Our goal is to establish uniform standards for the treatment and disposal of onsite wastewater (septic systems) in Kansas as well as provide education and training opportunities for industry professionals, and others interested in the onsite wastewater industry. KSFA wants to be your voice in Kansas for the onsite wastewater industry. We also encourage all industry professionals to carry a national certification through the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA).
KSFA knows that all onsite wastewater contractors need to be a professional. We believe there are specific criteria that define any profession. While important individually, all are interconnected. The criteria are:
· A defined body of knowledge: onsite wastewater / decentralized systems require technical knowledge
· Standards for admission: field experience as well as a license/registration fee
· Standards of practice: minimum standards for specific system installations
· Standards for retention: need continuing education to maintain and gain a good body of knowledge
· Criteria for expulsion: a means to revoke a license and/or registration for unprofessional behavior
In the short span of 50 years, our industry has seen onsite wastewater systems increase in cost from $1,000 for a simple system to systems using advanced technologies, costing from $10,000 to $25,000. Even today, anyone can and will install an onsite wastewater system as there are no standards of performance enforced. The non-professionals in the industry reflect the misconception that onsite wastewater systems are easy to install and requires little training beyond knowing how to operate a backhoe and shovel. With more and more homes being built beyond city sewers on smaller smaller lots and questionable soil conditions, the use of advanced systems and treatment technologies is a must. An article from the “Journal of Environmental Health” dated October 1, 2003, published by the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) states “Septic systems serve approximately 25 percent of U.S. households, and one in three (33%) of new homes built today use these systems.”
The average cost of the electrical installation for a newly constructed 3 bedroom home in the Midwest is around $6,000.00 to $8,000.00 using a qualified and licensed electrician. The average cost of the plumbing for the same home is about the same using a qualified and licensed plumber. However, the average cost for the onsite wastewater system can range from $5,000.00 to $25,000.00. If the site and soil conditions require the the use of more complex and expensive systems, shouldn’t they be installed by qualified contractors just like the electrical and plumbing industry? Doesn’t it make sense then that only qualified contractors that are licensed and/or certified be permitted to do the work? We would hope that this will eliminate those that do poor work and cost the homeowner more money in the long run. EPA, the people who one time wanted to sewer the nation, are now supporting the onsite wastewater industry. In a 2000 report from EPA to Congress on the Use of Decentralized Wastewater Systems, the need for training and continuing education was identified. The report specifically listed lack of knowledge as a barrier to the use of advanced onsite wastewater technology. There was and is a critical need for standardized education and training. You know what?….KSFA is working with NEHA and EPA to do just that!
THE IMPORTANCE ON ONSITE/DECENTRALIZED WASTEWATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS