CPOW is dedicated to: “Taking the Onsite Wastewater Industry in Colorado to a new level by establishing leadership and enhancing professionalism through outreach, information sharing, education and training”.
Why Training and Education?
Did you know that the septic tank was actually created in the late 1800’s? But that the first sewer treatment plants for the US were not built until the 1950’s? Our ideas originally were “disposal”; just get rid of it. Most rural homes were not even on septic systems until the 1950’s and the ideas and thoughts on how the systems functioned did not really change until the last 30 years, the 1970’s. The importance of treatment overcame the simplicity of disposal; and since then we have been on the fastrack with our education about, understanding of and thoughts about treatment versus disposal – when you think about how far we have really come in what is actually a very short time frame, there is a need to understand what an OWTS is, how it operates and the new technologies out there to help us manage and protect our very precious resource; water.
Ours is an industry of OJT (On the Job Training). Most and/or many, if not all, of us have learned our “business” on the job and really at the expense of the consumer. They trust that we have the knowledge to tell them about their systems, how they work and what they need to do to keep them functioning well into the future. The unfortunate reality is that a practitioner’s knowledge is only as good as the individual that taught them. In some cases this is very good and in others this can be really, really bad. Obtaining standardized information has been a problem in the past. Until recently, there have not been knowledgeable organizations that have provided industry training with standardized material.
Times have changed, ideas have changed, knowledge about what these systems are and how they actually function has changed immensely over a short time. We as professionals in the industry need to rise to the occasion and educate ourselves on OWTS and be ready to impart this knowledge to the end consumer. To accomplish this objective CPOW offers many different educational formats to meet the needs of the professionals in the industry.
For many years CPOW has held an annual Educational Conference. This conference is held in January; a slow business time for many in the OWTS industry. It offers an opportunity for professions to hone up on anything in the industry. Much like its big brother the Pumper Trade Show and Conference, CPOW offers tracks of classes to try to address information and/or issues across the realm of the profession. There are sessions for regulators, designers, manufactures, installers, pumpers/cleaners, maintenance professionals and inspectors. And there are several tracks available so there is surely something new that is of interest for everyone. We also hold a “Rod - E - Hoe” which tests the skills of an individual running a small backhoe (provided by Bobcat of the Rockies). The conference last 2 days and is usually held in conjunction with the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) so after the conference attendees can take in the local flavor of Denver and the West.
Beginning in 2010 CPOW has brought several nationally recognized NAWT Training and Certification courses to Colorado. CPOW believes that by having local trainers, and making it easier for Colorado OWTS Practitioners to attend national certification courses, together we can raise the bar of education and professionalism within the industry. CPOW also has been able to add a Colorado flavor to these presentations by addressing issues that are specific to our unique Rocky Mountain/high desert conditions. CPOW is currently offering NAWT Inspector Certification, NAWT Installer 1 and Installer 2, and NAWT O&M 1 and O&M 2 (to be offered first in January 2011).
The CPOW Training and Education Committee is also working on developing short courses that will address many of the needs and issues for OWTS practitioners in Colorado. The ultimate goal for the CPOW Training and Education Committee is to eventually have the ability to create and maintain a training center here in Colorado, where practitioners can go to receive first hand training and experience with many of the systems that are available.
Watch the events calendar for upcoming scheduled courses. If there is a course that you are interested in attending and/or hosting or that you think needs to be created, let us know. We will find a way to make it happen.