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Qualifications for Operator Certification


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Qualifications

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Operator Certification Program, Division 335-10-1 regulations define the requirements for certification. Follow the links below to jump to a section.

335-10-1-.07 Examinations.

The first step in the certification process is the written examination. A person wishing to apply for examination must submit a complete application to the Department, together with the appropriate fees required by Rule 335-1-1-.06. The applicant must have a high school diploma or a general equivalency diploma (GED).

(1) Examinations shall reflect the minimum knowledge and skills required to competently operate the various classifications of water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants, water distribution systems, and public wastewater collection systems.

(2) The Department shall hold at least one examination each year for the purpose of examining candidates for certification, at a time and place designated by the Department. The Department reserves the right to limit the number of examinees for each scheduled exam based on space limitations. The examinees will be scheduled on a first-come first-serve basis.

(3) The minimum passing grade shall be seventy percent. Each applicant shall be notified in writing of the results of his examination. All examinations shall remain the property of the Department.

(4) Upon passing the examination, the Operator intern must obtain the necessary working experience as detailed in 335-10-1-.08 in order to become certified. If the necessary working experience is not obtained within five years of passing the examination, the operator intern must retest.

(5) The application and fees for examination must be received by the Department no later than 30 days prior to the examination.

(6) The Director may deny an application for \cause, including violations of this Chapter.

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335-10-1-.08 Qualification for Certification.

An operator intern wishing to apply for certification must submit a complete application to the Department, together with the appropriate fees required by Rule 335-1-1-.06. The applicant must obtain the following working experience prior to submittal of the application:

(a) For a Grade I water distribution system, at least r twelve months working experience in a Grade I or higher water system. Credit for a maximum of six months of working experience may be allowed by the Department for the completion of, or attendance at, Department approved training programs, classes or seminars;

(b) For a Grade I wastewater treatment plant or Grade I(C) public wastewater collection system, at least twelve months working experience in a Grade I or higher wastewater treatment plant or Grade I (C) public wastewater collection system. Credit for a maximum of six months of working experience may be allowed by the Department for the completion of, or attendance at, Department approved training programs, classes, or seminars;

(c) For a Grade II water treatment plant, at least eighteen months working experience in a Grade II or higher water treatment plant, or twenty-four months of combined experience in a Grade I water distribution system or a Grade II, III, or IV water treatment plant. Credit for a maximum of nine months of working experience may be allowed by the Department for the completion of, or attendance at, Department approved training programs, classes or seminars.

(d) For a Grade II wastewater treatment plant, at least eighteen months working experience in a Grade II or higher wastewater treatment plant or twenty-four months of combined experience in a Grade I, II, III, or IV wastewater treatment plant. Credit for a maximum of nine months of working experience may be allowed by the Department for the completion of, or attendance at, Department approved training programs, classes, or seminars.

(e) For a Grade III advanced groundwater treatment plant, at least twenty-four months treatment experience in a Grade ill advanced groundwater treatment plant or thirty-six months of combined working experience in a Grade II, III or IV water treatment plant. Credit for a maximum of twelve months of working experience may be allowed by the Department for the completion of, or attendance at, Department approved training programs, classes or seminars.

(f) For a Grade III wastewater treatment plant, at least twenty-four months working experience in a Grade III or higher wastewater treatment plant or thirty-six months of combined working experience in a Grade II, III or IV wastewater treatment plant. Credit for a maximum of twelve months of treatment experience may be allowed by the Department for the completion of, or attendance at, Department approved training programs, classes or seminars.

(g) For a Grade IV water treatment plant, at least twenty-four months treatment experience in a Grade IV water treatment plant. Credit for a maximum of twelve months of working experience may be allowed by the Department for the completion of, or attendance at. Department approved training programs, classes or seminars.

(h) For a Grade IV wastewater treatment plant, at least twenty-four months working experience in a Grade IV wastewater treatment plant or thirty-six months of combined working experience in a Grade III or IV wastewater treatment plant. Credit for a maximum of twelve months of treatment experience may be allowed by the Department for the completion of, or attendance at, Department approved training programs, classes or seminars.

(i) For the purposes of calculating working experience, 1900 hours of applicable experience equals twelve months.

(j) Substitution for required experience with approved training programs, classes or seminars is as follows (limited by requirements of each grade level in this chapter):

15 Hours 3 months experience
30 Hours 6 months experience
45 Hours 9 months experience
60 Hours 12 months experience

 

(k) All working experience claimed in the application must be verified in writing by the operator intern's direct supervisor or another certified operator familiar with the operator intern's experience.

(l) The Director may deny an application for cause, including violations of this Chapter.

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835-10-1.09 Re-examination.

(1) A person who fails to pass one examination for a particular classification of water treatment plant, water distribution system, wastewater treatment plant, or public wastewater collection system may take another regularly scheduled examination for the same classification of plant or system provided a new application is submitted together with fees in accordance with Rule 335-10-1-.07.

(2) A person who fails to pass two examinations for a particular classification of water treatment plant, water distribution system, wastewater treatment plant, or public wastewater collection system may take another regularly scheduled examination for the same classification of plant or system provided a new application is submitted together with fees in accordance with Rule 335-10-1-.07 and provided that he submits adequate proof that he has successfully completed 8 hours of additional training programs as approved by the Department.

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335-10-1-10 Continuing Education

(1) All certified operators must demonstrate continuing education activities and file these activities along with the renewal application and nonrefundable fee for certification renewal. Training activities must be attended within the three year period prior to the expiration date except for carry over credit.

(2) Operators with one water certificate must demonstrate 24 continuing education hours (CEH) of actual training in the water field. Wastewater operators with one certificate must demonstrate 24 CEH training in the wastewater field. Training activities can only be counted once. Operators with more than one certificate must obtain 15 CEH of training in the proper field for each certificate for the renewal period. An operator can only hold one water and one wastewater certificate.

(3) A maximum of 10 CEH of training per certificate may be carried over into the next three year renewal period.

(4) Continuing education training shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) Association and/or Department sponsored short-courses, and seminars;

(b) Successfully completing or auditing college sponsored courses, and seminars;

(c) Approved correspondence and online courses;

(d) Management and supervision courses;

(e) In-house or regional courses taught by experienced certified operators or experienced instructors;

(f) Teaching or instructing as described in (a) through (e)above.

(g) All such activities as described in (a) through (f) above must be relevant to water and wastewater treatment, distribution and collection systems and may include safety and/or managerial content. Documentation of class attendance must be obtained from the instructor and retained until the next renewal period.

Go to the Continuing Education section of our web site for more information on continuing education courses available through the ARWA.

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