2016/01 January Onsite Wastewater Unit Newsletter
This information is provided by the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy to assist the public and regulated community.
Form #: WAT235 Newsletter Revised: 4/28/16
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225 KB 12016JAN_final_corrected.pdf

Onsite Unit, Wastewater Section, Water Quality Division

Suite 400, The Atrium, 1200 N Street,
PO Box 98922
Lincoln NE 68509-8922
Phone (402) 471-4285 - Fax (402) 471-2909
Web Site:-
Report a Problem:
Onsite Program email:

2016 Certification Renewals
As of January 13, 2016, 400 certified professionals have successfully renewed their certification. If the Department did not receive your application for renewal, which included the renewal fee and record of professional development hours prior to December 31, 2015, your certification has expired and you are no longer certified to work on onsite wastewater systems. You may late renew your expired certification within 60 days of December 31, 2016 by submitting to the Department a completed application for onsite certificate renewal, record of professional development hours, certificate renewal fee, and a $50 late renewal fee. The renewal information must be received by the Department no later than February 29, 2016. Once the 60 day late renewal period has expired, in order to obtain certification the individual must submit an application for examination including the application fee and exam fee for each category and pass the examination in each category desired. The PDH requirement must have been completed prior to December 31, 2015 to late renew.
2016 Onsite Certification Exams
Onsite certification exams have been scheduled for the following dates/locations. Pre-registration is required – no walk-ins allowed. To register for an exam, submit an application for certification by exam with the certification fee and exam fee(s) and a citizenship attestation form if you have not previously submitted one to the Department. All applications received less than five (5) days prior to the scheduled exam date may be held for the next scheduled exam.
January 21, 2016 – Scottsbluff
February 11, 21016 – Kearney (NOWWA Conference)
March 9, 2016 – Norfolk
March 30, 2016 – Chadron
April 14, 2016 – North Platte
April 22, 2016 – Lincoln
May 12, 2016 – Holdrege
June 16, 2016 – Scottsbluff
July 21, 2016 - Lincoln
August 10, 2016 – Norfolk
September 22, 2016 – Holdrege
October 21, 2016 – North Platte
November 16, 2016 – Lincoln

Please check the NDEE website for current information (go to dee.ne.gov and select “Licenses & Certification” then “Onsite Wastewater Program (septic systems, private lagoons)” then “Schedule of Exams”).
Programs Approved for Professional Development Hours (PDH)
Approved programs are listed on NDEE’s website. The following programs have been approved for PDH at the time of this newsletter. Continue to check the website for future approvals.
February 9 to 11, 2016 NOWWA Annual Convention in Kearney
February 17, 2016WWETT show in Indianapolis Indiana
February 19, 2016Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors show in Lincoln

OWAC Committee Representation
The Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment System Advisory Committee (commonly referred to as the OWAC Committee) is an eleven member committee that advises the Department on matters related to Title 124 and the onsite wastewater industry in Nebraska. Of the eleven committee members, five are appointed by the Director of NDEE, who are Certified Professionals in onsite wastewater treatment. Committee members serve two four year terms, and the Committee typically meets four times per year. The terms of two Certified Professional members of the Committee are concluding this year: Julie Southwick in January 2016, and Lou Benscoter in April 2016. In addition, Troy Huffman, the DHHS representative on the Committee, has left his position with that Department, so we will be looking to DHHS for a replacement for his position on the Committee. Thank you to Troy for his service to the OWAC Committee, and his commitment to water quality in Nebraska!

If you are interested in serving on the OWAC Committee, please contact Mark Bauer at 402-471-8283, or mark.bauer@nebraska.gov for further details. We have received interest from a number of individuals so far, and will be confirming their availability as candidates in the next few weeks. A deadline of February 12, 2016 has been established for all individuals who are interested in serving on the OWAC Committee to contact the Department with their information.
Percolation Test Information
Starting in calendar year 2016, the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) Onsite Wastewater Unit is interested in working more closely with the Onsite Professionals to provide information that can refine and improve percolation test data. One means of doing this is to make available information from the US Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) Soil Survey Program. Nebraska is fortunate to have complete coverage of detailed soil survey information across the state. This information includes data for every soil on percolation rates (also known as permeability or saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat)).

The attached map is developed from the USDA detailed soil map data for percolation rates and are grouped into NDEE percolation classes. This data is the most detailed soil information and covers every acre in the state. Nebraska counties are also displayed. The map divides the state into expected zones based on the percolation data averaged from depths of 24 to 48 inches. Regions of the state are broken into the following ranges: 0-5, 5-10, 10-20, 20-30, 30-40, 40-50 and > 60 minutes per inch.

This data can be an excellent guide in helping to refine percolation data. Percolation data that is collected following prescribed guidelines, including proper presaturation, should not vary greatly from these ranges.

This information is available on-line, on the USDA-NRCS Web Soil Survey web site. The link for the web site is: http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/HomePage.htm. Click on the “START WSS” button, and a new page will pop up, which shows a map of the contiguous 48 states. You can zoom in on the map to your area of interest, or search by address, County and State, property legal description, or latitude/longitude, in order to find detailed soils information for the site you are working at. Remember to convert the Ksat values (saturated hydraulic conductivity), listed in the soil survey data in units of micrometers per second, to comparable percolation rate data in units of minutes per inch. To convert the Ksat values, take the inverse of the value, and multiply by 423.3. In other words:
(Perc. Rate, min/inch) = (1 / Ksat, µm/sec) x (423.3)
More information on the USDA-NRCS Soil Survey data will be presented by NDEE staff at the 2016 Nebraska Water Industries Convention & Trade Show, in Kearney on February 9th thru 11th. See you there!