What got you started in the onsite and decentralized wastewater industry?
I completed my undergrad in Water Resources Engineering at the University of Guelph and was originally introduced to the industry through a co-op program. I completed an 8-month co-op placement with the WSP Aurora office and have been involved ever since. The onsite sewage industry interested me initially due to the troubling statistic that 2.5 billion people in the world do not have adequate access to sanitation. I’ve also grown to understand the local human health and environmental significance here in Ontario.
Give us one reason/secret for your success.
The most prevalent reason for my success would be the positive impact of the mentoring I received from the intermediate and senior technical staff I have worked with at WSP. By learning the work habits, writing techniques, and perspectives of these experienced professionals I now know what it takes to be successful. I’m fortunate to be a part of a team environment that encourages personal growth and career development. The guidance provided by my team members has been essential to my career.
Where do you see the onsite and decentralized industry going?
It appears that the onsite industry may be slowed for development on systems greater than 10,000 L/day due to the growing complexity and stringency of ECAs. The ageing infrastructure for the seasonal and rural residential systems may become more a larger issue in the coming years as well. I believe the education of property owners regarding system lifespan and maintenance will also be a critical item to ensure future growth in the industry.
What can the onsite and decentralized industry do to improve?
The private onsite industry can collaborate with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to improve the ECA application and approvals process, shortening the overall approval time and eliminating redundancies wherever possible. The onsite industry could also play a role in awareness and outreach for property owners to detail the average lifespan of disposal systems and outline the human health and environmental risks to poorly maintained systems.