August 29, 2014
Section AWWA would like to inform our
membership about possible changes in the wastewater certification rules that
could be implemented in the next 24 to 36 months.
Environmental Protection Agency is seeking input regarding these proposed
changes through the Board of Certification. The model the Agency is using for
what will be required is the current training requirements for Certified Public
Wastewater Operators will need to receive training and submit the
documentation in 3 year cycles.
Operator’s cycles will be staggered so
that one third of the Operators will need to submit the documentation
- The proposed Continuing Education Requirement (CEU) is
15 hours every three years for Class 3 and 4 Operators, and 30 hours every
three years for Class 1 and 2.
- The types
of training and structure currently accepted for Water Operators is
outlined below. The Wastewater regulations would look similar.
Water Operators also pay a fee every three years of $10. (This is only if the Water renewal is sent in on time,
otherwise they also are charged a late renewal fee.) The proposed
Wastewater fees will be $30.00 for Exam Application Review; $30.00 for 3-year
Renewal Application; $10.00 for each written exam; $25.00 for late renewal
penalty; $10.00 replacement certificate fee. There will be other fees and
slightly different fees proposed for the Industrial operators. The
Agency is undecided if this fee will be collected from Wastewater Operators
although it appears likely.
You may ask
why the Agency is pursuing this now. There are operators that were
certified in the 1970s and 1980s that may not have had any training since that
time. Most other states that have a wastewater operator
certification program utilize CEU’s as part of their programs which is a
barrier to reciprocity.
Section AWWA is seeking comments that will be summarized and forwarded to the
Board of Certification. The Agency will evaluate the comments and
report back to the Wastewater Operator Certification Board at their meeting
scheduled for November 5, 2014.
Section AWWA believes that the addition of CEU requirements for renewal
will enhance the value and stature of Wastewater Operator Certification
in Illinois, and we ask that you closely consider how this concept will affect
your operators and your organization. The strengthened certification
program will also allow greater flexibility in reciprocity between states and a
higher recognition of certified wastewater operators from Illinois.
As far as
what we can expect from a rules standpoint, below are the rules that apply to
Drinking Water Operators. We will work with IEPA in preparation for
analogous regulations for wastewater regulations. The extensive Illinois
Section AWWA online database tracking system used for water operators to track
their training will be available for wastewater operator training tracking.
can submit these comments to Laurie Dougherty, Executive Director by email email@example.com
by September 15th, 2014.
681.820 Training Criteria (This is for water treatment operators, NOT wastewater)
The Agency will accept training for certificate renewal if the training
directly relates to water distribution, water treatment, or the professional
responsibilities of the operator.
Allowable training topics relating to potable water treatment and distribution
include, but are not limited to:
Coagulation and Flocculation
Drinking Water Permits, Laws, Rules and Regulations
Drinking Water Related Computer Courses
Ground Water Protection
Ground Water Treatment
Iron and Manganese Control
Process Waste Handling and Disposal
Pumps and Hydraulics
Reservoir Management and Intake Structures
Sampling and Operating Reports
Taste and Odor Control
Water Sources & Treatment
Water Storage Facilities
Water Supply Math and Chemistry Calculations
Water Supply Operation and Maintenance
Allowable training topics relating to the professional responsibilities of the
operator and safety include, but are not limited to:
Emergency Planning and Preparation
Utility Administration Management
Training Exclusions. Types of training activities that do not directly relate
to water distribution, water treatment, or the professional responsibilities of
the operator shall not be accepted as renewal training credit. The
following are not considered training for the purpose of meeting the
certificate renewal training requirements:
1) Entertainment or
2) On the job work or
3) Personal self-improvement
Plant tours (unless drinking water related training is integrated into the
Portions of meetings and conferences when drinking water related training is
not provided (i.e., business session, lunch, breaks, etc.);
Time spent viewing conference/meeting exhibits; and
Travel time to and from training activities.
Training may be provided by any of the variety of organizations equipped to
provide that training, such as colleges and universities, technical institutes,
educational units of governmental or industrial agencies, professional operator
organizations, and equipment suppliers and manufacturers. Training that
meets the criteria, regardless of the location of the training or the location
of the training provider, is allowed for renewal training credit. For
example, drinking water related training from another state will be allowed for
credit provided the criteria is met. In-house training programs provided
at drinking water supplies are also acceptable for training credit provided all
training criteria are met and proof of training documentation is provided to
Acceptable training formats include classroom courses, teleconferences, courses
offered via the Internet, workshops, seminars, correspondence courses, in-house
training programs, and drinking water related training sessions at
conferences/meetings of professional operator organizations.
Training must be approved by the Agency. Training providers or sponsors
must request approval of training from the Agency before the training is
offered. A training approved by the Agency will be assigned an Agency