The Arkansas Department of Health’s Engineering Section has two kinds of water system operator licensing schemes. There are water distribution operators and water treatment operators. This article discusses distribution operator licensing. Use the tags below to find the water system treatment operator licensing article.

There are 5 grades of licenses for Arkansas water distribution operators – Very Small System, Grade I, Grade II, Grade III, and Grade IV. You will have to attend a training that lasts from between 40 and 96 hours before qualifying to take a licensing test in each grade.

But before you can take a test and get licensed, you may need experience. The first grade does not require experience. But Grade IV has a 3-year requirement, which is the most of any of the grades. You may train and take the exam before you have the required work experience. If you pass, you will be an operator-in-training for that grade until you accumulate the requisite experience required for that grade’s license.

When you apply for a license, the Engineering Section will send you a study packet. So you can get ready. But be aware that this is a closed-book test. So you may not use any references when you sit for the exam.

The Very Small System license is when you have no more than one pressure plane and a population not larger than 499.

Grade I is required if you have more than one pressure plane and a population not greater than 499. But if you have one pressure plane and a population greater than 3299, then Grade I is also required.

Grade II applies in the following situations:

1. You have one pressure plane, a population greater than 3299, and you are a supervisor;

2. You have one pressure plane, a population greater than 9999, and you are not a supervisor;

3. You have more than one pressure plane, a population greater than 499, and you are a supervisor.

3. You have more than one pressure plane, a population greater than 3299, and you are not a supervisor.

Grade III applies as follows:

1. You have more than one pressure plane, a population greater than 3299, and you are a supervisor;

2. You have more than one pressure plane, a population greater than 9999, and you are not a supervisor;

3. You have one pressure plane, a population greater than 9999, and you are a supervisor; or

4. You have one pressure plane, a population greater than 49999, and you are not a supervisor.

And Grade IV is required if any of the following conditions exist:

1. You have one pressure plane, a population greater than 49999, and you are a supervisor;

2. You have more than one pressure plane, a population greater than 9999, and you are a supervisor.

You can get application forms and information on exams and training courses at the Arkansas Department of Health website.

http://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programsServices/environmentalHealth/Engineering/operatorCertification/Pages/default.aspx