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Wastewater Treatment Plant Operation

Wastewater treatment facility operation and maintenance personnel play a crucial role in improving and protecting water quality.

New York State Recognizes the Value of Our Operators

an image of a wastewater treatment plant
Wastewater Operator Certification is for a 5 year period!

The operator is the first line of defense against waterborne diseases, our guardian of water quality, and the safeguard of public health. These personnel operate facilities that New York municipalities have invested over $11 billion to construct.

The certification system insures that all operators are educated, trained, and experienced.

Wastewater facility operations work force must be knowledgeable to assure successful operation, maintenance, and management of these wastewater facilities.

Certification Program

The New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA) administers operator certification and certificate renewal. NYWEA processes all applications for certification and certificate renewal for a fee.

Please visit NYWEA website (link listed in the right column) for more information about wastewater treatment plant operator certification program. NYSDEC is responsible for the regulatory aspects of the program and approval of renewal training courses.

Frequent Wastewater Treatment Operation Issues

Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators looking for certification, renewal training, and operation & management resources

  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Certification - information and resources to become a certified wastewater treatment plant operator.
  • Renewal training courses and Approved Trainers - renewal training resources and information about the course approval process and approved Trainers.
  • Resource Toolbox for Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators - resources and information to keep facilities operating within permit requirements and plan for maintenance and growth.
  • Sign up for the Wastewater Operators listerv to receive occasional updates and information about training. To subscribe to the Wastewater Operators listserv, first use this link to subscribe to GovDelivery by entering your email address. Fill in and submit the requested information on the "New Subscriber" page. This will take you to the "Quick Subscription" page where you will see all the topics that you can receive email updates on from DEC. Scroll to the "Water" category and check the box next to "Wastewater Operators" You will receive a welcome email from DEC confirming your subscription(s).

Municipalities looking for information and resources

  • Municipalities - information and resources to find certified operators, regulations and guidance, handbooks, and scoring information

Overview of the Wastewater Treatment Process

"Be in the Know...Go With the Flow" is an interactive wastewater treatment map that takes you on a visual journey through the wastewater treatment process. Beginning in our homes and businesses and ending when clean water is returned to oceans, lakes, and other bodies of water, each icon represents a different step in the wastewater treatment process and provides viewers with a simple, non-technical narrative description. The offsite link is on the right navigation column in the "Links Leaving DEC Website" section.

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