Benefits for Affiliates
Most 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.
Representation in Washington and in Your State
NOWRA is working 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 construction 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. 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 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.
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 periodically provides state affiliate leaders with workshops focused on helping states build up their lobbying presence.
Online Learning Academy
NOWRA's newest benefit for State Affiliates is our Online Learning Academy, which provides two ways for states to generate revenue.
- First, Full State Affiliates receive 30% of registration fees for anyone in their state who takes an online learning course developed by NOWRA. All we ask is that the state secure continuing education approval for NOWRA's courses and that they promote this to onsite professsionas in their state.
- Second, Full State Affiliates receive 70% of all registration fees for courses which they develop.
- Supporting Affiliates receive 10% of all registration fees for both NOWRA courses and courses developed by the affiliate.
The Learning Academy contains courses developed by both NOWRA as well as individual state affiliates. The platform is easy to work with and incorporates recorded presentations, helpful videos, and relevant articles/publications. Each Training Class also contains multiple learning tests where participants must achieve a passing score before they can more on to the next section. Affiliates are welcome to develop their own content on this platform—and they will receive the bulk of the revenue generated from that content. However, even if they don't develop their own content, NOWRA will share a portion of the revenue with the State Affiliate when anyone from their state takes the course.
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.
- 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.
Held annually at the WWETT Show, this competition showcases the skills of contractors and the equipment they operate through a series of timed exercises contestants must perform on a backhoe. Winners receive national recognition and cash awards. NOWRA also sanctions a number of state Roe-D-Hoe® competitions around the country. The state winners are automatically grandfathered into the national Roe-D-Hoe® finals at the WWETT show, where they compete against the winners of the open competition held during the WWETT Show.
For states wishing to hold their own Roe-D-Hoe®, NOWRA can provide extensive support, including 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).
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
Benefits for individual members of Full Affiliates include:
- A free listing in NOWRA's Septic Locator, a national, customer-focused website intended to help consumers find industry professionals
- A copy of NOWRA's Onsite Journal, a full-color member magazine focused on industry topics
- Regular communications from NOWRA on issues of interest to industry professionals
- Discounts on registrations for NOWRA conferences, online training seminars, and publications such as NOWRA's Homeowner Folders
- Access to NOWRA's Resource Library, an extensive knowledge base of information on the science and practice of onsite wastewater treatment
- Equipment financing discounts through Wells Fargo
- Office supply discounts through OfficeMax / Office Depot