Become involved with state and national organizations in order to add your voice.

Most NPCA Producer members supply products to the decentralized (onsite) wastewater treatment industry. Products range from smaller residential septic tanks to larger, more complex systems for commercial, industrial and multi-residential projects.

The people involved in decentralized wastewater treatment include not only precast producers but designers, installers, maintenance providers, inspectors and regulators. There also is a large academic presence in the industry, mostly through university extension programs that focus on onsite wastewater management.

All of these industry professionals form a community. And while there are some national associations that can bring many of them together, the state-based wastewater associations generally are most effective at addressing local opportunities and challenges. That is why most states have had their own onsite wastewater association for many years and more are organizing every year.

NPCA has long supported these associations and their efforts to improve the quality of decentralized wastewater treatment. Support has come through various roles, including as sponsors, presenters, exhibitors, committee members and board members.

The manufactured precast concrete industry is served best when NPCA Associate and Producer members join NPCA staff members at the association events, presenting a unified and amplified message.

However, there are times when NPCA is the only precast manufacturer representation there.
While NPCA strives to be effective flag bearers for precast, the association works best when local members stand with it.

The benefits of getting involved can be significant.


Currently, there are approximately 35 state- or region-based onsite wastewater associations in the United States and seven in Canada.

Some, such as the Oklahoma Onsite Wastewater Association (OOWA) and North Dakota Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NDOWRA) formed in just the past few years. Others have been around for more than 50 years.

Florida Onsite Wastewater Association (FOWA) joined the 50-year club in 2023 and celebrated in style with a post-annual conference cruise to the Bahamas.

One thing most wastewater groups have in common is an origin story: a few onsite wastewater treatment professionals getting together to address a specific challenge.

Susan Allen is owner and president of Florida Septic. Her father, Treston Vause, was one of the 10 original founders of FOWA, which originally was called Florida Septic Tank Association.

Allen and her sister, Ellen Vause, have fond memories of going to FOWA events as young girls. Their involvement continued with Vause eventually becoming FOWA’s president and Susan currently serving on their Board of Directors.

At this year’s annual conference, Florida Septic had one of the largest booths at FOWA, was a sponsor of the event and was one of the session presenters.

“It’s given us a voice in the industry,” Allen said. “Our involvement with FOWA has allowed us to help shape regulations and contribute to improving the quality of septic tanks in Florida.”

With the help of FOWA Executive Director Roxanne Groover, members work closely with their departments of environmental protection and departments of health to address various issues.
“This involvement keeps us informed of changes in regulations so we can prepare well in advance of implementation,” Allen said. “Our involvement exposes us to new companies and evolving technologies in wastewater treatment. We also get to connect with our customers. It’s like family to us.”

Steve Wolfe, owner of Evergreen Precast in Sumner, Wash., shares a similar story.

“My dad, Jim Wolfe, was one of the founding members of Washington On-Site Sewage Association (WOSSA) back in the early 90s,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe and his family continue to support the association. Wolf has served many positions on its board, including president. He sees the impact he and WOSSA have had on state regulation and policy.

“Back when COVID hit, the state designated our industry as non-essential, so we were not able to work,” he said.

As a result, Wolfe and other WOSSA members made their case that installation of onsite wastewater treatment systems is vital to homeowners and businesses. They got the designation changed so they could return to work.

Andy Winkler, general manager with Wieser Concrete Products in Maiden Rock, Wisc., is no stranger to wastewater associations. Wieser participates with at least six state associations, including Wisconsin Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (WOWRA) and Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association (MOWA).

Winkler and Wieser Concrete’s involvement goes back many years to when Joe Wieser helped form WOWRA in 1974. Winkler twice served as MOWA president.

“There’s no better way to stay informed about the industry,” he said. “It also allows us to connect with our customers.”

Doug Lassiter is the executive director and lobbyist for the North Carolina Septic Tank Association (NCSTA), one of the largest wastewater associations in the country.

Lassiter has a unique perspective dating to even before his role with NCSTA. He was a precast tank manufacturer.

He loves to see precasters involved in NCSTA.

“If tank manufacturers are not at the table when regulations are written or changed, this forces others with little to no knowledge of precast to make these decisions,” he said.

Lassiter recalls a situation where state regulators were questioning the structural integrity of mid-seam versus top seam septic tanks.

“We brought them to a plant to witness a vacuum test of two 1500-gallon tanks – one top seam and one mid-seam,” he said. “We tested them to failure. The mid-seam tank outlasted the top seam tank. One state regulator was shocked at this result. It was a great opportunity to educate them about precast concrete tank design.”

While some onsite wastewater associations have precast concrete representation, that is not the case across the board. A review of 25 top association boards revealed that only eight have precast industry representation. Out of a total 321 board members, 11 are precast manufacturers.
That’s just short of 3.5%.

Conversely, almost every association board has a member representing plastic or fiberglass tank manufacturers.


“Some justify it by saying they’re too busy,” Wolfe said. “They can’t free someone up. But they don’t realize the impact it can have on their business”

Or, as Winkler puts it: “If you’re not there talking to your customers, someone else will be.”