Soils Evaluation

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Sep 17, 2020

Soils Evaluation

Program Overview

The objective of this course is twofold. Firstly, introduce the learner to information currently not taught or known, but will be required to be known in the future and, secondly, cover the current soil requirements needed to meet the criteria required for onsite wastewater design.

The morning will be spent in the classroom and the afternoon will be in the field.

Participants, working in pairs, will describe a minimum of two soil profiles in the field. From the field data, the loading rate from the Tyler table will be determined.

There will be a great deal of material covered and all participants are expected to participate fully throughout the course. Credit will not be given to anyone who does not participate.

This 1-day workshop is scheduled for September 17, 2020.


Learning Objectives

At the end of this learning event, participants will understand:

  • Understand basic treatment mechanisms tin soil used to treat sewage
    • Filtration
    • Adsorption
    • Chemical
    • Flora, fauna microbial role in treatment
  • Understand the effect of saturated and unsaturated flows on basic treatment processes
  • Basic knowledge of what conditions will enhance soil treatment and what conditions deter treatment
  • Understand the depth of effective soil needed for treatment
  • Know where the highest population of microbes/flora-fauna/biota live in the soil
  • Where the water goes (vertical movement and horizontal movement) when it meets a restricting layer
  • How fast water moves in soil
  • What affects the movement of water volume and speed
  • Pore space, void space relative to soil texture, matric potential of soils (suction – capillary action) 20
  • Structure 20
  • Hydraulic head 5
  • Affect of SAR on clays and recognition of expandable clays – reference in SOP
  • Desired movement of wastewater (saturated vs. unsaturated) video
  • Water holding capacity of soil (water holding capacity of various soils)
  • Field capacity, upper and lower water limits
  • Saturation and saturation percentage test
  • Percolation test, general method, limits, locations, depths, outside effects on results, relation to soil texture and structure
  • Infiltration into soil vs. percolation within the soil and the effect of biomat formation
  • Recognition of ground water mounding occurring and what it is
  • The conditions that affect movement of water in soil and that it will affect the sizing of a soil absorption system.


Who Should Attend?

  • Onsite Wastewater System Designers
  • Engineers whose scope of work includes Onsite Wastewater System Design
  • Engineering Technicians whose scope of work includes Onsite Wastewater System Design


Your Instructor

Kent Watson, BSc, MSc.

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 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.  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, to be 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 over the last four summers with other BC soil scientists in delivering soil one week long field courses to university graduate and undergraduate students and professionals.  Kent has extensive soil teaching (classroom and field) experience with various organizations and institutions within BC.



Basic knowledge of soils is helpful, but not required.



1 Day (Morning will take place in the Classroom and the afternoon will take place in the field)


Venue Location

Kawartha Conservation

277 Kenrei Road

Lindsay, ON   K9V 4R1



To register, please click directly on this link:




$ 0.00 /registrant

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