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Covid-19 and Onsite Wastewater

NOWRA, Onsite Wastewater and the Coronavirus Outbreak.
Resources You Can Use (information current as of 2/26/20)
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to escalate around the world and the US, NOWRA is providing up-to-date information to help you address the many ways this pandemic is affecting you and your organization. Please know that the safety of our members and the entire onsite wastewater community is our primary concern, but we also want to provide you with resources which will help you continue your business.

  • NOWRA’s staff is working primarily from home. To reach Executive Director Eric Casey, call 571-242-2571 or email to
  • The Legislative Fly-In scheduled for May 13 has been cancelled. It may be rescheduled later this year if circumstances permit
  • The 2020 Onsite Wastewater Mega-Conference is still scheduled to be held October 25-28 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton, VA. We are monitoring the situation and we will advise you if anything changes in that regard. We have extended the Call for Papers until May 15, 2020.
  • NOWRA is working with our online education technology provider to provide our State Affiliate organizations with the ability to conduct online webinars in the place of state specific training sessions.
  • For those needing continuing education credits NOWRA’s Online Learning Academy offers courses which may be available for credit in your state. Double check with your state or local regulator to determine if they will allow online courses for continuing education credit. NOWRA’s courses are pre-approved for continuing education credit in Delaware, Georgia, Indiana. Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oregon, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

            NOWRA’s Statement on Essential Employees – Stated briefly, if you live in a state which has imposed shelter-in-place orders or work restrictions, onsite wastewater businesses can continue to operate as part of our nation’s essential infrastructure.
            Department of Homeland Security guidance on critical infrastructure operations.
            California’s rules on who is eligible (relevant sections highlighted). While California’s list is unique to that state, it is a good guide to follow if your state has not yet released a list of essential businesses and workers.

Wastewater and Covid-19 – What Are the Risks? This document provides advice on what we do know and don’t know about the virus and how you can protect yourself and your employees
The Centers for Disease Control has put together a useful document for addressing Covid-19 in your business.
There are a number of good resources on safely handling wastewater during this crisis
The Washington On-Stie Sewage Association has posted a video :which shares insights on how onsite wastewater businesses should be preparing their businesses for the pandemic.
Washington On-Site Sewage Association guidance
Virginia Department of Health “Safe Handling of Materials”
OSHA rules on handling solid waste and wastewater
CDC guidance on handling waste

Tax Information. The Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service has released guidelines regarding deferral of tax payments during the Coronavirus Outbreak. You can see a summary of their guidelines here 

Congress recently passed legislation providing for up sick leave for all employees affected by Covid-19 at companies with fewer than 500 employees. Importantly, the legislation also includes a program to reimburse employers for payment of sick leave.
Read the Bill here
Read a good analysis of the bill here

Congress is also very close to passing a much broader bill which is expected to provide $2 trillion in relief funding for individuals and businesses in the near future. NOWRA is following this legislation closely and, once passed, will work to identify all eligible sources of emergency grants and loans available to your business or to homeowners needing repairs/replacement of onsite systems.

As the situation progresses, we will act accordingly to recommendations made by federal, state, and local suthorities. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we strive to do what's best for our community.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. The work of our membership will prove to be more important than ever in the coming months and it’s an honor to serve you.