Course Directory

The Ontario Rural Wastewater Centre is pleased to offer a wide variety of courses to practitioners in the on-site wastewater industry. We are an authorized delivery agency for the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing and offer the “On-Site Sewage Systems 2012” Licensing Preparation course multiple times per year in Guelph and Ottawa, Ontario.

In addition to the Licensing Preparation course, the ORWC has developed a number of other courses to complement and further the knowledge of practitioners in the industry.

We have also developed and delivered custom courses for various agencies such as the Ministry of the Environment and other Ontario Public Sector employees, Green Communities Canada, the City of Hamilton and the Grey/Bruce Planning Department. Our custom courses address a variety of topics, from general homeowner information to training staff on on-site system design, inspection, maintenance and troubleshooting. If you are interested in a custom course please contact Bassim Abbassi at or Chris Kinsley at

For more information on the licensing requirements in Ontario for installers and designers,  visit our resource pages for designers and installers. Building Code exams are now being delivered by Humber College, both online or in test centers across the province. The exam registration form can be found here. Click here for additional information on writing the exam, and here for a list of scheduled exam dates and locations

On-site Wastewater Courses for on-site wastewater professionals such as installers, designers and regulators who wish to advance their knowledge of design, inspection, troubleshooting and remediating on-site systems. On-site wastewater courses are generally offered twice at year in Guelph and Ottawa. See “Courses and Workshops” for more information on when we are holding our upcoming courses, as well as prices. Some of the courses may not be scheduled, however, we are pleased to provide these courses on demand. Feel free to contact us for more information.

Onsite Wastewater Courses
Course Title
Course Description
Suggested Prerequisites
On-Site Sewage Systems 2012 – Septic Installer/Inspector Licensing Preparation Course A 5 day training course designed primarily for installers and inspectors of on-site sewage systems in Ontario. This course covers Part 8 of the Ontario Building Code and is designed to prepare participants for the On-Site Sewage Systems (Part 8) technical licensing exam administered by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing (MMAH).  The course covers the entire training manual produced by MMAH.  In addition, supplementary material developed by the Ontario Rural Wastewater Centre, including additional material on approved alternative technologies, instructional videos, design problems and case studies is also provided. Finally daily access to hands-on demonstrations in our unique training facility is included. Please note the course does NOT include the licensing exam.


Introduction to Design of On-Site Sewage Treatment Systems This one day course builds on the 5 day Part 8 Ontario Building Code Installer/Inspector licensing course and helps participants develop skills with design calculations contained in the building code. Participants will be introduced to all types of soil absorption systems, including alternative trench technologies and area beds, and the design calculations required for these types of systems.  Case studies will be used to illustrate the process of selecting and designing the most appropriate system for various sites. Participants will also be introduced to tertiary treatment systems and their components and how they can be incorporated into a design.

Five-Day Part 8 Licensing Course or equivalent experience

Advanced Design of On-Site Sewage Treatment Systems This one day course will take participants beyond conventional on-site sewage treatment system design principles covered in our introductory design course and introduce them to concepts such as high strength waste streams, grease removal, balancing tanks, complex pumping/dosing arrangements, using advanced treatment units for higher strength waste and large leaching bed design. This course will also cover methods of total nitrogen and phosphorous removal through on-site wastewater systems.

Five-Day Part 8 Licensing Course and Introductory Design or equivalent experience

Soils 101 course beneficial

Inspection and Evaluation of On-Site Sewage Treatment Systems This 1 day course is designed to provide participants with practical knowledge for inspecting existing on-site sewage systems for maintenance inspection or resale purposes.  Details of the legislation regarding maintenance inspections will be covered.  The course also addresses the inspection of new on-site system installations to provide context for existing systems and potential problems.  The course provides an opportunity for hands-on case study evaluation and problem-solving techniques for an existing system. The emphasis will be on assessing the health of a system, identifying possible causes of failure and potential remediation methods.

Five-Day Part 8 Licensing Course or equivalent experience

Greywater Recycling System Design This informative one day session is designed to provide participants with practical knowledge for designing and installing greywater recycling systems. It will also provide hands-on design knowledge looking at local installations and incentives for greywater recycling systems in Ontario. The emphasis will be on what greywater recycling systems are, the legislation related to greywater systems, how to design and install these systems and looking at examples within Ontario of greywater recycling systems.


Soils 101 – Evaluation of Soils for On-site Wastewater Technologies 1 day field course covering classification of soils; T-time & permeability; evaluation of soil test pits. Combines classroom information on performing soil investigations with a field investigation where percolation tests will be conducted. How to use field evaluation results in the design of on-site systems will also be covered.

Five-Day Part 8 Licensing Course or equivalent experience

Design Options of Onsite Systems under the Ontario’s Objective Based Code Ontario’s new Objective Based Code is structured to open up opportunities for new innovative designs for on-site sewage systems. This 1 day workshop will cover the requirements of the Ontario Building Code for objective based design, as well as the process by which designers can demonstrate compliance of innovative designs with the prescribed Acceptable Solutions in the Code. Specific design examples will be used to demonstrate the approach a designer may take for a variety of alternative solutions.

Five-Day Part 8 Licensing Course and Introductory or Advanced Design or equivalent experience

Alternative Technologies 1 day course on the OBC approved technologies. Alternative technology descriptions, treatment processes, applications, design and maintenance requirements will be covered.


Specialty course for Planners Overview of on-site wastewater characteristics, system performance, technologies with a focus on approvals for single units and communal systems.


Pumps and Controls This full day course is an introductory level workshop that is intended to help participants develop skills to recognize when a pump is required, what type of information is needed to make an appropriate pump selection, and how to decide what types of controls will be required.  It will introduce participants to basic calculations for sizing the pump, the pump chamber and the float settings, including dosing calculations for both demand dosing and shallow buried trench systems. Participants will also be introduced to new technology including pressure transducers and level sensors.


On-Site Wastewater System Fundamentals & Stewardship Workshop This one day course will introduce participants conventional on-site sewage treatment systems, how they work, and site considerations and limitations, including soils. It will also cover operation and maintenance for on-site systems, inspection of existing systems and potential health and enviromental impacts of malfunctioning systems.


Exploring New Options in Leaching Bed Design under the 2012 Ontario Building Code In January 2014 Ontario will be allowing two new leaching bed options for use with Level IV treatment technologies.  These are the first two new systems introduced since the OBC took over in 1997.  This course will outline the design requirements for these two new options, compare them with the existing options, including area beds under BMEC authorizations, and provide practical hands on design experience with these new systems.
Wastewater Basics This one day course will introduce designers, installers, inspectors and other on-site practitioners to basic wastewater treatment terminology, processes, and technologies. The course will also cover sampling methodologies and interpretation of the results. This is a general wastewater course but where possible connections to on-site wastewater treatment processes and components will be made.


Agricultural Wastewater Courses 
Milking Centre Washwater Treatment and Disposal One day course addressing the problem of milking centre washwater disposal. Geared to contractors, consultants and regulators, the course provides detailed design information on environmentally sound and affordable alternatives to managing milking centre washwaters.
Agricultural Wastewater Treatment A course covering alternative manure management options including: composting, anaerobic digestion, aeration, separation and constructed wetlands.
Septage and Biosolids Management in Ontario This ½ day workshop will address septage and biosolids management options in Ontario. The course will provide an overview of regulations, public perceptions, land application and treatment options.The technologies that will be discussed include:
• Co-treatment at municipal wastewater treatment plant
• Lime stabilization
• Lagoon storage
• Drying beds / Reed beds
• Anaerobic and Aerobic digestion
• Land application
Advances in Manure Management his ½ day workshop will discuss manure treatment technologies and on-farm environmental systems as well as their implications to the NMA, Source Water Protection and local bylaws. Technologies covered include:
• Anaerobic digestion (Is AD the future?)
• Composting (Is there a market?)
• Constructed wetlands (After 10 yrs of operation)
• Vegetated filters and buffer strips
Homeowner Courses
From Well to Faucet During this comprehensive 3-hour long workshop, you will learn:


  •  where our drinking water comes from
  •  different well types
  •  well regulations
  •  common water constituents and contaminants
  •  methods of treating well water
  •  well maintenance
  •  how to protect your well
Living with your Septic System System failure can be costly and inconvenient and carries important pollution risks that you should be aware of. This 4 hour workshop gives you the lowdown on:


  •  how your system works
  •  what maintenance your system requires
  •  How to identify system failure
  •  new systems on the market
Real Estate Professional Courses
Private Wells & Water Treatment Systems for Real Estate Professionals This 3 hour workshop provides you with the know-how you need when selling rural homes that have their own water supply wells and treatment systems.
On-Site Wastewater Systems for Real Estate Professionals This 3-hour workshop will provide you with the know-how you need when selling rural homes that have their own wastewater treatment and dispersal system (septic system. You will learn about the Ontario Building Code, how conventional on-site systems function and how to maintain them, alternative on-site treatment systems, legal issues relating to on-site systems and signs and symptoms of on-site wastewater system failure.

We are very pleased to have a partnership with the Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association. Members in good standing of OOWA are entitled to a 10% discount on listed course fees. Our courses have also been recognized for credit in the OOWA Registered Professional Program.