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  • Pumper certification...

    Hey you pumpers, do any of you have to carry and kind of certification with continuing education to be able to work?

    In Oregon we have to have special certifications for Operations and Maintenance and for Installers, but nothing for Pumpers.

    It's my opinion that as Pumpers we need to be educated and continue to be educated in the biology of septic systems. We are the first ones to be able to catch a problem, but if we don't know what we are looking at, then how can we save the system? How can we educate our customers? How can we protect the environment?

    If any of you do have to have certification or continuing education, I'd like to know about it as I'm going to push for this in Oregon and I'd like to know some details about your program.

    Thanks,

    Trent
    www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

  • #2
    Re: Pumper certification...

    In wisconsin you to have 1600 hours and a Master Operator lic to start a pumping company. The master operator is a new lic for wisconsin. Every company must have a Master operation who is the operator in charge of that companys pumping. New drivers need to lic with the DNR for a period of one year. After that year you need to pass a test. This is so all drivers have a basic understanding of the laws and basic system understanding. Then after 1600 hours you can take the master operator test. Every three years you need 16 hours of approved upgrade training. Depending on the lic you hold you need classes that are targeted for that lic. These classes are taught by Wisconsin Liquid Waste Haulers or the DNR. The pumper show has classes approved by the DNR also. It makes it harder to start a pumping company. You cant just buy a truck and put an add in the book.

    Trent look up Wisconsin Liquid Waste Haulers there web site might be helpful. Wisconsin DNR NR113 is online too. Getting system service mandated by state makes work. It also makes it a rat race. Send me a pm it might be easier to explain over the phone.
    Last edited by DANE; 04-01-2011, 10:47 AM.

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    • #3
      Re: Pumper certification...

      Trent I mailed you stuff for Wisconsin. Pretty dry reading. Hope it helps.

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      • #4
        Re: Pumper certification...

        Dane, thank you! I'll dig into it and see how it all works. This has become my mission for my 3 year stint on the O2WA board.
        www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

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        • #5
          Re: Pumper certification...

          I'm with you, Trent, I wish Idaho had some sort of certification, and it needs to be for EVERY OPERATOR, not just the owner of the business.

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          • #6
            Re: Pumper certification...

            Originally posted by SewerRat View Post
            I'm with you, Trent, I wish Idaho had some sort of certification, and it needs to be for EVERY OPERATOR, not just the owner of the business.

            Well I have 3 years as a board member to get this done. It looks like I'm going to be on the rules advisory commitee for Oregon DEQ as well. The President of our association wants me there. I suppose while I'm there I might try to push for mandatory risers on Distribution/Drop boxes and inspection ports for drainfields.

            I'd say since you now have a state organization, start going to the meetings. Show your interest and let your voice be heard. You may just wind up on the board too. I hope you do, this industry needs people like you to help guide it to a better tomorrow. We need to build sustainability into our systems. In order to do that we have to be able to monitor them. Get on the band wagon, lets fight the good fight!
            www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

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            • #7
              Re: Pumper certification...

              Originally posted by Trent2 View Post
              Well I have 3 years as a board member to get this done. It looks like I'm going to be on the rules advisory commitee for Oregon DEQ as well. The President of our association wants me there. I suppose while I'm there I might try to push for mandatory risers on Distribution/Drop boxes and inspection ports for drainfields.

              I'd say since you now have a state organization, start going to the meetings. Show your interest and let your voice be heard. You may just wind up on the board too. I hope you do, this industry needs people like you to help guide it to a better tomorrow. We need to build sustainability into our systems. In order to do that we have to be able to monitor them. Get on the band wagon, lets fight the good fight!
              Of course we have installer licensing requirements, but all it has to be is someone from the company go study and take the test, and as long as that license gets renewed every year no one ever checks up on them. So you have a guy in the 70's when they first started regulating who got his license, and handed the business to his son who handed the business to his son. Now we have a licensed company whose owner may or may not have ever taken the test, and a bunch of potheads in the trench who don't have a clue how to dig to grade or even how to set up a laser, installing systems and calling themselves "experts." I may be exaggerating, of course, but you get the point. We did a repair last summer on a system that was only 3 years old, our largest competitor's crew had installed the pipe with a belly in it, when we were trying to determine the problem we found the sag in the pipe, then dug up the drainfield lines at each end and in the center. From the bottom of the belly to the highest point in the field the pipe had an 8" rise. Terrible work!

              That's why I think pumpers and installers need certification for every operator.

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              • #8
                Re: Pumper certification...

                Our certifications require the holder to have continuing education. I can't remember how many hours exactly but there is plenty of oportunity to get them during the 3 year period your cert is good for.

                The O2WA's annual conference is where most of the credits come from and that is one of the functions of the association. Ideally that's the kind of set up that Idaho should look into. It works pretty well and the conference makes money for the association.

                Our regs require one certified operator to be employed full time with the licenced company. The certified operator puts his/her signiature on the install or O&M process that takes place on the job.

                I'm kind of rambling this morning but I hope you get the idea from what I've said. I hope you can get something going in Idaho to better your situation and make those poor operators accountable.
                www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

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                • #9
                  Re: Pumper certification...

                  Originally posted by Trent2 View Post
                  Our certifications require the holder to have continuing education. I can't remember how many hours exactly but there is plenty of oportunity to get them during the 3 year period your cert is good for.

                  The O2WA's annual conference is where most of the credits come from and that is one of the functions of the association. Ideally that's the kind of set up that Idaho should look into. It works pretty well and the conference makes money for the association.

                  Our regs require one certified operator to be employed full time with the licenced company. The certified operator puts his/her signiature on the install or O&M process that takes place on the job.

                  I'm kind of rambling this morning but I hope you get the idea from what I've said. I hope you can get something going in Idaho to better your situation and make those poor operators accountable.
                  Ya, we do continuing ed too but its attached to the company not the operator, like for instance my brother works under my license and he goes to continuing ed and gets a card for it even though he's never tested. Too many loose ends. To top it all off there is no way for the State to revoke a license.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Pumper certification...

                    I hope they never require classes here. Why should I want some one to go in and take a class to learn the in's and outs of septics? Thats my job and my company's nich.

                    People do a bad job out of lazyness or desire. Every regulation looked into here is always moves towards opening up the market to others (who see it as easy money) and forcing people into classes.

                    There is not that much to learn about cleaning septics. Empty the tank.
                    Teaching customers to maintain there septic and stay out of trouble, is what seperates the busy companies from the slow.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Pumper certification...

                      Originally posted by Knight1 View Post
                      I hope they never require classes here. Why should I want some one to go in and take a class to learn the in's and outs of septics? Thats my job and my company's nich.

                      People do a bad job out of lazyness or desire. Every regulation looked into here is always moves towards opening up the market to others (who see it as easy money) and forcing people into classes.

                      There is not that much to learn about cleaning septics. Empty the tank.
                      Teaching customers to maintain there septic and stay out of trouble, is what seperates the busy companies from the slow.
                      It may benefit you to have shoddy competitors out there but it does nothing for the welfare of the general pubilic using said companies, it does nothing to protect the environment including the water you may be drinking and it makes our industry look like a bunch of morons.

                      I'd rather have educated competitors that know how to properly maintain a septic system and how to educate thier customer and most importantly, KNOW HOW MUCH THEY SHOULD CHARGE FOR SAID SERVICE. Having some dirtbag pumper undercharging by $30, $40, $50 bucks or more does nothing to better YOUR bottom line.
                      www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

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                      • #12
                        Re: Pumper certification...

                        I guess my point is all of that is illegal. The people who do it know it is illegal. The regulators know it happens. I just do not see how sitting in mantory training classes is going to stop it. Resources should be spent on stoping it not on teaching why it is wrong. In fact the few people who get caught get a small fine and a warning. Why not pull thier permit to work?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Pumper certification...

                          Originally posted by Knight1 View Post
                          I guess my point is all of that is illegal. The people who do it know it is illegal. The regulators know it happens. I just do not see how sitting in mantory training classes is going to stop it. Resources should be spent on stoping it not on teaching why it is wrong. In fact the few people who get caught get a small fine and a warning. Why not pull thier permit to work?

                          I agree that the laws are too lax on those type of people. We've got a couple here in Oregon that need to be put away for life. I too, wish that we could do something about them and I'll bring it up at the advisory meetings.

                          What certification will do is bring the players that don't care to better themselves or don't know how to, up to the level that the rest of us are. I'm sure there will be a bunch of them who will be spitting mad, but it will make their business stronger and the industry better and that's what I'm after.
                          www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

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                          • #14
                            Re: Pumper certification...

                            That is a good goal.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Pumper certification...

                              The main problem with enforcement in Oregon is all of the money from DEQ's enforcement program goes to the general fund for the state. Their general budget does not have funding in it for enforcement either. That leaves them with no resources to go after the bad guys. Trying to get any of that money back in this economy will be next to, if not impossible.
                              www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

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