The Sewerage System regulation was developed between 2002 and 2004 as a result of government’s mandate of deregulation and outcome based regulatory models. To support this regulatory change in framework, BC Onsite Sewage Association participated in development committees with the Ministry of Health Services. BCOSSA brought to the table industry representatives with the technical knowledge and industry breadth to achieve the ministries goals and objectives as outlined in spring of 2004:

The Ministry of Health Services is proceeding with the development of a regulation that can respond and will allow for technical flexibility, appropriate industry accountability, and a reduction in resources required from health authorities.

The proposed regulation reform will provide the following:

  • reduced regulatory burdens;
  • technically sound industry standards for site evaluation, design, installation and maintenance;
  • clear and specific system performance standards;
  • operation and maintenance requirements;
  • education, training, and certification of service providers;
  • effective enforcement mechanisms that ensure practitioner and owner accountability;
  • ongoing system records; and
  • offer the health authorities a mechanism to reposition resources to programs with higher level health outcomes while ensuring that on-site systems are appropriately regulated.

The Sewerage System regulation was proclaimed in 2004 and enacted May 2005 required the development of certification and education process and procedures. BCOSSA was mandated to carry out the training procedures required for practitioner registration. Additionally BCOSSA developed many other support programs for the industry.

Education outcomes:
BCOSSA’s, through the Westcoast Onsite Wastewater Training Centre, education development and delivery has supported the Ministry’s regulatory mandate since 2004. The educational programs have been recognized as industry leading throughout Canada. In BC BCOSSA/WOWTC has delivered training to 3906 industry stakeholders, some have completed one or two courses and 1,705 have completed the educational requirements for Registration as follows:

Achievements of BC Onsite Sewage Association:

Planners 574
Installers 764
Maintenance Providers 296
Private Inspectors 71
TOTAL 1,705

Sewerage System Regulation Steering Committee

  • BCOSSA created steering committee to manage onsite stakeholders issues September 2005.
  • Developed terms of reference with other stakeholders for smooth function of activities under the SSR.

Development of the ORWB board and Policy

· BCOSSA in cooperation with ASTTBC developed ORWB Board and policy for the administration of registration of Practitioners 2004 – 2009.
· BCOSSA provided expert advice and review of ORWB activities 2004-2009.

Sewerage System Leadership Committee

  • Participated in the meetings 2006-2009 of the SSLC developed by the Ministry of Health to achieve the outcomes of the regulation and obtain stakeholder recommendation for regulatory administration.
  • BCOSSA provided recommendations for regulatory and policy change within the regulation 2006 – 2009.

Standardized Contracts and forms

  • BCOSSA produced standardized forms for ROWP legal contracts making them available through BCOSSA web 2006.
  • Updated legal contract forms 2010.

Sewerage System Standard Practice Manual

  • BCOSSA produced SPM version 2 as requested by Ministry of Health 2007

Technical Support


  • BCOSSA engaged actuarial services to develop industry specific insurance products for members 2006.
  • BCOSSA offers the most encompassing insurance program for ROWP in BC covering general liability, errors and omissions and pollution liabilities.

Anonymous complaint process

  • BCOSSA developed and implemented anonymous complaint process to allow Practitioners to make complaints to stakeholder agencies without undue consequences 2006.

Filing Audit

  • BCOSSA developed a report for the Ministry of Health on filing processes and issues identifying strengths and weaknesses within the process 2007-2008.

Dashboard Manual

  • BCOSSA produced “easy read” quick reference manual for field use of SPM.


National Testing Standards for Treatment Systems

  • BCOSSA led the development of the first Canadian standard for testing onsite wastewater treatment technology, results in the development of CAN/BNQ 3680-600 2009.

National Installation Standards

  • BCOSSA led the development of CSA-B65 national standard for the installation of decentralized wastewater systems. 2006-2011.
  • BCOSSA oversees through CSA the CSA B-66 Septic Tank and Holding Tank standards development.

Provincial Technology Standards

BCOSSA developed a provincial product registration integrity program to replace the MOH list of approved septic tanks and treatment systems that the MOH ended when the SSR came into force. This program is intended to assist ROWPs with a list of products that met a standard as approved through the Standards Council of Canada.

BCFiling .ca

  • BCOSSA developed a provincial web based filing program that allows members to file onsite documents online with participating health authorities 2009.

Maintenance Management Program

  • BCOSSA developed online onsite management programs for local government, health authorities and Practitioners that will track filings and system management data 2008.

Education Standards & Experience Requirements

  • BCOSSA developed and conducted in-field experience practicum to meet the ASTTBC experience requirements.
  • BCOSSA developed and published in December 2008, a proposal for the education program to include in the curriculum in-field practicum to address the experience requirements of ASTTBC.
  • BCOSSA developed and published in January 2009, the education programs core competency and learned outcomes to meet the objectives of SSR.

Labour Mobility

  • BCOSSA developed support programs for labour mobility issues management supporting members by identifying and addressing issues related to TILMA and the Agreement of Internal Trade.

Onsite into the Future:

College of Practitioners

BCOSSA provides support for its members on a wide range of issues related to the onsite industry and regulation. During stakeholder meetings in the fall of 2010, it was determined that BCOSSA should continue to expand its role as advocate for Practitioners and formalize its roles and responsibilities to ROWP’s, acting for them on issues related to the Sewerage System regulation and its administration. Additionally BCOSSA will continue supporting member’s interests during government policy initiatives, technical guidelines, disciplinary activities or legal issues.


  • BCOSSA to develop policy framework and business plan for the development of college of practitioners.
  • Continue to provide technical support to practitioners.
  • Continue to provide legislative analysis to members and other stakeholders related to legal application of all legislation effecting the industry.
  • Continue to provide direct expert advice related to onsite practice for members on a case by case basis.
  • BCOSSA to seek legislative recognition of BCOSSA as the college of practitioners.

Educational Programs

BCOSSA provides the most comprehensive onsite educational programs in Canada ensuring high quality education for all BC onsite practitioners and professionals.

BCOSSA provides high quality education programs for practitioner registration; BCOSSA/WOWTC programs have been updated and redeveloped three times since inception six years ago to ensure that education quality is maintained. Education programs must be dynamic to meet the needs of the industry and provided value to the learner. In 2010 BC Water and Wastewater Association, through a grant from the Ministry of Health, produced a model training standard. BCOSSA participated in the development of this standard and currently meets the intended outcomes through WOWTC training. The industry is now seeking two levels of training, initial registration training and continuing education opportunities.


  • BCOSSA will continue provision of all course requirements for various registration programs.
  • BCOSSA will provide options of educational format for learners that include at home learning and traditional in class programs.
  • BCOSSA will develop continuing education programs specifically based on the industry needs.
  • BCOSSA will develop web based record keeping for continuing education credits for members.
  • BCOSSA will continue to provide an annual industry specific educational conference for stakeholders that will provide continuing education credits.
  • BCOSSA to source and implement distant learning programs.

Trade Mobility Agreements

BCOSSA is dedicated to industry skill set mobility and development across Canada. BCOSSA has been instrumental in the development of BC’s trend setting regulatory framework providing education and support to Canada’s premier onsite wastewater industry. BCOSSA, working with stakeholder associations, provincial and federal government agencies and standard setting organizations, has set the pace for Canadian standards of practice, education and equipment performance. The production of Canadian standards such as CAN/BNQ 3680-600 and the upcoming CSA B-65 will provide the benchmark for practice within the Canadian onsite industry and ensure an equal playing field between provinces.


  • BCOSSA will continue to participate in national forums to set national standards.
  • BCOSSA will continue to work with provincial and interprovincial onsite associations to develop programs and procedures to improve practitioner practice.
  • BCOSSA will develop education programs based on national standards of practice.
  • BCOSSA will continue to work with national standard organization to ensure technically sound products and procedures.

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