About us

The ORWC is a training and research Centre of the University of Guelph – School of Engineering created in 1998 in partnership the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority and government stakeholders.

Our Mission:

To promote environmentally sustainable development of rural and unsewered areas through the effective use of wastewater treatment and dispersal technologies.

Our Mandate:

To provide training, demonstration and applied research in the areas of:

  • residential on-site wastewater treatment including septic systems
  • small community wastewater treatment
  • nutrient and agri-food wastewater management.

In support of our mission and mandate, we have developed a wide variety training materials and workshops and have provided training for over 15 years to the industry. Visit our Courses & Workshops page for more information. We are a leader in Research, and have assisted in the development of numerous resource materials. Our team of dedicated professionals is working hard every day to make on-site infrastructure a permanent servicing option for Ontarians.


The operation of the ORWC is supported through course delivery, research grants and public projects. The Centre remains grateful to all the public and private sponsors.

The Wastewater Centre has been a strong supporter of the on-site industry including the Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association (OOWA) and the Ontario Association of Sewage Industry Services (OASIS). All members of the Wastewater Centre team are members of OOWA and have participated in various capacities on the board level since OOWA’s inception.