DEEP: Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Certification Fact Sheet

Wastewater Treatment Facility Operator Certification
Fact Sheet

Program Overview

The Wastewater Certification Program, administered by the Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse, is required by regulation.  Certification is obtained by meeting certain experience, education and exam criteria.

There are four levels of Operator Certification, Classes I through IV (lowest to highest).  In order to qualify to take a Connecticut DEEP-sponsored exam, an applicant must meet the experience and education requirements appropriate for that particular class of exam.  In some instances, extra education may be applied toward a portion of the experience requirement, extra direct responsible charge experience may be applied toward a portion of the education requirement.  Class I, II, and III exams may be taken if the education requirement is met but the experience requirements are not.

Authorizing Statutes

Section 22a-416 of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS)

Regulations

Sections 22a-416-1 through 10 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies (RCSA), effective June 5, 2000

Guidance

The "Connecticut Wastewater Operator Certification Guidelines" provides answers to the most frequently asked questions by wastewater treatment plant operators.  The information within this document is intended to be a supplement to RCSA Sections 22a-416-1 through 10.

Who Must Comply?

The original intent of the certification program was to assure competent superintendents and shift operators for wastewater treatment plants of various types and complexities.  By being certified in a particular class, you are also legally qualified to be a superintendent of ANY plant of that class or lower.  Therefore, stringent criteria were developed for each class.  Due to the increasing complexity of new facilities, the intent has now grown to certification of all operators in the field at the minimum of Class I.  The requirements for each class of certification are based on the different levels of sophistication of each plant.  Operators are also encouraged to become certified at levels above their job requirements to plan for future advancement and for personal gratification.

Requirements

An applicant for operator certification must complete the "Application for Examination or Reciprocity for Wastewater Treatment Facility Operator Certification" (Word, PDF) and meet the following requirements:

Class I Operator – An applicant for Class I Operator certification shall (A) submit satisfactory evidence of (i) at least one year of experience in the operation of a wastewater treatment facility of Class I or higher; (ii) a high school diploma or G.E.D.; and (iii) successful completion of a basic wastewater treatment facility operation course, approved by the commissioner, equaling at least nine CEU’s; and (B) pass the Class I examination.  No substitutions for the requirements of this subdivision shall be permitted.

Class II Operator – An applicant for Class II operator certification shall (A) submit satisfactory evidence of (i) at least three years of experience in the operation of a wastewater treatment facility of Class I or higher; (ii) a high school diploma or G.E.D.; and (iii) successful completion of higher education equivalent to at least 30 CEUs in a field determined by the commissioner to be related to the operation of a wastewater treatment facility, of which at least 18 CEUs are directly related to the operation of a wastewater treatment facility; and (B) pass the Class II examination.

Class III Operator – An applicant for Class III Operator certification shall (A) submit satisfactory evidence of (i) at least four years of experience in the operation of a wastewater treatment facility of Class II or higher; (ii) a high school diploma or G.E.D.; and (iii) successful completion of higher education equivalent to at least 90 CEUs in a field determined by the commissioner to be related to the operation of a wastewater treatment facility; of which at least 27 CEUs are directly related to the operation of a wastewater treatment facility; and (B) pass the Class III examination.

Class IV Operator – An applicant for Class IV Operator certification shall (A) submit satisfactory evidence of (i) at least four years of experience in the operation of a Class III or IV wastewater treatment facility, of which experience at least two years are direct responsible charge experience as a chief operator at a Class III wastewater treatment facility or shift or process control operator at a Class IV wastewater treatment facility; (ii) a high school diploma or G.E.D.; and (iii) successful completion of higher education equivalent to at least 135 CEUs in a field determined by the commissioner to be related to the operation of a wastewater treatment facility; of which at least 27 CEUs are directly related to the operation of a wastewater treatment facility; and (B) pass the Class IV examination.

Class I, II, and III Operator-in-Training – Class I, II, or III applicants meeting the educational requirements but not the experience requirement may apply to take the appropriate class exam.  They will be issued a certificate upon proof of completion of the experience requirement within five (5) years of passing the exam.

Fees

The Exam Application Fee is $240.00.

Program Procedures

Regulations require that exams be given once per year; the practice has been that exams are given in January and July of each year with current exam notices and blank applications being mailed to all wastewater treatment facilities.

Individuals applying to sit for wastewater operator certification exam may only do so during a specific period designated by the Department.  Applications received outside of this period will not be accepted.  Please see the current Exam Notice (posted on the website or mailed to you), or contact the Department for information regarding the appropriate dates to send in exam applications. 

Reciprocity requests are processed as they are submitted.  Please contact the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection at the number below for details. 

Community College Certificate Programs

The following links will take you to the listed Connecticut Community College websites where more detailed information is available concerning the Wastewater and Advanced Wastewater Certificate Programs:

Capital Community College
Gateway Community College
Naugatuck Community College
Three Rivers Community College

Contact Information

WASTEWATER OPERATOR CERTIFICATION SECTION
BUREAU OF WATER PROTECTION AND LAND REUSE, 2nd Floor
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
79 ELM STREET
HARTFORD, CT 06106-5127

860-424-3704

This overview is designed to answer general questions and provide basic information.  You should refer to the appropriate statutes and regulations for the specific language.  It is your responsibility to comply with all applicable laws.  The information contained in this fact sheet is intended only to acquaint you with the CT Wastewater Operator Certification Program and does not constitute the department’s interpretation of the applicable laws.

Content Last Updated September 2013

Municipal Wastewater | Wastewater Treatment Operator Guidelines