, financial institutions, and builders are requiring that onsite practitioners show documentation of education and training for onsite systems inspection and management.

This two-day course, developed by the National Association of Wastewater Transporters (NAWT), delivers critical education and skills needed to implement standardized procedures in the inspection and management of conventional onsite systems.

Operation & Maintenance Service Provider Training Program
This national training program presents a standardized method for evaluating the status of treatment, distribution and dispersal technologies used in advanced onsite wastewater treatment systems. It establishes a benchmark standard for operation, maintenance and monitoring activities. This program is delivered in two parts.

Part 1: Introduction to O&M is a two-day course. This course includes:  Industry overview •  Business and Ethics • Wastewater Math • Safety • Wastewater Characteristics, and details technologies such as Tanks, Pumps, Demand Dosing, Gravity and Low-Pressure Pipe distribution systems as well as at and above grade soil treatment applications.

Completion of the NAWT Inspector program is recommended for success of Part 1.

A certificate is issued for the successful completion of this part of the program.

Part 2: This advanced course covers: Timed Dosing • Recirculation Ratios • Treatment technologies, including Aerobic Treatment Units, Media Filters, Disinfection and Drip Dispersal.

The Advanced program is a two-day course and includes an afternoon “hands on” field session.

Participation in Part 1 is required before taking Part 2.

A certificate is issued for the successful completion of this part of the program.

OWTS System Controls
This one-day program begins with discussion of control functions, including: Demand • Timed dosing • Sequencing • Recirculation • Flushing • Data logging, and remote communication. You will learn about various types of control sensors, valves, panels and pumps and will take part in hands on demonstrations of the testing and maintenance functions of multiple types of control systems including analog, digital and telemetry. Various panel manufacturers will be on hand to demonstrate the unique features of their control systems.

OWTS Installation
This new two-day course was developed by the Consortium of Institutes for Decentralized Wastewater Treatment (CIDWT) and prepares OWTS installers for certification by the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA.)

The two-day comprehensive program covers everything from site layout to component bedding, leveling, piping, slope, final grading and compaction. Discussions also include system serviceability, start up and the relationships with Designers, Regulators and Service Providers. This course is a must for Installers considering involvement with engineered systems and packaged treatment units.

Principles of Plan Checking
A need to know program for anyone who reviews plans. Designers, Regulators, Installers, O&M Service Providers and Suppliers who bid jobs will all gain from this informative course. You will learn about proper specification writing, accessibility issues and how to verify compatibility of components.

Vacuum Truck Operation
This entry level program is a great tool for Liquid Waste Haulers to train new employees. It covers the basics of safety, truck inspections, proper tank pumping procedures and rules of the road for professional drivers.

Waste Treatment Workshop
Talk about exciting! The ever-increasing cost of liquid waste disposal has created a whole new opportunity in our industry. Independent Liquid Waste Haulers around the country are finding the benefits of not only dewatering, but resource recovery including composting and biogas production. A very inspiring and informative course.


California Onsite Water Association
PO Box 1063 | Groveland, CA | 95321

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