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How a drainage certification can present new opportunities

October 11, 2021 -  By

Brittany Auman says the drainage certification course has helped her business gain credibility with potential clients. (Photo: Auman Landscape)

Brittany Auman says the drainage certification course has helped her business gain credibility with potential clients. (Photo: Auman Landscape)

NDS, a global company that develops stormwater management solutions, and Advanced Drainage Systems (ADS), a company that develops drainage products, recently partnered to help contractors understand and mitigate stormwater drainage issues. The goal: train more contractors to identify and install proper stormwater management solutions through NDS’ free Professional Drainage Certification Course.

Landscape Management sat down with Michael Schreiber, residential stormwater product manager for NDS, and Brian King, executive vice president of product management and marketing for Advanced Drainage Systems, Brittany and Caleb Auman, owners of Auman Landscape in Lancaster, Ohio, and Grant Rardon, owner of McPherson Turf Care in McPherson, Kan., to learn more.

King says one reason ADS partnered with NDS is the companies saw an underserved part of the industry.

“There is very little available industry training regarding residential landscape drainage problems, solutions and best practices,” he says. “Landscape contractors and wholesale distribution partners increasingly asked for drainage training resources, so we joined with NDS to expand and promote their formalized program.”

Schreiber says the fit was natural to educate the green industry on proper stormwater management.

“There are relatively few landscape contractors promoting drainage services or even comfortable in doing so,” he says. “Nearly every home in the U.S. has a drainage issue. Landscape contractors are already on properties doing work like lawn maintenance, planting, hardscapes, irrigation and lighting. With minimal training, contractors can begin to recognize existing and potential drainage problems and deliver profitable, cost-effective solutions.”

How it works

Contractors can create an account at here for the four-hour, online, self-guided class. Topics include drainage fundamentals such as surface types and runoff, subsurface groundwater, soils and properties, how to identify and solve common landscape drainage problems, how to calculate peak-flow runoff and regional drainage design. 

Contractors who complete the course and pass an exam will earn four continuing education units for NALP recertification. Contractors will have their business added to a directory of certified contractors on

Brittany Auman, whose business is primarily residential design/build projects, says the sign-up was easy and took less than five minutes. Short videos, broken up by topic, made it easy for her and her husband, Caleb, to study.

“You do not have to commit to sitting for four hours at a time,” she says. “It is broken into small three- to five-minute videos with a few questions at the end.”

Why it’s good for your business

Rardon, whose business offers mowing, maintenance, turf care and irrigation installation for a primarily residential clientele, says this education has given his business more credibility with potential clients. He registered and completed the training after seeing the Aumans promote the coursework through social media.

“It gives you a good base knowledge on products and how to calculate your load capacities for designing your systems,” he says. 

Brittany Auman agrees, saying the time spent has been invaluable, and clients appreciate the effort they took to learn about drainage.

“We were actually bidding a job a few weeks ago, and it was beneficial mentioning that we have gone through the course,” she says. “The homeowner has had a lot of drainage problems in his yard/basement, and knowing we had been through the course made him more comfortable with our drainage solution.”

Christina Herrick

About the Author:

Christina Herrick is the editor of Landscape Management magazine. Known for her immersive approach to travel from coast to coast in her previous stint as senior editor of American Fruit Grower Magazine, she uses social media (Twitter/Instagram @EditorHerrick) to share her experiences on the road with her audience. Herrick has a degree in journalism from Ohio Northern University. She can be reached at

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