Operator Certification 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are all public water systems required to have licensed operators?

Answer: NO. Transient-Noncommunity Public Water Systems (restaurants, rest stops, convenience stores, etc.) with a protected groundwater source are not required to have a licensed operator, although they are encouraged to do so. Transient-Noncommunity's with a surface source or groundwater source under the direct influence of surface water; all Nontransient-Noncommunity (industries, schools, etc.); and all Community (city or rural water systems) Public Water Systems are required to have licensed operator.

Q: Are all operators required to license?

Answer: NO, only persons who during their normal job make decisions that might affect water quality must license.

Q: How can a water system determine which positions must license, at what license level, and at which license type(s)?

Answer: The Division of Engineering by request or during a future Sanitary Survey will review your organizational chart and job descriptions and make the determinations.

Q: Are non-community water systems operators required to have a license?

Answer: YES.  Operators of Non-Transient Non-Community water systems must be licensed.  Operators of Transient Non-Community water systems must be licensed if the system's water source was a surface supply or groundwater supply under the direct influence of surface water.

Q: What if my water source is a properly protected well or I purchase water, and the only treatment provided is chlorination?

Answer: Your system would be classified as a distribution system and only a Distribution License will be required.

Q: Are all operators required to hold both a treatment license and a distribution license?

Answer: NO, if you are required to license and you manage or perform duties in obtaining or treating water you must hold a Treatment License; if you manage or perform duties in the distribution system you must hold a Distribution License; and if you manage or perform duties in both areas you must hold both license types. Different license grades may be required for each type license for the same water system.

Q: What items will I need to take the exams?

Answer: Your drivers license for identification, a calculator, and a well rested brain prepared to take the test. All other needed materials will be provided. No reference books or other materials will be allowed in the exam room. Any questionable materials found or actions taken during the exam will result in your exam being assigned a failing score. Additional punitive steps are available and may be taken.

Q: Will an operator be provided any information on the exam results?

Answer: YES, every exam's results will include the score and an exam diagnostic profile. The profile will provide your exam results by subject matter, number of questions on the subject and the number passed.

Q: Will each exam taken require an additional exam fee?

Answer: YES, a license fee will be required prior to sitting for each license exam. Only one license application per license type will be required.

Q: What books and other items should I study to prepare for the new license exams?

Answer: Please see the reference materials list for suggested study materials. It includes information on how to obtain the materials.

Q: Will study questions be provided?

Answer: NO, however one of the suggested references is an AWWA manual that is designed to assist operators in preparing to take multiple choice license exams.

Q: Will I still be able to place my license in an inactive status?

Answer: NO, On the advice of agency counsel, the inactive license status was removed from the new license law.

Q: If my present employment does not require a license, what options do I have available?

Answer: The License Program will allow licenses to be placed Inactive until December 31, 1997. After December 31, 1997, operators holding an active valid license or OIT certificate will be expected to obtain approved training and renew their licenses each renewal period or lose the license.

The License Program will allow licenses to be placed Inactive until December 31, 1997. After December 31, 1997, operators holding an active valid license or OIT certificate will be expected to obtain approved training and renew their licenses each renewal period or lose the license.

Q: When is an operator required to obtain license renewal training hours?

Answer: An operator must begin obtaining approved renewal training upon receipt of an OIT certificate or license. During the renewal period the license or certificate was received training an operator must obtain an average one hour of training per month. An operator must then obtain 24 hours of training during future renewal periods. Each renewal period ends on June 30 of each odd numbered year.