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Basic Laboratory Course Curricula Guidelines for Wastewater Operators

The following are guidelines for developing the Basic Laboratory Course for wastewater operator certification. Completion of this course is one requirement to sit for the Grade 2/2A or higher ABC certification exam.

All instructors must complete a 2 day train-the-trainer course (minimum) before course approval will be granted. At this level of instruction, the instructors should all be familiar with the collection and analysis of wastewater samples as well as interpretation of results. Operator certification or employment as a laboratory technician is not a requirement, although these may be useful. Course passing grade is 70%. This course must provide at least 30 hours of instruction and should cover the following:

Operational Tests

  • Biochemical Oxygen Demand
  • Total Suspended Solids
  • Settleable Solids
  • Total Dissolved Solids
  • Volatile Suspended Solids
  • Mixed Liquor Settleability
  • Sludge Volume Index
  • pH
  • Dissolved Oxygen
  • Temperature
  • Alkalinity
  • Chlorine Demand/Residual
  • Coliform (Fecal & Total)


  • Safety
  • Calculations/Mathematics
  • Terminology
  • Sample collection, storage and preservation
  • Equipment
  • Reagents
  • Glassware

Optional Topics (as time allows)

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Nutrients (Nitrogen and Phosphorus)
  • Respiration Rate
  • Chemical Oxygen Demand

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