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Renewal Training for Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Certification

Certification Renewal Training Approval

A. General

Operators are required to complete a minimum number of training contact hours every five (5) years to renew their certificates. For operators that have expired, only the most recent five (5) years of training will be considered for renewal. The intent of this training requirement is to ensure that wastewater personnel maintain the necessary skills and knowledge to properly operate the facility. It's also important to keep abreast with new operational practices and changing treatment technology.

B. Types of Renewal Training

The required contact hours must be relevant to the operation, maintenance, or management of a wastewater plant. All training used for renewal must be approved by NYSDEC. We suggest that the organization or trainer providing the renewal training should receive approval prior to conducting the course or seminar. Attachment A has a listing of some examples of the types of renewal training. For specific information on available renewal training contact:

Facility Operations Assistance Section
625 Broadway,
Albany, NY 12233-3506
Phone: (518) 402-8177
Fax: (518) 402-8082

Training provided by professional associations, equipment representatives/vendors, consulting firms/engineers, or an in-plant training coordinator/officer may be acceptable for renewal contact hours. The sponsoring organization must apply (see instructions below) using form "Request for Approval of Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Renewal Training."

C. Application for Approval of Training

Those organizations requesting approval prior to conducting the training should submit the completed application with attachments (see item #11) as soon as possible but at least one month in advance of the starting date. The form should be completed by the instructor. Some comments or guidance on the following specific items:

#9. Discuss the relevancy of this training to wastewater treatment. How does it relate to the wastewater field?

#10. Attendance records must be maintained each day and should be used to calculate the total contact hours that are awarded to each student.

#11. An evaluation method to determine trainee competency should be used.

#12. (Very Important). The instructor must submit:

a) Course Agenda with specific times for each presentation or session, or;

b) A Course Timeline (see back of application) - use extra sheets if more than two days and be sure to note break times.

Special Note to In-Plant Trainers - Those plants requesting approval to conduct in-house training must have a designated training coordinator/officer who has completed a basic instructional technology program. To obtain information on approved instructional training programs contact NYSDEC, Facilities Operations Assistance Section, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-3506, (518) 402-8177.

Credit for Training Delivered - Applicants, who have delivered approved renewal training, can get (satisfy) up to 50% of the total renewal training requirement. For example, a Grade 4A operator may be able to use up to 40 hours of the required 80 hours for training that he/she delivered. Credit is given for actual classroom delivery time. No credit is given for preparation time. No credit for repeat delivery of the same training session.

D. Course Completion Responsibilities

The course instructor is responsible for providing the completed "Participant Roster" form to DEC. The organization or instructor is also required to issue a certificate or letter of completion to each student which has the following information:

  • Students Name
  • Training Course Title
  • Dates of Training
  • Location of Training
  • Sponsoring Organization
  • Name of Course Instructor
  • Number of Contact Hours Assigned by NYSDEC
  • Course Approval Number Assigned by NYSDEC

Attachment A - Examples of Renewal Training

  • Operations
  • Computers
  • Maintenance
  • Accounting
  • Management
  • Public Relations
  • Laboratory
  • Mathematics
  • Safety/First Aid
  • Biology
  • Collection Systems
  • Chemistry
  • Process Control

Units of Measurement for Courses

1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) = 10 Contact Hours
1 College Credit Hour = 14 Contact Hours

Pre-Approved Renewal Training - Correspondence Courses

Note: All of the following courses that are listed as "Preapproved" do not require a Renewal Training Course number.

From the Office of Water Programs, 6000 J. Street, Sacramento, Ca 95819-6025 Phone (916) 278-6142

  • Operation of Wastewater Treatment Plants, Volume I, 90 Contact Hours
  • Operation of Wastewater Treatment Plants, Volume II, 90 Contact Hours
  • Small Wastewater Systems Operations & Maintenance, Volume I, 90 Contact Hours
  • Advanced Waste Treatment, 90 Contact Hours
  • Industrial Waste Treatment, Volume I, 90 Contact Hours
  • Industrial Waste Treatment, Volume II, 90 Contact Hours
  • Treatment of Metal Wastestreams, 45 Contact Hours
  • Pretreatment Facility Inspection, 90 Contact Hours
  • Operation and Maintenance of Wastewater Collection Systems, Volume I, 90 Contact Hours
  • Operation and Maintenance of Wastewater Collection Systems, Volume II, 90 Contact Hours
  • Utility Management, 20 Contact Hours
  • Small Wastewater System O&M, Volume I, 90 Contact Hours
  • Collection Systems: Methods for Evaluating & Improving Performance, 30 Contact Hours
  • Water Treatment Plant Operation Volumes 1 & 2, 15 Contact Hours (Total)

From Indiana State University, (800)237-6311 ext. 2555, "Basic Supervision and Management", 100 Contact Hours

"Management & Supervision for Working Professionals", Course I and II, 100 Contact Hours

From Self-Study Coordinator, 7 Olds Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1047, Phone (517) 353-8711, "Supervisory Management in the Water/Wastewater Field", 60 Contact Hours

"Maintenance Management in the Water/Wastewater Field", 60 Contact Hours

From the Division of Continuing Education, University of Florida, 1938 West University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32603 Phone (904)392-1711, "Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators Level Home Study Course", 150 Contact Hours

From ACR Publications, Inc., 1298 Elm Street SW, Albany, OR 97321 Phone (541) 928-6199, "Introduction to Small Wastewater Systems", 50 Contact Hours

From Water Pollution Biology, PO Box 1372, Williamsport, PA 17703 Phone (570) 398-7260, Fax (570) 398-7259

"Wastewater Microbiology: Denitrification in the Activated Sludge Process", 4 Contact Hours

Certification Courses

  • Basic Operations Course, 60 Contact Hours
  • Activated Sludge Course, 24 Contact Hours
  • Basic Laboratory Course, 30 Contact Hours
  • Supervision & Technical Operations, 30 Contact Hours
  • Management Course, 18 Contact Hours

Pre-Approved Renewal Training - Health & Safety

American Heart Association

  • Adult Heart Saver, 2 Contact Hours
  • Adult & Pediatric Heart Saver, 3 Contact Hours
  • Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers, 4 Contact Hours
  • Pediatric Basic Life Support, 3 Contact Hours
  • Basic Life Support Instructor Course, 8 Contact Hours
  • Heartsaver First Aid with CPR & AED, 6.5 Contact Hours

American Red Cross

  • Adult CPR, 3.5 Contact Hours
  • Infant and Child CPR, 4.25 Contact Hours
  • Community CPR, 6.5 Contact Hours
  • Standard First Aid w/CPR & AED, 6.5 Contact Hours
  • Community First Aid & Safety, 9 Contact Hours
  • CPR for the Professional Rescuer, 9 Contact Hours
  • First Aid - Responding to Emergencies, 24 Contact Hours

OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response

  • 40 Hour Health & Safety Training, 29 CFR 1910.120(e)(3), 40 Contact Hours
  • 24 Hour Training, 29 CFR 1910.120(p) & 1910(q)(7), 24 Contact Hours
  • 8 Hour Supervisory Training, 29 CFR 1910.120(e)(4), 8 Contact Hours
  • 8 Hour Refresher Training, 29 CFR 1910.120(e)(8), 8 Contact Hours
  • Hazardous Communication, Right-to-Know, Annual Refresher for Right-to-Know and Confined Space, Various Contact Hours


  • Defensive Driving, 6 Contact Hours
  • NYSDOH Water Treatment Operators Course - Grade A, 18 Contact Hours
  • NYSDOH Water Treatment Operators Course - Grade B, 15 Contact Hours

Approved Distance Learning

  • Pre-Approved Distance Learning course listings

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    Facility Operations Assistance Section
    625 Broadway, 4th Floor
    Albany, NY 12233-3506
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