Meet The Speakers 2022

Here is a small taste of who you can expect to see, and what you can expect to hear as a delegate to the 2022 Convention and Trade Show:

Dr. Sara Heger

\"\"Dr. Sara Heger, researcher and instructor at the University of Minnesota in the Onsite Sewage Treatment Program in the Water Resources Center, will be presenting on the Impacts of COVID-19 on Septic Systems, System Remediation – Why, What, When, Where and Howand Compaction – the Enemy of System Longevity.

More than Just Dirty:  Pathogen Exposure to Workers in the Onsite Industry

Pathogens in wastewater have been well documented for many years, but unfortunately, on-site septic system service providers have had little information on the pathogens they are exposed to in the workplace.  Further, because of the limited resources of small business practitioners, development and implementation of appropriate workplace mitigation has been limited or non-existent.  This presentation provides an overview of specific biological hazards to workers in the On-Site Wastewater Industry.

Dave Gustafson, P Eng

University of Minnesota

\"\"Dave Gustafson has run the University of Minnesota On-site Sewage Treatment program for the past 20 years. He is a practicing Professional Engineer licensed in the state of Minnesota. As a private consultant he regularly designs, inspects and troubleshoots systems. He has been recognized as one of the premier on-site instructors due to his ability to combine his on the job experiences with the operating theories behind wastewater treatment systems in his presentations. Dave will be discussing Managing High Strength Wastewater and When Landspreading is Not Allowed – Creating a Wastewater Treatment Plant.


Ben Kele 

Arris Pty Ltd.

\"\"Ben is an on-site wastewater practitioner from Australia who specialises in difficult to treat wastewater. Ben started in academia but has successfully commercialised his research and his company Arris designs, builds, operates and maintains decentralised wastewater treatment and water recycling facilities. Ben’s motto is that any splash you don’t taste is a good splash. Ben is currently the President of WastewaterEducation.Org a non-profit focussing on continuing education for onsite wastewater practitioners.  He will bring his unique presentation style and humour to educate practitioners on operation and maintenance practices.



Joe Petryk

Acting Technical Administrator
Alberta Municipal Affairs

\"\"Joe works for Alberta Municipal Affairs – Community & Technical Support – Edmonton – and is currently the Technical Administrator for the private sewage discipline regulated under the Safety Codes Act. Joe is a graduate of NAIT, obtaining a diploma in the discipline of civil engineering technology as a Certified Engineering Technologist (CET). Joe has been providing a public service for almost 40 years in various Ministries, in roles related consumer legislation and the building/development industry, with the past 18 years directly related to the private sewage industry. The private sewage industry continues to evolve on the fronts of code development, installation standards and product development and provides for a very active and interesting relationship with industry stakeholders.

Joe and his wife Gail have two children and are proud grandparents to 3 grandchildren.

Joe grew up on a farm north of Edmonton and is no stranger to waste management (relocating many an outhouse).

Joe will share News from the Technical Administrator for Private Sewage.

Charles Hallett

Alberta Safety Codes Authority

\"\"Charles has a Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health from the University College of Cape Breton. Charles has worked in both the private and public sectors as an Environmental Health Officer with certifications as a Public Health Inspector and a Plumbing Group B Safety Codes Officer. Charles is the Director of the Alberta Safety Codes Authority (ASCA), which is responsible for providing safety codes services, including inspection and permitting services, in unaccredited municipalities throughout the province.  Following a year of permit auditing, Charles will provide feedback on Design Audit and Process Findings – Common Errors Identified.

Kent Watson, BSc. MSc.

HeartMath Certified Trainer

\"\"Kent Watson obtained his BSc. in Geology from UBC in 1974. He became a research assistant in the UBC Faculty of Forestry in 1973 and from there completed his MSc. in Agriculture through the Department of Soils Science in 1977. He specialized in Remote Sensing, Range Ecology and Soil Classification. He taught at UBC from 1975 – 1979 both as a Teaching Assistant and Sessional instructor in the Faculty of Forestry. He was hired at Cariboo

College in 1986 as a part time instructor and became full time in 1996. He began teaching soil science in 1994 at what is now Thompson Rivers University. In 1997 he produced his first manual on describing soils in the field. This was revised and published as a field guide “Soils Illustrated – Field Descriptions” in 2007 and revised in 2009 and 2014. He is a member of the Canadian Society of Soil Science and is actively involved with the Pedology Soils Sub Committee. He has been invited by the CSSS to write a chapter in the upcoming revision of the Canadian System of Soil Classification. That work, was completed in 2013, will be modeled after his Soils Illustrated field guide. Kent is a firm believer that field work is essential. In this regard he has volunteered with other BC soil scientists, in delivering one week long soil field courses to university graduate and undergraduate students and professionals. He has extensive soil teaching (classroom and field) experience with various organizations and institutions within BC. Kent obtained his HeartMath Certified Trainers certificate in California in 2015. He has delivered training sessions to universities, colleges, first responders and to small groups.

Kent will present information on the following topics: Determining Restricting and Limiting Layers in Soils, Why Soil Colours are Important – Using the Munsell Colour Chart, and The Impact of Soil Consistence on Water Movement.

Kent will also lend his expertise as a Certified HeartMath Trainer as he teaches us how to Manage Stress with HeartMath.

Mike Kitchen, P Eng

Osprey Engineering Inc.

\"\"Mr. Kitchen is a licensed professional engineer in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Mr. Kitchen also holds a private sewage installer’s license from Alberta Municipal Affairs, Plumbing and Gas – having completed provincially-required training in the design and installation of on-site wastewater treatment and dispersal (e.g. septic) systems in January 2005.

Mike will address the common issues when dealing with Big Houses, Small Lots.

Donna Tona

Werkx Inc.

\"\"Donna Tona chose a career path of Business Owner/Consultant, with a focused problem-solving team approach. She has spent the last 26 years in business and 37 dedicated years in service finding better ways for municipalities, government, industry, and business to be more efficient in their work.

Learn how to draft a simple Business Plan in this session.




To learn more about this event, including sponsors, additional speakers and other activities, check out our website at

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