Onsite Wastewater Management Systems (OWMS) Program

The purpose of the program is to administer the Onsite Wastewater Management Systems Regulation (MR 83/2003) pursuant to The Environment Act.  A team comprised of Environment Officers and a Program Specialist has been established for this purpose. Team members are regionally based to provide local coverage, and centrally coordinated to ensure consistent delivery of the program.

Program responsibilities include:

  • Review and update the Onsite Wastewater Management Systems Regulation
  • Development and implementation of policies, standards, guidelines, and education & training
  • Registration of onsite wastewater management systems
  • Certification of onsite wastewater management system Installers
  • Registration of Sewage Haulers
  • Inspection and monitoring of onsite wastewater management systems
  • Investigations of complaints
  • Enforcement of the Onsite Wastewater Management Systems Regulation

Several documents on this site are in PDF format. They require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5 or higher.


Changes to Graded Stone Requirements for Prefabricated, Gravel-less Chambers

Effective July 18, 2018, the placement of graded stone beneath prefabricated, gravel-less chambers is no longer required or recommended for disposal field systems, including sand mounds and sand-lined trenches. This change applies to chambers with an H-10 AASHTO load rating (16,000 lbs/axle). Graded stone is still required beneath chambers having an H-20 AASHTO load rating (32,000 lbs/axle) to provide structural support. This change is based on manufacturer recommendations and is consistent with other jurisdictional requirements for chamber systems.

Note: AASHTO = American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials

New Registration Application Forms

New application forms have been developed for the registration of onsite wastewater management systems (OWMS). There are now separate forms for the registration of Disposal Fields and Holding Tank & Septic Tank Replacements. These are fill-able forms that can be downloaded and completed using Adobe Reader, with the exception of the Site Plans which require hand drawings. The forms are available in Imperial and Metric units and in alternative formats upon request.

Application Forms and Worksheets

Application Forms

Application forms for disposal fields, holding tanks, septic tank replacement, retaining sewage ejectors and decommissioning onsite wastewater management systems are to be submitted to the applicable Regional Environment Office for review and approval. Regional Environment Office locations and coverage areas can be found under Contacts.

Application to Register a Disposal Field

Application to Register a Holding Tank/Septic Tank Replacement

Decommissioning form for Septic/Holding Tanks, Disposal Fields, and Sewage Ejectors

Sewage Ejector System Application Forms

Application form for Installer Certification

Application form for Sewage Hauler Registration


Regulations, Standards and Guidelines


The Onsite Wastewater Management Systems Regulation outlines provisions for the registration, installation, replacement, modification and use of onsite wastewater management systems as well as the requirements for Installer Certification and Sewage Hauler Registration. The regulation applies to onsite wastewater management systems with a combined sewage or greywater flow of less than 10,000 litres per day (2,200 gallons/day). The regulation restricts the use of certain types of onsite wastewater management systems in several areas of the province. These areas include:

  • Red River Corridor Designated Area
  • Provincial Parks
  • Crown Land Cottage Subdivisions
  • Sensitive Areas
  • Nutrient Management Zone N4 or Nutrient Buffer Zone (see Part 4 of the Nutrient Management Regulation)

Onsite Wastewater Management Systems Regulation 82/2003

Nutrient Management Regulation 62/2008


Standards for the design and installation of onsite wastewater management systems are provided in the Supplementary Information Manual (2010).  This manual provides diagrams, tables and standards for the following:

  • Soil texture classification and soil application rates
  • Sizing charts for trenches and total area fields
  • Alternative systems including sand mounds, sand lined trenches, shallow trenches, and modified/above ground total area fields
  • Daily wastewater flow rates for residences and other types of development (commercial, recreational, institutional)
  • Soil sampling and site assessment

Supplementary Information Manual (2010)

ASTM C33 Sand Media Specifications for sand mounds, modified and above ground total area fields, and sand-lined trenches


There are a number of guideline documents that provide important information for Certified Installers and property owners.  These documents include:

Training and Certification

Certification of Installers:

Installers of onsite wastewater management systems must be certified in accordance with Section 9 and Schedule F in the Onsite Wastewater Management Systems Regulation. Certification as an Installer requires the following:

  • Successful completion of the Onsite Wastewater Management training course.
  • Submission of a completed application form for Installer Certification including the application fee of $105.00 (includes GST) and a copy of the grade statement from Red River College.

Onsite Wastewater Management Training Course

The onsite wastewater management system training course required for Installer Certification will be delivered the week of September 30 – October 4, 2019 at Red River College. Please click the link below for information about the course.

To register or inquire about upcoming courses, please contact Patricia Oleksiew, Administrative Officer with Civil Engineering Technology at Red River College:

Red River College
Patricia Oleksiew
A1-31 2055 Notre Dame Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3H 0J9
Tel: (204) 632-3017
Fax: (204) 633-6075
Email: POleksiew@RRC.ca
Website: www.rrc.mb.ca

Registration of Sewage Haulers:

Persons engaged in the activity of sewage hauling must be registered in accordance with Section 21 and Schedule G in the Onsite Wastewater Management Systems Regulation. Registration as a Sewage Hauler requires the following:

  • Submission of a completed application form for Registration as a Sewage Hauler including the registration fee of $52.50 (includes GST).

Application Forms and Approval

Application forms for Installer Certification and Sewage Hauler Registration can be found under the tab Application Forms and Worksheets.

Applications are reviewed and approved by Manitoba Sustainable Development. Applicants are provided with an approval letter and a certification/registration number. Applications usually take between 2 weeks to 1 month to process.

Homeowner Information

Onsite wastewater management systems provide an effective and economical method for treating domestic wastewater provided they are properly designed, installed, operated, and maintained.   It is the property owners' responsibility to ensure the onsite system is properly operated and maintained so that it will perform safely, effectively and protect the environment and public health.  The following documents provide guidance and recommendations for proper operation and maintenance as well as the signs, causes and corrections for malfunctioning systems.

Onsite Wastewater Management Program Specialist

Derek Smith, BSc., Tech. Dipl., C.P.H.I.
Environmental Approvals Branch
1007 Century Street, Winnipeg MB R3H 0W4
Ph: (204) 794-1176
Fax: (204) 948-2338
Email: derek.smith@gov.mb.ca

Emergency Response

24 Hour Emergency Response Line
Toll free in Manitoba: 1(855)944-4888

Red River College Civil Engineering Technology

Patricia Oleksiew
Tel: (204) 632-3017
Fax: (204) 633-6075
Email : POleksiew@RRC.ca
Website: www.rrc.mb.ca/

Manitoba Onsite Wastewater Management Association (MOWMA) - Phone: (204) 771-0455
Western Canada Onsite Wastewater Management Association
Regional Environment Office Locations and Coverage Areas