|Action||General Review 2014|
|Comment Period||Ends 2/22/2017|
Soil Science and Onsite Wastewater Disposal
I have reached the conclusion that our elected officials, along with the stakeholders advising them, have made a critical error in the creation of this board. The issue of onsite wastewater disposal has become more important now than ever before in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The requirements to mitigate stormwater runoff on individual urban single family residences can only be accomplished onsite with wastewater disposal systems that utilize the natural soils as a receiving environment. Applying engineering practices instead of Soil Science has so far been an expensive failure.
This should be a golden era for Soil Science, both for those who can evaluate, test and design disposal systems and for those who can perform the actual installation and maintenance of the systems. But instead we have been inelegantly lumped in with wastewater treatment plant operators as if we are all Untouchables to be hidden away from the higher classes. As a Soil Science Professional, I have the utmost respect for the onsite wastewater disposal profession and its members. However their practices and ours are totally different and cannot be defined by a single set of regulations. It is absurd to have an installer and an evaluator take the exact same test for Licensing. It is just as absurd that a licensed Soil Scientist can no longer practice Soil Science in Virginia unless he takes a test to become an OSE. It is absurd and redundant to have a separate Operator classification since this has always been handled by the installers.
Based upon my review of the minutes of the past year of WWWOOSP meetings along with searches of the Parole Decisions for 2016 and the Offender Locator on the Virginia Dept. of Corrections website, it is apparent that the WWWOSP board's primary purpose is to create career paths for convicts. This may explains why the Board has shown no interest whatsoever in the concerns of the members of the Soil Science and Onsite Wastewater Disposal professions in how we are regulated.
The only viable solution will be to get our elected officials to amend the regulations. The installers need to be given their own specialty designation under the Contractors Board while the evaluators need to be moved to the Soil Scientist Board. Then this board can concentrate their full attention on filling our Wastewater Treatments Plants with parolees.