Qualifications of Operators of Water Treatment Plants



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Department of Public Health Public Health Code




Qualifications of Operators of Water Treatment Plants
25-32-7a. Definitions

As used in Sections 25-32-7a to 25-32-14, inclusive:

(a) "(ABC)" means the Association of Boards of Certification.

(b) "Available" means reasonably accessible in order to respond to plant or system changes or malfunctions.

(c) "Certified Operator" means an operator who has met the education, experience and examination requirements specified in sections 25-32-7a to 25-32-14, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies and has been certified by the department.

(d) "Chief Operator" means a certified operator who has been designated by the system as the operator who has direct responsible charge for the operation and maintenance of the plant, distribution system or small water system.

(e) "Community water system" means a public water system that serves at least twenty-five (25) residents.

(f) "Conditional operator" means an existing operator who had direct responsible charge, for at least the one year prior to the effective date of the most recent revisions of sections 25-32-7a to 25-32-14, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, of a plant, distribution system, or small water system which is required to have a certified operator for the first time as a result of the most recent revisions of sections 25-32-7a to 25-32-14, inclusive, of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies and has been duly certified by the department.

(g) "Department" means Connecticut Department of Public Health.

(h) “Direct Responsible Charge" means active, daily responsibility for the operation of a plant, distribution system, or small water system.

(i) "Distribution system" means any combination of pipes, tanks, pumps, etc. which delivers water from the source(s) and/or treatment facility or facilities to the consumer.

(j) "Limited Operator" means an existing operator who had direct responsible charge as of February 9, 1989 and has been duly certified by the department.

(k) "Non-transient non-community water system" (NTNC) means a public water system that is not a community system and that regularly serves at least twenty-five (25) of the same persons over six (6) months per year.

(l) “Operator" means any individual either employed or retained by a public water system who, as part of their job duties, is assigned the responsibility for operational activities that shall directly impact the quality and/or quantity of drinking water provided to consumers.

(m) "Operator-in-Training" means a person who has received either a Certificate of Achievement in Water Management from a Connecticut Community- Technical College, or an equivalent as determined by the Department and who has met the examination requirements specified in sections 25-32-7a to 25-32- 14, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(n) “Provisional Operator" means an operator who is given permission by the Department to have direct responsible charge, for up to 2 years, to allow the operator to become certified.

(o) “Public water system" or "system" means any water company, as defined in section 25-32a of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS), supplying water to fifteen (15) or more consumers, as defined in section 25-32a of the CGS, or twenty-five or more persons daily, at least sixty (60) days of the year.

(p) “Small water system" means a community water system or a non-transient non-community water system that serves less than 1000 persons and has no treatment or has only treatment which does not require any chemical treatment, process adjustment, backwashing or media regeneration by an operator.

(q) “Treatment plant" or "plant" means a building or structure containing equipment for altering the characteristics of drinking water. Plants, which do not involve any chemical treatment, process adjustment, backwashing or media regeneration by an operator, are excluded from this definition.

(Effective February 9, 1989; Amended effective July 26, 2001.)


25-32-8. Classification of water treatment plants

(a) Water treatment plants shall be classified according to points assigned to each plant based on the ABC system. The classification form shall be provided by the Department, and shall be filled in by the system. The contents of such form shall be verified by the department. The classifications are as follows:

Class I 30 points or less

Class II 31-55 points

Class III 56-75 points

Class IV 76 points or greater

(Effective February 9, 1989; Amended effective July 26, 2001.)
25-32-9. Qualifications for certified water treatment operators

(a) Except as provided in subsections (e) and (f) of this section, every community water system and every non-transient non-community water system treatment plant shall have at least one operator who is certified at the plant's class or higher and who shall be designated by the system as the chief operator. The chief operator shall have direct responsible charge of the plant. In the event that the chief operator is not available, the system shall place an operator, who is certified at the plant's class or higher, in direct responsible charge to serve in the interim. All operators in direct responsible charge and any operators making process control/system integrity decisions about water quality or quantity, that affect public health, shall be certified at the plant's class or higher or certified as a conditional or provisional operator.

(b) To become certified as a water treatment plant operator a person must demonstrate the ability to responsibly operate a plant of the given classification applied for (I, II, Ill, IV) by passing a written examination. To qualify to take the examination, a person shall submit an application to the Department on a form provided by the Department.

(c) Minimum education and experience requirements to qualify for the written examination:


Experience

Class Education (yrs.) in class (yrs.)

I 12 1

II 12 2


III 12 3

IV 12 4


The minimum education requirement shall be met by either a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma. Any amount of educational training beyond high school (12 years) in a field of study applicable to water treatment may be substituted for an equal amount of the experience requirement; however, one year of experience is, for purposes of this subsection, required for all classes. Experience in class means experience gained in operating a particular class plant or the next lower class providing that the operator has direct responsible charge.

(d) Examination requirement for certification A written examination administered by the Department will be given to qualifying operator candidates. The examination will test the candidate's ability to responsibly operate a plant of the given classification applied for (I, II, III, IV). A passing score will be required for certification.

(e) Existing operators--If an operator having direct responsible charge of a plant as of February 9,1989 is not certified, the department may certify that operator as a limited operator upon presentation of an application by the system by February 9, 1990. This certification is only granted for a specific plant and cannot be transferred to another plant, system or individual. A limited operator cannot be designated as a chief operator but can serve in direct responsible charge.
If an operator has had direct responsible charge of a non-transient non- community water system water treatment plant for at least the one year prior to the effective date of the most recent revisions of sections 25-32-7a to 25-32-14 inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies and is not certified, the Department may certify that operator as a conditional operator upon presentation of an application by the system within one year of the effective date of the most recent revisions of sections 25-32-7a to 25-32-14, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. This certification is only granted for a specific plant and cannot be transferred to another plant, system or individual. The conditional certification is no longer valid if the plant classification changes to a higher level. A conditional operator shall meet all renewal requirements including training hour requirements for the operator class equal to the classification of the specific plant. The Department may certify a maximum of two conditional operators per non-transient non-community water system. A conditional operator can perform the functions of a certified operator.

(f) Provisional operators--If a system does not have a qualified operator as outlined in Section 25-32-9(a) and if the department determines that this is due to reasons beyond the system's control, the Department may certify an operator as a provisional operator. The system must submit a request in writing, which indicates the reasons for not having a qualified operator and include an application. The provisional operator certificate would only be granted for a given plant and only be given to an operator who could qualify to take the appropriate class exam within 2 years. A provisional operator can perform the functions of a certified operator.

(g) Operator-in-training--A person who has received either a certificate of achievement in water management from a Connecticut Community-Technical College, or an equivalent as determined by the Department, may apply to take any class examination. After successful completion of the examination, the person will be an operator-in-training. After the operator-in-training has completed the education and experience requirements of the appropriate class, he may apply to become a certified operator.

(Effective February 9, 1989; Amended effective July 26, 2001.)


25-32-10. Classification of water distribution systems

  1. Each water distribution system shall be classified according to the population served.

The classifications are as follows:
Class I 1000-5000 persons served

Class II 5001-50,000 persons served

Class III Over 50,000 persons served

(Effective February 9, 1989.)


25-32-11. Qualifications for certified distribution system operators

(a) Except as provided in subsections (f) and (g) of this section, every community water and every non-transient non-community water distribution system which serves 1,000 or more persons shall have at least one operator who is certified at the distribution system's class or higher and who shall be designated by the system as the chief operator. The chief operator shall have direct responsible charge of the distribution system. In the event that the chief operator is not available, the system shall place an operator, who is certified at the distribution system's class or higher, in direct responsible charge to serve in the interim. Except as provided in subsections (f) and (g), all operators in direct responsible charge and any operators making process control/system integrity decisions about water quality or quantity, that affect public health, shall be certified at the distribution system's class or higher or certified as a conditional or provisional operator.

(b) To become certified as a distribution system operator a person must demonstrate the ability to responsibly operate a distribution system of the given classification applied for (I, II, III) by passing a written examination. To qualify to take the examination, a person shall submit an application to the Department on a form provided by the Department.

(c) Minimum education and experience requirement to qualify for the written examination:


Class Education (yrs.) Experience (yrs.)

I 12 1


II 12 2

III 12 4


Each year of education beyond high school (12 years) in a field applicable to water distribution may serve to satisfy one year of the experience requirement to qualify for the written examination. The minimum education requirements shall be met by either a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma. A minimum of one year of experience in operating a distribution system is required for all classes.

(d) Examination requirement for certification--A written examination administered by the Department will be given to qualifying system operator candidates. The examination will test the candidate's ability to responsibly operate a distribution system of the given classification applied for (I, II, III). A passing score shall be required for certification.

(e) Every public water system which is required to have testable backflow prevention devices in its system, pursuant to section 19-13-B38a of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, shall have those devices tested by a person who has completed and passed a course on the testing of backflow preventers administered or approved by the Department.

(f) Existing operators--If an operator having direct responsible charge of a distribution system as of February 9, 1989 is not certified, the Department may certify that operator as a limited operator upon presentation of an application by the system by February 9, 1990. This certification is only granted for a specific distribution system and cannot be transferred to another distribution system. A limited operator cannot be designated as a chief operator but can serve in direct responsible charge.


If an operator has had direct responsible charge of a non-transient non- community water system distribution system, which serves 1,000 or more persons, for at least the one year prior to the effective date of the most recent revisions of sections 25-32-7a to 25-32-14, inclusive, of the regulations of Connecticut State Agencies and is not certified, The Department may certify that operator as a conditional operator upon presentation of an application by the system within one year of the effective date of the most recent revisions of sections 25-32-7a to 25-32-14, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. This certification is only granted for a specific distribution system and cannot be transferred to another system, plant, or individual. The conditional certification is no longer valid if the distribution system classification changes to a higher level. A conditional operator shall meet all renewal requirements including training hour requirements for the operator class equal to the classification of the specific distribution system. The Department may certify a maximum of two conditional operators per distribution system.

(g) Provisional operators--If a system does not have a qualified operator as outlined in Section 25-32-11(a)and if the Department determines that this is due to reasons beyond the system's control, the Department may certify an operator as a provisional operator.


The system must submit a request in writing which indicates the reasons for not having a qualified operator and include an application. The provisional operator certificate would only be granted for a given distribution system and only be given to an operator who could qualify to take the appropriate class exam within 2 years.

(h) Every public water system which has consumer premises required to be inspected for cross connections, pursuant to section 19-13-B102(f) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, shall have those premises inspected by a person who has completed and passed a course on cross connection inspections administered or approved by the Department.

(i) Operator-in-Training--A person who has received either a certificate of achievement in water management from a Connecticut Community-Technical College, or an equivalent as determined by the Department, may apply to take any class examination for a certified distribution system operator. After successful completion of the examination, the person will be an operator-in-training. After the operator-in-training has completed the education and experience requirements of the appropriate class, he may apply to become a certified operator.

(Effective February 9, 1989; Amended effective July 26, 2001.)


25-32-11a. Qualifications for small water system operators

(a) Except as provided in subsection (e) and (f) of this section, every community water system and every non-transient non-community water system which meets the definition of small water system shall have at least one operator who is certified as a small water system, water treatment plant or water distribution system operator who shall be designated by the system as the chief operator. In the event that the chief operator is not available, the system shall make arrangements to ensure that another certified operator is available to serve in direct responsible charge in the interim. All operators in direct responsible charge and any operators making process control/system integrity decisions about water quality or quantity, that affect public health, shall be certified as an operator, conditional operator or provisional operator for that system.

(b) To become certified as a small water system operator, a person shall demonstrate the ability to responsibly operate a small water system by passing a written examination. To qualify to take the examination, a person shall submit an application to the department on a form provided by the department.

(c) Minimum education and experience requirements to qualify for the written examination:


Class Education (yrs.) Experience

Small water system 12 years 6 months


The minimum education requirement shall be met by either a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma. Six (6) months experience operating a small water system, water treatment plant or water distribution system may be substituted for the education requirement. These six (6) months of experience shall not also be used to meet the experience requirement.
The experience requirement shall be met by operating a small water system, water treatment plant or water distribution system. A minimum of twenty (20) hours of training acceptable to the department may be substituted for the experience requirement.
(d) Examination Requirement for Certification -- A written examination administered by the department shall be given to qualifying operator candidates. The examination shall test the candidate's ability to operate a small water system. A passing score shall be required for certification.

(e) Conditional Operators -- If an operator has had direct responsible charge of a small water system for at least the one year prior to the effective date of the most recent revisions of Sections 25-32-7a to 25-32-14, inclusive, of the regulations of Connecticut State Agencies and is not certified, the department may certify an operator as a conditional operator upon presentation of an application by the system within one year of the effective date of the most recent revisions of Sections 25-32-7a to 25-32-14, inclusive, of the regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. This certification is only granted for a specific system and cannot be transferred to another system, plant or individual. The conditional certification is no longer valid if the system classification changes to a higher level. A conditional operator shall meet all renewal requirements including training hour requirements for a small water system operator. The department may certify a maximum of two conditional operators per small water system.

(f) Provisional Operators -- If a system does not have a qualified operator as outlined in section 25-32-11a(a) and if the department determines that this is due to reasons beyond the system's control, the department may certify an operator as a provisional operator. The system shall submit a request in writing which indicates the reasons for not having a qualified operator and include an application. The provisional operator certificate shall only be granted for a given system and only be given to an operator who could qualify to take the appropriate class exam within 2 years.

(Added effective July 26, 2001; Amended effective May 2, 2003.)


25-32-12. Reciprocity

The Department may waive the examination requirements specified in Section 25- 32-9(d) Section 25-32-11(d), and Section 25-32-11a(c) in the event that the applicant has passed an examination given by another state or ABC and the Department has entered into a reciprocity agreement with that state or ABC. A reciprocity agreement may only be established if the Department deems that the requirements of the other state or ABC are at least as stringent as those of the Department.

(Effective February 9, 1989; Amended effective July 26, 2001.)
25-32-13. Revocation of certification

The commissioner may take any disciplinary action set forth in section 19a- 17 of the Connecticut General Statutes, except for the assessment of a civil penalty, against an operator holding a certificate issued pursuant to sections 25-32-7a to 25-32-14, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, for any of the following reasons: fraud or material deception in procuring a certificate, the renewal of a certificate or the reinstatement of a certificate; fraud or material deception in the performance of the certified operator's professional activities; incompetent, negligent or illegal performance of the certified operator's professional activities; conviction of the certified operator for a felony; or failure of the certified operator to complete the training required under sections 25- 32-7a to 25-32-14, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(Effective February 9, 1989; Amended effective July 26, 2001.)
25-32-14. Renewal

(a) Treatment plant, distribution system and small water system operators-- Certificates issued pursuant to sections 25-32-9, 25-32-11 and 25-32-11 a of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies must be renewed every 3 years by the operator to remain valid. The renewal form shall be provided by the Department and must be completed by the operator. This section does not apply to certificates for Provisional Operators issued pursuant to sections 25-32- 9(f), 25-32-11(g) and 25-32-lla(e) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.


Renewal requirements--to qualify for renewal, a treatment plant, distribution system or small water system operator shall complete the training hours specified in table 1, for each three year renewal period.
Table 1
Operator Class Training Hours

Treatment I, Distribution I, Small system 10

Treatment II, Distribution II 20

Treatment III & IV, Distribution III 30


In order to phase in the training hour requirements, applicants shall complete the training hours specified for the following renewal periods in table 2. These requirements only apply for certificates, which expire less than three years after the effective date of the most recent revisions of sections 25- 32-7a to 25-32-14 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. After that, table 1 applies.
Table 2


Operator Class Training Hours Per Renewal Period

A B C

Treatment I, Distribution I, Small System 0 3 7

Treatment II, Distribution II 0 7 13

Treatment Ill & IV, Distribution III 0 10 20


Renewal period a applies to certificates, which expire less than one year after the effective date of the most recent revisions of sections 25-32-7a to 25-32-14 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.
Renewal period B applies to certificates which expire one year or more and less than two years after the effective date of the most recent revisions of sections 25-32-7a to 25-32-14 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.
Renewal period C applies to certificates, which expire two years or more and less than three years after the effective date of the most recent revisions of sections 25-32-7a to 25-32-14 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.
The training shall be in treatment plant, distribution system or small system operation and be acceptable to the Department.

(b) If an operator does not renew his or her certificate by the expiration date, the certificate expires and the operator is no longer certified. An operator may renew an expired certificate for up to six months after the expiration date by meeting all renewal requirements. To become certified greater than six months after the expiration date, an operator shall meet all current certification requirements including successful completion of an examination to be recertified.



(Effective February 9, 1989; Amended effective July 26, 2001.)



Current with materials published in Connecticut Law Journal through 11/06/2007



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