The New NPCA On-site Wastewater Accreditation Program
The new On-site Wastewater Accreditation Program (OWAP) provides a nationwide quality assurance program to ensure end users that septic tanks and other related products are manufactured under appropriate quality standards. The program will give municipalities, commercial developers and homeowners assurance that the precast concrete components they are purchasing come from a quality manufacturer and will be long-lasting, structurally sound and watertight. The program provides the industry a credible system and symbol confirming that accredited manufacturers take quality seriously, which will certainly benefit all stakeholders.
The On-site Wastewater Accreditation Program focuses only on those critical manufacturing elements and process requirements that pertain to production of quality, structurally sound and watertight on-site wastewater products. The program is focused on septic tanks, risers, distribution boxes, pump tanks/chambers, ATUs, sewage holding tanks, dosing tanks, drywells and wetwells. Manholes, concrete pipe, median barrier, box culverts, bridge components and other infrastructure products are NOT covered under OWAP accreditation.
The requirements for the On-site Wastewater Accreditation Program are contained in the latest edition of the “NPCA Quality Control Manual for Precast Concrete Plants.” The QC Manual is available as a free download from www.precast.org/manual. You may also order a printed copy from the NPCA SHOP online or by calling
The NPCA On-site Wastewater Accreditation Program is based on the same QC Manual as the current NPCA Plant Certification Program; however, the OWAP has a separate grading schedule that focuses on requirements in the current NPCA QC Manual that directly relate to the manufacture of on-site wastewater products.
Although NPCA membership is encouraged and provides many opportunities to advance your company, it is not a requirement to become OWAP accredited.
Since both the NPCA Plant Certification Program and the NPCA On-site Wastewater Accreditation Program are based on the “NPCA Quality Control Manual for Precast Concrete Plants,” NPCA Certified Plants will receive this new accreditation at their request if they manufacture on-site wastewater products covered in the OWAP Program. The accreditation is granted at no additional cost to these plants.
A separate certificate and product stencil are provided in order to appropriately differentiate between the certification and accreditation programs. In addition, various regulatory and specifying agencies are being educated about the two programs.
Plant inspections will be performed by representatives from the same independent engineering firms that perform the current NPCA Plant Certification Program inspections. These firms are Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc. (WJE) and Professional Service Industries Inc. (PSI). Both are nationally accredited and well-respected firms.
A plant’s initial inspection for accreditation will be an announced inspection scheduled with the independent engineering firm. All subsequent annual inspections will be unannounced. All plants will be inspected a minimum of once per calendar year.
The new NPCA On-site Wastewater Accreditation Program is not a watered-down version of NPCA Plant Certification, but rather a tightly focused program that can offer the same benefits of certification but at a reduced cost.
For more information on the NPCA On-site Wastewater Accreditation Program call (800) 366-7731 for OWAP information.