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

Site Plan Diagram

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.

Cancellation of the Fall Installer Certification Training Course at Red River College

The onsite wastewater management training course delivered by Red River College is cancelled this fall due to COVID-19.

The Manitoba Onsite Wastewater Management Association (MOWMA) maintains information on Saskatchewan and Alberta training courses.

MOWMA Contact Information:
Lesley Desjardins
Office Toll Free: 855-872-2659
Office Tel: 204-771-0455
Fax Toll Free:855-420-6338

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 Conservation and Climate. 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.


Please contact the Regional Environment Officer for information concerning inspections, applications and complaints.

Regional Environment Officer Contact Information and Coverage Areas

Onsite Wastewater Management Program Specialist

For technical inquiries or for program information please contact the Onsite Wastewater Management Program Specialist

Derek Smith
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

***Note: The government is currently experiencing a temporary issue with emails from outside of government that have attached files that are archived/compressed (Zip files) and encrypted/password protected PDF or Microsoft office files.

The government network may block the delivery of these emails. Neither receiver nor sender will receive a notification that the email was blocked. The Environmental Approvals Branch will send a confirmation email within two business days to confirm receipt of emails with attachments. 

If you do not receive a confirmation email, please follow up with an email without an attachment to derek.smith@gov.mb.ca or call 204-794-1176 to arrange an alternative method of delivery.