Definition of an Operator

The Waterworks and Sewage Works Regulations, describes an Operator as a person who adjusts, inspects or evaluates a process that controls the effectiveness or efficiency of sewage works or waterworks and includes:
  • a person who adjusts or directs the flow, pressure or quality of the water within sewage works or waterworks; and
  • an operator in training

Definition of Direct Responsible Charge (DRC)

Active daily technical direction and supervision or active daily accountability for process control decision of a facility or major segment of a facility, that directly impact public health or the environment. This can only occur when the facility owners designate a position held by any operator(s) to be in DRC. The owner of a facility can designate a number of DRCs for that facility.

Certification Requirements

There are four different areas in which the Operator Certification Board issues certificates. Within these four areas are four different levels. These areas are:

Water Treatment Level 1 to 4
Water Distribution Level 1 to 4
Wastewater Treatment Level 1 to 4
Wastewater Collection Level 1 to 4

The requirements for certification consist of a combination of education and experience based upon the type and level of certification desired. All operators are required to pass a standardized exam prior to being eligible for certification.

The certification program is a stepped program starting with Class 1 and moving upward. All operators must start by writting a class 1 exam and moving toward their desired certification level, as the exams are progressive from one level to the next. On the other hand for example, you do not need to apply and be certified as a level 1 operator before you can apply for level 2, however you must write the levels one and two exams. This rule applies for all areas and levels. As the criteria for certification changes through the different levels, you may apply for a level 2 certificate and be approved because approval for the level 2 would require you to meet the requirements for a level 1 certificate as well. Again, this applies to all areas and levels.

Basic requirements for applicants applying for certification are listed below. There are allowable substitutions for education and experience that are not listed here. If you would like to view this information, if can be found in the Operator Certification Standards, 2012.

Level 1 Operator
Grade 12 education
One year of operating experience

Level 2 Operator
Grade 12 education
Three years of operating experience

Level 3 Operator
Grade 12 education plus two years of post secondary
For Water Treatment and Wastewater Treatment - Four years of operating experience withtwo of the four years in a Direct Responsible Charge (DRC) position. Or four years of experience in a class 4 facility.
For Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection - Four years of operating experience. No DRC required.

Level 4 Operator
Grade 12 education plus four years of post secodary
For Water Treatment and Wastewater Treatment - Four years of operating experience with two of the four years being DRC experience.
For Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection - Four years of experience

It is important to make special note that even though DRC is not a necessary requirement for some level 3 and 4 applicants, DRC can be used to substitute for a shortage in post secondary education. Therefore, you may be asked to provide authorization on your DRC even if you don't need it to meet the experience criteria.

As mentioned earlier, for complete details on certification requirements refer to the Operator Certification Standards, 2012.