Drinking Water Operator Certification
Welcome to the National Environmental Services Center's (NESC) Drinking Water Operator Certification Web page. The NESC recognizes the significance of operator training and education because the health of a community relies on having competent drinking water treatment operators. This site provides resources about drinking water operator certification.
Drinking water operator certification not only establishes minimal professional standards, it also gives drinking water operators the knowledge and understanding they need to provide safe, adequate drinking water supplies to their customers. In turn, system customers can have confidence in the drinking water treatment system, because they know that the person responsible for supplying drinking water is a skilled professional.
Drinking water operator certification requirements vary from state to state. Make sure you check with the primacy agency in your state to get accurate information about the requirements you will need to be familiar with.
Drinking water operator certification is managed on a state-by-state basis and each state has somewhat different rules. The Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) provides links to each state's primacy agency for specific information about your state's requirements. Access this information on the ASDWA Links page.
Use the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Web site to find your state's primacy agency on their Local Operator Certification Information interactive map. This Web site offers many other resources. Information can be found in their Ground Water & Drinking Water section called Operator Certification.
The NESC houses many of the resources that operators need to be prepared for certification exams, including:
These products were developed by NESC. Please note that shipping charges may apply. The PDF files are free to download.
- "Acing the Test: How to Prepare for an Operator Certification Exam" (On Tap Winter 2008 Volume 7, Issue 4): On Tap magazine, published by the National Environmental Service Center, offers articles of interest to America's small communities concerning drinking water. Anyone who has ever faced taking an exam knows that being prepared is the largest part of the battle. The lead story in this issue gives some great advice on how to prepare for the operator certification test. Additional articles cover the rehabilitation of some Texas colonias and advice for homeowners on weathering drought conditions. The download includes the full issue.
Free, available online only. [ Download pdf / 6.1 MG ]
- "Basic Water and Wastewater Formulas" (Tech Brief Fact Sheet 2008) : Operators obtaining or maintaining their certification must be able to calculate complex formulas using various conversion factors. This Tech Brief provides basic examples of these formulas. Various conversion tables are included.
Product # DWFSOM103 / 60 cents [ Download pdf / 412 KB ]
- Tech Brief Fact Sheets Package: Order the whole collection of Tech Brief Fact Sheets. The NESC Tech Briefs are four-page fact sheets included in OnTap magazine. Each fact sheet provides concise technical information about a drinking water treatment technology or issue relevant to small systems. The documents are written for drinking water professionals, particularly small system operators. Tables and illustrations are provided as are sources for more information. The package holds all the current Tech Briefs in print and new selections can be added to the package as they become available.
Product # DWPKOM36 / Price varies and shipping charges apply. [ Visit our Tech Brief Web page. ]
- Water and Wastewater Treatment Formula Pocket Cards 2007: This laminated pocket card lists several formulas useful to water and wastewater treatment operators, such as backwash rate, chlorine dosing, detention time, flow, and solution strength. A list of conversion factors is included.
Product # DWPCOM84 / Free [ Download pdf / 124 KB ]
- "Planning for a Changing Workforce" (On Tap Summer 2005 Volume 5, Issue 2): Within the next several years,many workers will retire. Is your system prepared to deal with this exodus? The download includes the full issue.
Free, available online only. [ Download pdf / 3.6 MG ]
- "Employees Keep the Water Flowing: How do we keep the employees?" (On Tap Fall 2002 Volume 2, Issue 3): Water treatment workers are increasingly moving from job to job and system
to system as they find better
pay and better working conditions
at nearby facilities. Many
workers leave the water business
altogether for different
jobs and higher pay in other
industries, leaving their system
without a certified operator.
Free, available online only. [ Download pdf / 216 KB ]
- Tribal Drinking Water Operator Certification Program: Having a certified operator is a key factor in protecting public health, and regulations promulgated under the Safe Drinking Water Act require that tribal public water systems must be operated by qualified personnel. This document describes the guidelines for operator training and certification, including classification of systems, facilities, and operations; operator qualifications; program implementation; operator certification renewal; recertification; stakeholder involvement and program review; and submittal requirements for certification of a program.
Product # DWBLOM86 / $1.95
How to Order
- Call the NESC toll free at (304) 293-4191. or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and provide us with the title and product number provided.
- If you'd like to learn more about becoming a certified water operator or if you have questions about more specific items such as certification exams, please contact our technical services unit toll free at (304) 293-4191. option 3.