Connecticut Wastewater and Drinking Water Certification and Training Requirements
Contact for Connecticut Wastewater Treatment Certification:
In Connecticut, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) Bureau of Water Management certifies Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators. There are four classes of certification, Classes I through IV (lowest to highest) based on treatment complexity.
In order to qualify to take a DEP-sponsored exam, an applicant must fully complete an application detailing how they meet the experience and education requirements appropriate for that particular class of exam. Once an exam is passed, a certificate is then issued, except in the case of an Operator-In-Training (OIT). In the case of an OIT, a certificate is issued when the operator provides documentation of having fulfilled the experience requirement. In some instances, extra education may be applied toward a portion of the experience requirement, and extra direct responsible charge experience may be applied toward a portion of the education requirement. While the regulations require that exams be given once per year, the practice has been that exams are given in January and July of each year.
OIT applicants may apply to take the Class I, II or III exam without meeting the experience requirements. A successful applicant that passes the exam is required to present to the DEP proof of having fulfilled the experience requirements prior to being issued the appropriate certificate. A valid certificate must be issued before the applicant is able to assume duties requiring that Class of certification.
Presently renewal is not a requirement to maintain wastewater certification in Connecticut. However, a certificate will lapse if an operator leaves a Water Pollution Control Facility and does not reemploy at a facility within 2 years. To reactivate a lapsed certificate, the operator will have to reapply, retest, pass and reemploy in order for a certificate to be reissued. Renewal, along with laboratory and collection certification, is being addressed and regulations will be drafted in the future.
Certification for Collection System Operators is a voluntary program administered through the New England Water Environment Association. This voluntary certification program has been established to promote the employment of trained, experienced, reliable, and efficient personnel for the operation of public and industrial wastewater works. There are currently four Grades of certification based on system complexity and flow capacity. Certification exams are held by the Collection Systems Certification Committee of NEWEA at time and places of their choosing. Visit the voluntary certification page for more information on this program.
Contact for Connecticut Water Certification:
Connecticut Department of Public Health – Drinking Water Section – WT, D, VSWS, X, BPA
William J. Sullivan, Sanitary Engineer 3
Drinking Water Section
In Connecticut the Department of Public Health certifies water system operators. There are four levels of certification based on treatment complexity for water treatment facility operators, Class I being the lowest and Class IV being the highest. There are three levels of certification based on population served for water distribution system operators, again Class I the lowest and Class III the highest.
Generally, no experience is needed to become an Operator-In-Training (OIT); however a high school diploma or its equivalent (GED) is required to attain water certification in Connecticut. To take an OIT exam, a person must receive a Certificate of Achievement in Water Management from a Connecticut Community College, or equivalent training, as determined by the Department. There are two certification exam opportunities per year. Every three years documented technical training contact hours are required for certification renewal.
Present regulations include the following general conditions:
- All Community Water Systems and all Non-Transient Non-Community Water Systems are required to have their Water Treatment Plants, Distribution Systems, and Small Water Systems operated by certified operators.
- Treatment Plants are divided into four classifications by a point system based on plant size, flow, and complexity. Distribution Systems are divided into three classifications based on populations served. A Small Water System serves fewer than 1000 persons and has no treatment.
- To become certified, an operator must meet specific education and experience requirements, based on the plant or system classification, and pass an examination. Operators must renew their certificates every three years by meeting specific training hour requirements for renewal.