Overview of Benefits for AffiliatesMost of NOWRA's membership comes through its network of affiliated state organizations. As a result, it is constantly looking to provide new programs and services to support its state affiliates. An overview of those programs is below.
NOWRA's Septic Locator is the only national, searchable directory of providers of onsite wastewater management services. The Septic Locator was recently revamped and rolled out as a stand-alone website designed for septic system owners to help find quality services and information. We are working to ensure the Septic Locator is near the top of search engine results. All members of every state affiliate (except those in the Supporting Affiliate category) are automatically included on the Septic Locator. That's a $50 value for each member. Each member controls their own listing. They can change contact information, services offered and other information in real time.
NOWRA has established the Installer Academy as the national educational entity for the decentralized wastewater industry to ensure that quality training programs are available for all industry practitioners. By participating in NOWRA’s Education Programs, members gain a learned foundation that continuously builds personal and professional opportunities. NOWRA offers its training programs to every state affiliate at cost -- affiliates only pay for the cost of instructors, their travel, lodging and food, and NOWRA's administrative overhead. In that way, affiliates have an affordable program to offer at their annual meetings or other training events which offers them an opportunity to generate income.
- Classroom -- These courses focus on the procedures and practices for installation, operation, maintenance and trouble-shooting of onsite systems, and typically qualify for continuing education credits. Many are offered by NOWRA-affiliated state groups. They are listed separately and updated regularly on NOWRA’s website. NOWRA is prepared to offer Installer Academy training courses to any qualified organization and welcomes inquiries. For an overview of current training offerings, click here
- Online -- Coming soon, NOWRA will roll out Installer Academy Online -- A series of online courses which can deliver reasonably priced, high quality information to your home or office computer. Many of NOWRA's state affiliates are also likely to offer these programs
- State Affiliate Page. Each affiliate is provided with a section on the NOWRA website which they can use as they please. The section can be as simple as a direct link to their own website, or they can provide custom content which can be loaded on their section.
- Event Calendar: NOWRA also lists meetings of its affiliates in great detail, including featuring affiliate meetings on the "Events" page on its website.
- Conference registration services: For a modest fee, NOWRA can provide affiliates with the ability to provide an online registration option for affiliate conferences and training events.
- Broadcast Email: Affiliates may, upon request, use NOWRA's broadcast email service for member communications.
- Grassroots communications: NOWRA recently obtained a license to use Muster, a grassroots advocacy tool which makes it super easy to get your members to take action on key regulatory and legislative initiatives in your state. Muster is simple to use, but powerful. When you identify an issue where you want your members to take action, you draft a letter about the issue for them to send; you send an email to your members with a link to that letter, telling them why they should act; the link your members open is already addressed to their representative and has added their signature added to the bottom of the letter. All the member has to do is hit send to add their voice to your cause!
The onsite/decentralized industry represents 25% of the nation's wastewater infrastructure, yet it has been virtually ignored at the federal level. Virtually all federal resources dedicated to wastewater infrastructure go to public sewer. A similar pattern can be found in most states--sewer systems get all the funding to fix their problems while our industry is told we are on our own. NOWRA believes this has gone on for far too long. We think more needs to be done at the federal level to secure legislative and policy changes which foster expanded use of onsite and decentralized technology and which can help the industry address the policy, management, and financial issues caused in large part by neglect at the federal level. In 2014, NOWRA established a strong lobbying presence in Washington intended to increase our industry's share of new constrution from 30% to 35%, secure more federal funding to address challenges facing the industry, and get EPA to change policies which discriminate against our industry.
In addition to our federal activity, we are actively engaged in supporting our affiliates' need to address these issues at the state level. Each state faces unique legislative and regulatory challenges, but the onsite organizations in each state serve their members well when they are effective in representing the industry's interests to state regulators and legislators. NOWRA is working to be a resource for affiliates to help them be more effective advocates for the onsite/decentralized communities in their state. To that end, NOWRA has developed a Lobbying Toolkit it makes available to its members with helpful information on building and maintaining an advocacy effort. NOWRA also held a state lobbying workshop at its 2014 Annual Conference to provide hands-on information for state affiliate leaders. Most recently we have introduced Muster lobbying software for our affiliates' use. (See description above under Online Services).
Held annually, this competition is intended to showcase the skills of contractors and the equipment they operate through a series of timed exercises contestants must perform on a backhoe.
NOWRA also sanctions a number of state Roe-D-Hoe® competitions around the country; the state winners are automatically grandfathered into the national finals where they compete against the winner of the open competition held during the Pumper Show. NOWRA can provide extensive support to help affiliates who wish to hold a sanctioned Roe-D-Hoe®. Support includes providing customized registration forms, release forms, software to display competition results, Roe-D-Hoe® games (such as bowling or golf), stopwatches and consultation. NOWRA can also help affiliates secure equipment if needed, and will run the Roe-D-Hoe® on behalf of the affiliate upon request (affiliate must cover travel, lodging and food cost for NOWRA representative).
Watch a video of 2012 National Backhoe Roe-D-Hoe® highlights here:
Affiliate Leaders Meetings
NOWRA hosts regular telephone meetings with the leadership of its state affiliates. These meetings provide an opportunity for affiliates to offer suggestions and feedback to the national office on programs and services, lets affiliates share information with one another. Affiliates also receive an update on national office activities.
NOWRA has worked with individual affiliates on a wide range of activities. To the extent that staff resources will permit, NOWRA will work to provide support to any affiliate requesting help.
Discounts for Affiliate Members
In addition to each affiliate member receiving a free listing on the Septic Locator, they also receive discounts on attending the NOWRA Annual Conference, and publications from the Resource Library on the NOWRA website. Other benefits include
- Access to the Admirals Bank homeowner lending program
- Equipment financing discounts,
- Office supply discounts
- Errors and Omissions insurance for designers and engineers.