POWTS Conference

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Course Overview

Expand Your Knowledge of Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (POWTS)

Designing a reliable, new onsite sewerage system or trouble-shooting an existing system requires knowledge of soils, various contaminants, and the treatment processes that are available to remove them. Learn about why drainfields fail, causes of septic tank corrosion, and more. This course will provide valuable knowledge for providing reliable onsite wastewater solutions.

This event is sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS).

Continuing Education Credit

All attendees will earn 6 PDH (or 0.6 CEU) for attending. The course has also been approved for the following Wisconsin-specific credentials: JP, JPRS, MP, MPRS, POWTS Inspector, POWTS Maintainer, and CST.

Who Should Attend?

  • Wastewater engineers
  • Consulting designers
  • Soil Testers
  • Inspectors
  • Installers
  • POWTS Maintainers

Additional Information

Conference Website

When you register, we’ll email you a link to set up your access to the conference website. Download conference materials, print your certificate, view the agenda and speaker biographies, and more. You'll also be able to submit Wisconsin license information via the website.  Presentation handouts will be posted to the website during the week before the conference in printable pdf format. Printed presentations will not be provided at the conference.

Course Outline

Wednesday, February 26

8 a.m.  Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 p.m.  Opening General Session
(Combined with WI Building Code Refresher Conference)

Welcome and Announcements
Joy Altwies, Ph.D., PE, Program Director, University of Wisconsin-Madison

9:00 a.m.  Basic Soil Science as it Relates to Wastewater Treatment
Jeffrey Hammes - State of Wisconsin Certified Professional Soil Scientist

10:30 Break

10:45 Septic Tank Corrosion
Daniel Keymer - Associate Professor of Soil and Waste Resources at UW-Stevens Point
Kevin Stange - Sheboygan County Code and Zoning Administrator

The results of a study involving several sites in Sheboygan County with existing septic tank corrosion problems are presented, along with the remedial measures that were implemented. 

12:15 p.m.  Buffet Lunch in the Main Hall
(Combined with WI Building Code Refresher)

1:00 p.m.  Southwest Wisconsin Groundwater and Geology Study
Ken Bradbury - Director and State Geologist, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey

The SWIGG study tested water from hundreds of wells in Grant, Iowa, and Lafayette Counties to determine whether drinking water contamination issues exist, and if so, what is causing the contamination (specifically as related to potential contamination from nitrate and microbiological contaminants).

1:45 Soil Testing for Difficult Sites
Jeffrey Hammes - State of Wisconsin Certified Professional Soil Scientist

2:30 Break

2:45 Why Drainfields Fail
Jeffrey Hammes - State of Wisconsin Certified Professional Soil Scientist                                         

3:30 Roundtable Discussion
Speakers and DSPS staff panel discussion with audience questions

4:00 p.m.  Adjourn


Kenneth Bradbury

Kenneth Bradbury PhD is program leader for water and environmental programs at the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, University of Wisconsin–Extension. His areas of interest include wellhead protection, effects of unsewered subdivisions on groundwater, hydrogeology of fractured rocks, and assessing the movement of chemical and microbial contaminants through aquitards. Dr. Bradbury is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and is advisor to the editor-in-chief of the journal Groundwater. He earned his Bachelors degree in Geology at Ohio Wesleyan University and earned his PhD degree in Hydrogeology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jeffrey Hammes

Jeff Hammes is a Professional Soil Scientist and Certified Designer in Wisconsin. He has owned and operated “Hammes Soil Testing and Design” since 1977. Currently he is an appointed member to the DSPS POWTS Technical Advisory Committee. He has been a guest lecturer in soil science for the Biological System and Engineering Dept. at the University of Wisconsin – Madison for over 21 years.  He also received his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the University of Wisconsin.

Daniel Keymer

Daniel Keymer is an Associate Professor of Soil and Waste Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  He received a bachelors degree in Environmental Engineering from UW-Madison and graduate degrees from Stanford University.  His research investigates the role of microorganisms in natural and engineered environments.   

Kevin Stange

Kevin Stange is a Sheboygan County Code and Zoning Administrator employed with Sheboygan County for the past 25 years with primary responsibility administering the POWTS (private onsite wastewater treatment system) program. Prior to working at the County, Kevin had the opportunity to pump septic and dose tanks and worked with an excavation firm installing septic systems.

Upcoming dates (0)

Take this course when it’s offered next!

Program Director

Joy Altwies