As a member of FOWA, we are often asked, “Just what is FOWA?”
That’s a great question! For starters, FOWA is short for the Florida Onsite Wastewater Association. It is made up of professionals involved in onsite sewage treatment (like septic systems) dedicated to protecting water resources and the environment.
Members include FL licensed contractors, plumbers, engineers, manufacturers, suppliers, and septic installers like Advanced Septic Services of Clermont. FOWA offers:
- an annual convention
- master courses
- continuing education credits (CEUs), and
- homeowner education resources.
They have a hands-on training center and research facility located in Lake Alfred, FL. The Florida division joins other states in supporting NOWRA, the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association.
An Association With A Mission
The Florida Association website shares this vision:
“The [FOWA] is an organized group of those engaged in the manufacturing, installation, repair or maintenance of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems, plus firms that service and supply the industry.
Members are dedicated to protecting the health of Florida’s residents and maintaining the environment through sounds ecological practices.
They attempt to improve the quality of onsite sewage treatment and disposal system products and installation procedures and furnish information to the public and health authorities.”
What Does The FOWA Mission Statement Mean?
Basically—FOWA members are the third-party good guys of onsite wastewater management. While membership is not required to be a professional in the onsite wastewater industry, once you are a member upholding safe practices are. The structure of FOWA sets up the industries’ self-regulation within the state of Florida because you become accountable for more than just yourself.
See another company performing bad practices? It is now part of your responsibilities to hold those around you to higher standards. In fact, in their membership agreement, signers agree to “not stand for others who operate in a manner contrary to the [FOWA’s] declaration.” Later it calls on members to report violators to the proper authorities.
While the FOWA does not have the direct power to uphold Florida’s wastewater laws and regulations, they set up a system to encourage companies and industry members to support the highest level of practice. Additionally, they are the primary voice for the onsite wastewater industry in politics. While still maintaining their third-party status the FOWA actively campaigns for politicians that closely follow their views of continuing the standards for Florida’s onsite wastewater industry.