Getting a Colorado License (Certification) For Water And Wastewater Facility Operators

The Colorado Department of Health and Environment has a Water and Wastewater Facility Operators Certification Board. This board provides licensing to certain individuals. Requirements usually include experience and a certification exam, and education might also be included. Rule 100 has the license qualifications for Colorado water and wastewater facility operators.

Wastewater systems are classified based on the population served and related factors. I will not go into this, as it is highly complicated. Just be aware that the exam you do need is based on operation of the classification for which you are applying. However, any experience on a water or wastewater system generally counts even if it is on a different system than the one for which you are applying. This is kind of a lax rule. However, you cannot immediately skip to higher levels any time you want. You have to already be certified at lower levels in some cases before moving up.

Tests are based on a category and level of the facility. 70 percent is the passing score for all tests, according to Rule 100.9.2. Any required education and experience must be obtained before taking the certification exam.

Generally, you must have a high school diploma or GED. But it is possible to qualify for a water or wastewater operator certification without it. However, you must have an additional 6 months of experience and complete a separate training course.

Class T requires no prior certification or experience. Classes D, S, and 1 require 1 month of experience and no prior certification. Class C requires 2 years and a Class D or S certification. Class 2 requires 2 years and a Class 1 or S certification.

Class B requires 3 years of experience and Class C certification. Class 3 requires 3 years and a Class 2 certification.

Class A requires 4 years and Class B certification. And Class 4 requires 4 years and Class 3 certification.

An approved training course can sometimes replace actual experience. Ask your employer about this possibility.

After you are qualified based on education and experience, you apply with the Certification Board. They will give you the time and place of your exam.

If approved by the Board, 15 college credit hours replaces 6 months of experience, while 30 credit hours is a year of experience. 300 contact hours of training is 4 months of experience. However, you must take relevant classes, such as engineering, and the total can be only up to 50 percent of the experience requirement. Despite that, non-relevant college classes can substitute for 25 percent of the required total. Due to the 50-percent rule, that means at least 50 percent of the experience required must be through actual on-site work.

Call the Board if you need water and wastewater facility operator exam and certification forms. Their number is 303-692-3463.

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