IOWPA News, Winter 2020

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I WPA News

IOWPA Field Day 2020

Full recap with photos!

Winter 2020 Quarterly publication of Indiana Onsite Wastewater Professionals Association


Property Lines Site Preparation Demo Day Results New Member Highlight











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IOWPA News Winter 2020

In this issue . . .

IOWPA News is the official publication of the Indiana Onsite Wastewater Professionals Association, Inc. (IOWPA) and is published quarterly.


Indiana Onsite Wastewater Professionals Association 7915 S. Emerson Avenue, Suite 132 Indianapolis, IN 46237 Phone: 317-965-1859 • Fax: 317-204-8763 PUBLISHER Joan Brown, Interim Executive Director 317-965-1859 EDITOR AND AD SALES Mary Breidenbach, Cumulus Design 317-757-8634 • Advertising Rates: Rate sheet available online at or by contacting Mary Breidenbach at 317-757-8634 • Reprint Permission: Please email IOWPA to request permission to reprint. Direct your email to and include the title of the article and publication date. Views expressed in articles or editorials do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the association or its directors, but are those of the writer. Trade names used in articles are for identification only. No discrimination is intended toward similar products and IOWPA does not endorse the use of the products mentioned. Subscriptions: Subscription is included with IOWPA membership. Nonmembers: $20.00 per year (4 issues per year).

p. 6

6 Field Day 2020 Recap by Greg Inman, Field Day Chair

8 Property Lines

by Lisa Zeiner, Septic Consultant

10 Site Preparation Demo Day Results

p. 8

by L.A. Brown, L.A. Brown Co.

12 New Member Highlight: Jonathan Monday,

AA Septic Services Co.

For questions regarding subscriptions, please call IOWPA at 317-965-1859.

p. 12

Plus More!

On the cover:

Onsite of the IOWPA Field Day at Camp Millhouse in South Bend, Indiana. Read the full recap of the event on page 6! Photo courtesy of Brett Davis, St. Joseph Co. Health Department.


President’s Message



Where Are They Now? Todd Trinkle

Back Cover Time to Renew Your IOWPA Membership

Three IOWPA Reps Needed for IEHA Wastewater Management Committee

2021 IOWPA Board Nominations and Elections


Dear IOWPA Members, I want to start out by thank everyone for granting me the privilege to have served IOWPA as president this year as well as all the years I served as a board member. It has been an honor.

Karl M. Glaze

Even with the challenges this year has brought we have continued to grow. We have had continued growth in membership as well as in the number of certified professionals. We have also worked as an organization to develop new and better ways to share knowledge and provide educational opportunities in the state. I would like to thank everyone that worked so hard to do this.

We were able to hold our field day this year despite all the challenges presented by current conditions. I would like to thank everyone who donated their time and materials to get this project done. The field day wouldn’t have been possible without you. The board continues to work on how to better serve both our membership and our industry. We are exploring new ways to provide training and networking opportunities, to strengthen relationships with local health departments, and to keep up-to-date with state requirements. We also continue to work on keeping IOWPA moving forward so that it can continue going strong well into the future. We will be starting the new year off with a new permanent Executive Director to give us support and guidance as we move forward. I would like to thank Joan Brown, who has served as our Interim Executive Director since May, for all the hard work and time she has put into getting us to this point. Without her help we wouldn’t be where we are today. We all will miss the opportunity to gather at the conference in 2021, but look forward to other ways of learning from vendors, manufacturers, and each other. While we will have our board elections and a virtual annual meeting in January 2021, hopefully we will get to meet in person again in 2022. Thank you to everyone who works so hard to keep IOWPA such a great organization. Sincerely, Karl M. Glaze, IOWPA 2020 President Daviess County Health Department

ISDH — Now IDOH On Monday, August 17, 2020, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) implemented a new name and logo as part of their rebranding campaign. The Indiana State Department of Health is now Indiana Department of Health (IDOH). Below is their attractive new logo! • Ph: 317-965-1859

President Karl M. Glaze (2021) Daviess County Health Department 812-254-8674 Treasurer Gary Steinhardt (2023) Purdue University, Dept. of Agronomy 765-494-8063 Vice President Jon Houseknecht (2022) Sunset Septic & Excavation, Inc 219-778-8100 Secretary Kyle Nix (2021) S&M Nix Enterprises, LLC 812-347-2920 Interim Executive Director Joan Brown 7915 S. Emerson Ave., Suite 132 Indianapolis, IN 46237 317-965-1859; Fax: 317-204-8763

Board of Directors Greg Inman (2023) Infiltrator Water Technologies 800-896-9565

Looking to earn CEUs?

NOWRA Offers Online Options IOWPA is a member of NOWRA — and that has benefits for you! If you’re looking for a convenient way to earn CEUs and increase your industry knowledge, check out NOWRA A to Z, a four-course series already approved for IOWPA members that offers 8 CEUs. You can find the course at under the Online Education tab.


2020 IOWPA Officers

Andrew McAfee (2022) L.A. Brown Company 260-824-5754 Jonathan Monday (2021) AA Septic Service 317-539-7304 Randy Staley (2021) Staley’s Soil Service, Inc. 812-939-2752 Alice Quinn (2023) Indiana Department of Health 317-233-7179




Todd Trinkle

December 31, 2020

IOWPA Membership Renewal Deadline Two ways to renew: • Online at – or – • Mail a check to IOWPA, 7915 S Emerson Ave, Suite 132, Indianapolis, IN 46237

January 2021 • Date TBA

IOWPA Annual Meeting In lieu of the IOWPA Annual conference we will hold a virtual Annual Meeting. Watch your email and the IOWPA website for details.

May 3-6, 2021

WWETT Show 2021 Rescheduled Conference: May 3 - 5 Marketplace: May 4 - 5 Indianapolis • After discussions with industry peers and partners, the WWETT Show team made the decision to postpone the event to May of 2021. This decision was done with their community’s best interest in mind.

Many members today may not know Todd as he was last involved with IOWPA seventeen years ago. But Todd’s involvement, as you will learn, had a lasting impact on the association and its members.

While he says he was not a founding member, he was very close to being one. “I was friends with the group who started IOWPA and when they learned I had experience working on a non-profit board through my church and had a good understanding of how a board functions, they asked me to help,” recalled Todd. So in the early years of IOWPA Trinkle became the first secretary of IOWPA and held that position for many years. During this time he not only recorded the meetings but also helped the young non-profit board get up and running in all the right ways. After holding that position for a long time, Todd served as IOWPA’s vice-president and then president. Todd recalled, “The one thing I’m most proud of during my time as president was the creation of the Ralph Reed Memorial Scholarship.” Ralph Reed who was a founding member of IOWPA and good friend of Todd’s, passed away unexpectedly. “Ralph’s death really hit all of us hard and the board wanted to remember our friend who did so much for the association. I came up with the idea of starting a scholarship to honor him and everyone seemed to like the idea.” Todd then spoke with Ralph’s son, Ernie, (Reed Excavating & Septic Services, Inc.) about the board’s desire to start a college scholarship for dependents of an IOWPA member. “Ernie loved the idea and so we started the Ralph Reed Memorial Scholarship which I understand is still going.” In 2020 the scholarship presented three scholarships to recipients Conner Hack, Adriann Shepherd, and Emma Stallings. Todd left IOWPA in 2003 when his job no longer involved onsite wastewater. Currently, Todd works in the water resources department of the Lochmueller Group, a regional engineering, planning, and environmental firm with an emphasis on infrastructure. In this position Todd oversees the permitting for all the water projects — drinking water, wastewater treatment plants, and water treatment. He also writes all the reports for the engineers. Todd shared, ”turns out engineers don’t like to write, and they found out I do.” Sounds like others continue to value Todd’s writing abilities!

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Field Day 2020 Recap Greg Inman, Filed Day Committee Chair

Photos courtesy Brett Davis and Greg Inman

The 2020 IOWPA Field Day on October 27, 2020 was a huge accomplishment for IOWPA and it couldn’t have been done without the support of great volunteers and an incredible amount of donations for the project. Camp Millhouse, which provides a safe, traditional camp experience to individuals with special needs, was well-deserving of being chosen by IOWPA to be our Field Day project. This project was no small task. We had an estimated $30,000 in material and cash donations and a large group of volunteers. The Field Day Committee decided to split the event into three days with the third day being the actual Field Day for volunteers to come see and learn from the event. The first two days were spent setting three 2,000-gallon septic tanks, one 2,000-gallon dose tank, and one 1,500-gallon grease trap. As with any project came hurdles, such as locating existing utilities, septic tanks, and the weather. These hurdles were not too much to overcome with a few long days, a great team of volunteers, and a site with well-drained soils. The work completed on Monday and Tuesday helped reduce the amount of work left for Wednesday’s Field Day event. On Wednesday we focused on the installation of the absorption field, sewer lines, plus a morning and afternoon training session on pumps, floats, and control panels. These events are always a good opportunity to help members in our community but are also a great opportunity to visit and learn from our peers. Again, thank you to all involved who made this a successful project. We want to give a shot out to all the health departments that came out to help over the three days. We couldn’t have accomplished this without you. These include: • Brett Davis and his whole crew, St. Joseph County Health Department • Dave Ortel, Indiana Department of Health (who kept us on track!) • The whole crew from Marshall County Health Department

THANKS TO ALL THE CONTRACTORS who pitched in and got the job done! Frank Baskovic, Bass Septic & Sewer Inc. Tom Berens, T & D Excavating Inc L.A. Brown, L.A. Brown Co. Zak Cottrell, T & D Excavating Inc Brett Davis, St. Joseph Co. Health Dept. Jacob Hall, Bass Septic & Sewer Inc. Manass Hochstetler, Advanced Home Inspections Jim Hoffman, Watermark Cory Houseknecht, Sunset Septic & Excavation Jon Houseknecht, Sunset Septic & Excavation Ben Martin, B & E Excavating and his son Andrew McAfee, L.A. Brown Co. Dennis Miller, Deep Rooted Excavating Gary Miller, Northwest Excavating Wilbur Miller, Northwest Excavating David Ortel, Indiana Dept. of Health Joe Rakoczy, Indiana Dept. of Health Doug Williamson, Indiana Dept. of Health

6 • Ph: 317-965-1859

What an amazing experience we have had with all of the companies involved in the new septic system being installed at Camp Millhouse. This project would not have been possible without the teamwork that IOWPA provided through their annual field day. We are so grateful to have been chosen and to have had the opportunity to meet and work with a group of such giving, compassionate people. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Diana and Melissa, Camp Millhouse




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Property Lines Lisa Zeiner, Septic Consultant Per Rule 410 IAC 6-8.3, an on-site system must be at least 5 feet from all property lines. The septic contractor or septic designer should verify the location of the property when designing and installing the system. How are property lines determined? The easiest, but most expensive, is having a land surveyor perform a boundary or retracement survey. Other options to determine property lines are: • Reading and deciphering the legal description • Using the subdivision plat if the property is part of a recorded subdivision • Using the county’s GIS map — not as accurate as the other options. This is because the scale of the aerial is off +/- 2 to 3 feet. What happens if the property lines are not located by the above means, or at all? The system could cross the property line or it may not be on the property at all. The following examples provide actual cases where taking a property owner’s word on the location of the property have failed. 1. Property ‘A’ had a system installed based on where the owner believed the property lines were located. Property ‘B’ (the nextdoor neighbor) during remodeling of the dwelling found several issues with the

septic system. Property ‘B’ had a survey done and a new septic system approved for installation. During the installation of the subsurface drain, the septic installer inadvertently discovered the soil absorption field for Property ‘A’. The county health department conducted a dye test on Property ‘A’. Dye surfaced in the subsurface drain trench confirmed the Property ‘A’ soil absorption field crossed the property line. 2. A property owner submitted a septic plan to the local health department. Upon reviewing the plan, the health department discovered that the dwelling was on Lot #2 of a subdivision, while the on-site system was on Lot #3 of the subdivision. The local health department had requested a copy of the recorded subdivision plat. By doing so, they resolved a future problem for Lot #3. The option for the owner of Lot #2 was to either move the system, so it was on Lot #2 with the dwelling or combine Lots #2 and #3 into one parcel, which required re-platting of the subdivision. Per Rule 410 IAC 6-8.3 the on-site septic system must be on the same property as the dwelling that the waste is coming from.

3. Property owner owns two lots in a subdivision. Lot #1 is part of a conservation area that is not buildable, as per the recorded plat. Lot #2 is a buildable lot with an existing barn. The owner wants to build a three bedroom dwelling. The septic designer listed the distance the septic was from the property lines. However, the local health department realized that Lot #2 was a 3.31-acre parcel, not a 30-acre parcel as the septic design showed. The 30-acre parcel of ground is the unbuildable parcel within the conservation area. Therefore, nothing can be constructed, including the septic system, on this parcel. The location of the property lines is an important part of designing the septic system and determining the proper location for the system. Do not overlook property lines. They could save a lot of time and money in the long run.

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Site Preparation Demo Day Results L.A. Brown, L.A. Brown Co. The idea for Demo Day came to me while attending the 2020 IOWPA Conference’s Site Preparation session. That day I heard attendees express different ways and results in prepping sites for sand line systems. It made me think we needed to try out these different ways in person and try to decide what worked best.

A View of Demo Day from a Soil Scientist Gary Steinhardt, Purdue Extension

Caption ??

Brett Ricker from Huntington Co. Health Department said it best that day when he asked, “How can a regulator tell an installer he is doing it wrong if he doesn’t know for sure what is right?” Brett also said that he had been on three sites with the same installer, using the same tillage tool, and there were three different results. This motivated me to start formulating a plan to demonstrate the real world variables and issues that installers face when prepping sites. The hay field on my farm seemed like the perfect spot for a demonstration since we could try different things without “screwing up” a septic site. With everything in place I hosted the first Demo Day for Site Preparation on August 14, 2020 in Bluffton, Indiana. Demo Day

We were blessed with a warm sunny day and nearly 100 people from all sectors of the onsite industry came. Twelve soil scientists, four designer/engineers, many personnel from various health departments, and of course, lots of installers arrived bright and early to learn and to share in the field. Some had travelled 100+ miles to be there. While local equipment companies dropped off mini excavators and skid steer loaders for us to use, several installers brought their machines and tillage tools, too. Also a local sand supplier had donated two truckloads of Spec 23 sand for Dick Blazer’s demonstration. Findings

Soil Pit: We started the day by digging a soil pit on the north end of the field. Carl Walker, a soil scientist, did an excellent job of briefly describing the soil profile and explaining what tillage does to soil. Excess Vegetation Removal: Since excess vegetation removal is talked about in the Rule, I wanted to include a demonstration of how best to remove the vegetation. Weeks before the event I laid out the hay field in a grid. We left some of the grass 16” tall, mowed some down to 6”, and mowed another strip down as low as possible with a lawn mower. The grids were laid out so that the tillage tools would pass through the different areas and we could observe how the soil-sand interface would look. There was a lot of discussion about how to remove vegetation without scalping the surface. Dick Blazers “power rake” (a Harley rake) did the best job of removing all of the grass without disturbing the surface. It was agreed that the more vegetation you removed the better the tillage job was. Tilling the Soil: - Moldboard Plow: We started the tillage demonstration by plowing with a two-bottom moldboard plow. It became obvious very quickly that using the moldboard plow in heavy sod presented challenges. The soil ‘stood on edge’ with the top one foot higher than undisturbed ground. The designers in attendance immediately questioned how they could correctly determine the elevation of the pipes in the bed with that much elevation change. A discussion followed about where the installer would take his elevation shot with so much variation. The soil scientists pointed out the moldboard plow was the reason so many Article continues on page 12

10 • Ph: 317-965-1859

IOWPA sponsored a very beneficial Demo Day on August 14, 2020. Installers and soil scientists together got a chance to examine and discuss the effects of various strategies to remove vegetation and till the soil. For many of the participants it was their first opportunity to dig behind chisel and moldboard plows and examine how well the sand for the mound would weld to the existing surface. Soil scientists were able to examine soil properties and characteristics and discuss advantages and disadvantages. Highlights include: • Various techniques and implements were examined to remove vegetation at various grass heights. • It was readily apparent that past practices in farm management leading to soil compaction have a great impact on potential problems. • It was also clear that vegetation present when the soil was tilled had a major effect on the ability of almost any implement to blend the sand and original surface. • The moldboard plow had significant limitations in addition to the usual concerns about a plow pan that is not removed by tillage • Chisel plows are not at all the same. Each has characteristics that can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on circumstances. • Wide spacing may help with depth for example, but not be nearly as effective in disturbing soil that is too dense. The most beneficial part of the day for me was the opportunity to talk with onsite professionals from a variety of backgrounds about matters of mutual concern. We do not do enough of this. All of us have a wealth of experiences and it is helpful to others when we share what we have seen in our work. I hope we will have more of these kinds of programs where we share with one another.

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sites have a plow pan and felt that moldboard plows should not be used. All agreed that the moldboard plow was not the best tool to use for site prep. - Chisel Plow: Installers brought several variations of chisel plows — some were pull-type; others were mounted on skid loaders; and several were homemade. One custom-designed plow brought that day was designed for either the forward or backward direction. The shank spacing was a topic of lots of discussion. All of these tools did a decent job of roughing the surface. Soil scientists Joe Baker and Gary Steinhardt spaded out the soil after each tool made a pass and led a discussion about how well each tool worked as well as when it was good enough or required another pass. - Ripper on a Dozer: The Case dozer with a three-shank ripper on the back could go deeper with a single pass than tools on a skid steer. - Frost Tooth on an Excavator: The frost tooth worked very well to deep rip the sod. It could make multiple passes without getting on the area that had been ripped. We learned that how the operator used the tool made a difference in the results. Building a Presby Bed: After our catered lunch, Dick Blazer prepped an area and laid out a bed for a ‘short’ version of a Presby system. He wanted to show how to do it without getting on the sand with the machine. His Harley Rake did an amazing job of smoothing the cloddy dirt that he used for cover. The most interesting part of the demonstration was when he drove over the top of the bed with his tracked skid loader. The pipes moved! Then we drove over the bed with a skid steer without tracks and the pipes did not move. Much discussion followed. Creating Compaction: We drove a loaded tri-axle dump truck over an area that had been watered down to simulate what happens when heavy equipment drives over the septic area. It only took one pass with the loaded dump truck to see the damage. We dug out the area to see how deep the compaction went. Several more passes were made with the truck to see if we could drive the compaction deeper. MY TAKE AWAY FROM THE DAY

By all accounts the Site Prep Demonstration Day was a huge success. As the day progressed, the installers seemed to be more comfortable with asking to try different things and to share different ways they do site prep. This was how I had hoped the day would be — a day where everyone could express their opinions and ideas without fear of being told they were wrong and where we could try things that might not work without compromising an actual septic site. “This is what IOWPA needs to do” was the comment most folks shared. I hope IOWPA will continue to have training days like this in the near future. 12 • Ph: 317-965-1859

New Member Highlight Jonathan Monday, AA Septic Service Co. When we spoke with Jonathan Monday he had recently finished his first year in business. So how did it go? Monday reported being pleasantly surprised and added, “It’s been a good year." Much of what made 2020 a AA Septic Service Team (left to right) good year was the result of Brent Buttery, Aaron Potter, Justin Brown the pandemic as well as the and Jonathan Monday. result of decisions he made when he took over the business. “With people having to stay home more this year, there was definitely an increase in pumping and cleaning requests,” recalled Monday. “Also our decision to integrate technology into our workflow when I purchased the business really helped us respond to the pandemic restrictions without missing a beat.” Early on Monday decided to make AA Septic Service’s workflow entirely cloud-based and all assets digitized. So when COVID-19 hit, the two people answering the phones already worked from home and dispatched work orders to technicians via the cloud with all the information they needed to go to the site. Technicians are also able to email or print receipts on the spot. “We discovered that our all digital platform made our transition to work under COVID restrictions virtually seamless,” explained Monday. After a career with a large excavation company, Jonathan purchased AA Septic Service Co. in September 2019 and soon thereafter became an IOWPA member to expand the company’s services to include installation. Now a certified installer, Monday just renewed his IOWPA membership and this year added memberships for two of his employees in hopes they become certified installers, too. In addition to pumping, AA Septic Service Co. began offering minor service and repairs this year and their first septic system installation is scheduled for 2021 (the project is currently being designed.) Jonathan continued, “We want to grow strategically. We’re not jumping at everything, but choosing work that’s best suited for our expertise. We want to continue to grow the business but most importantly, continue to provide excellent service to our original customers while we grow.” Because Monday was new to the industry, he reached out to IOWPA and attended board meetings to learn more about the association. “IOWPA has provided me the opportunity to grow deeper relations with peers in the organization. I’ve been able to ask questions, learn best practices, and have some good dialogue about the industry,” related Monday. His early interactions with IOWPA’s board landed him an invitation to temporarily fill the seat of a board member who couldn’t continue their service through year’s end. “Sitting on the board has really helped me understand the goals of the organization and focus on how we can achieve our long-term objectives,” said Monday. When asked if there was anything else he wanted to add before ending our call, Monday offered this as a closing… “Don’t know if my business stands out from others but I do think we can learn from each others processes.”

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INDIANA ONSITE WASTEWATER PROFESSIONALS ASSOCIATION 7915 S. Emerson Avenue, Suite 132 Indianapolis, IN 46237 Phone: 317-965-1859 • Fax: 317-204-8763

Time to Renew Your IOWPA Membership! Renewal deadline: December 31, 2020

Thanks to those of you who have already paid your dues for 2021. For 2021, dues will remain at the same – $75 for individual membership and $175 for corporate membership. We may have to increase soon – but not this year! Two ways to renew: • Renew online at – or – • Mail a check to IOWPA, 7915 S Emerson Ave, Suite 132, Indianapolis, IN 46237

Three IOWPA Reps Needed for IEHA Wastewater Management Committee The IEHA Wastewater Management Committee reserves three spots for IOWPA members. Meetings are being held virtually at this time. This is an important place for the IOWPA voice to be heard and we need to name our reps before mid-January. If you’re interested in representing our membership on this committee, please contact Karl Glaze at

2021 IOWPA Board Nominations and Election A big thank-you to everyone who took time to make thoughtful nominations for the 2021 IOWPA Board of Directors. In January, we’ll hold a virtual election to choose IOWPA’s leadership for 2021 and going forward. We’ll have the slate finalized by the time you are reading this and will share that list through email, so watch for that announcement. We want you to have some time to think about who you would most like to represent the interests of the membership. The election this year will be held online. The new board members will be announced at IOWPA’s 2021 Annual Meeting that will be held virtually in January. Please check your email and the IOWPA website for details.



IOWPA Seeks Chair Persons for Important 2021 Committees Each year IOWPA forms five committees to help with specific areas of our work. These committees are: Certification, Communications, Conference Planning, Field Day, and Scholarship. Once again we are looking for committee chair and members to fill these vital positions in 2021. Committee chairs do not need to be IOWPA board members and all IOWPA members are welcome to join committees that interest them. There’s plenty of important work to be done! Let us know you’re interested in serving— email us at In 2020 the committees were led by: • Alice Quinn, Certifications • Greg Inman, Field Day • Brian Payne, Communications • L.A. Brown, Scholarship • Julia Hayes, Conference Planning We’re so grateful for the work of all the committees this past year. Thank you!

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