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Wastewater Treatment Facility Operator Certification Program


Castleton WWTF aerial photo courtesy FA&A
Aerial photo of Castleton WWTF courtesy of Forcier Aldrich & Associates


Wastewater Treatment Facility Operator Certification Rule

   New Rule is effective September 25, 2014 replaces the October 1985 version.

       Wastewater Treatment Facility Operator Certification Rule

       Effective 09/25/2014  PDF

Legal Authority

10 V.S.A. Sections 1263 and 1265 provide that any permit for the discharge of waste into the waters of the state shall require operation and maintenance of the wastewater treatment facility as approved by the Secretary of the Agency, by qualified personnel in accordance with standards established by the Secretary. The Wastewater Treatment Facility Operator Certification Rule (67 KB, 12 pages Adobe Acrobat PDF) establishes minimum standards of experience and knowledge required of chief operators, assistant chief operators and operators of wastewater treatment facilities and are applicable to any Agency regulated activity which results in a requirement for a certified wastewater treatment facility operator.

General Policy

A facility having a discharge permit issued pursuant to 10 V.S.A. Sections1263 or 1265 or a permit or certificate of compliance issued pursuant to 10 V.S.A. Section 1973, requiring facility operation by certified operators shall employ chief operator, assistant chief operator and operator(s). Certifications of chief operators shall be in the same numerical grade and class as the wastewater treatment facility classification. Assistant chief operator grades may be not more than two levels below that of the facility classification.


  • Applicants shall be able to read and write the English language and have a high school diploma or eqivalent (GED).
  • New applicants must be employed as an operator at a Vermont wastewater treatment facility at the time of application.
  • Education may be substituted for experience. This requires submittal of copies of a college transcript and degree with the application. Course work must be in a water quality related field.
  • Provisional certificate holders must pass the wastewater operator certification exam to advance to full certification.
  • Fully certified individuals must also pass an examination to upgrade a certificate.
  • Reciprocity applicants must be fully certified in the other state.  Operator-In-Training (OIT) are not eligible.
Facility Classification

For a determination of classification specific to your treatment process and design flow, please contact Jill Draper at

Domestic (DM) wastewater treatment facilities have five (5) classification levels. Class 1 facilities have simplified treatment processes (ie. pH adjustment only) with low design flows. Class 5 facilities are more complex (ie. mechanical sludge dewatering; rotating biological contactors, chemical precipitation, etc.) treatment processes with design flows of >5.0 MGD.

Industrial treatment facilities are classified in three categories; dairy, metal, and paper.   There are also three (3) levels to each classification (1, 2, and 3).  Again, each level of classification is based on treatment process and design flow.

Types of Certification

Provisional - An operator certified at any provisional grade and class has two years to meet the minimum qualifications and must be currently employed at a Vermont wastewater treatment facility. Provisional certificates are not renewable. Grade 3, 4 and 5 provisional certificate holders must also meet a minimum one, two and three years respectively of wastewater experience at the time of application.
Full - An operator who is fully certified is issued a five year, renewable certificate. The individual has met the minimum years of experience, may be employed as an operator at a Vermont wastewater treatment facility and must have passed the required certification exam.
Training Requirements
  Training Hours Required 
  Provisional Certification Full Certification - Domestic Full Certification - Industrial
Grade 1 10 20 10
Grade 2 12 25 15
Grade 3 15 30 n/a
Grade 4 15 30 30
Grade 5 20 40 n/a
  Provisional certificate holders must acquire training hours during the two years of the certificate in order to upgrade to a full certification. Full certificate holders must acquire training hours during the five year  period of the certificate in order to renew or upgrade their certificate.


Affidavit for Reporting Attendance at Approved Wastewater Courses


Training Contacts






Disclaimer: The Wastewater Operator Certification Program makes this list of contacts available as a courtesy to operators. Appearance on the list or omission from the list does not constitute recommendation for or against a training vendor. Wastewater Operator Certification Training Contacts

Training Opportunities

Schedule of Vermont Wastewater Operator Certification Training Courses


Exam Information

The wastewater operator certification exam is given twice per year (Spring and Fall) for all classifications. The exam is closed book, multiple choice. Registration forms will be available on this web site in advance of exam registration deadline dates.






2016 Wastewater Operator Certification exam dates have not been scheduled.   Please check back after the first of the year.     


Registration Deadline is:  _____March 28, 2016________  (Exam booklets must be ordered 30 business days prior to exam date.)

   Rutland exam site seating is limited to  25

   Montpelier exam site seating is limited to 50


Registration Fee:   FREE (Subject to change)

If you experience trouble with this portion of the website please contact Carole Fowler at or 802-490-6106.

Announcement 1 page PDF
Exam Registration Form 1 page PDF

Study Resource List


The State of Vermont reviews reciprocity requests on a case-by-case basis. Please submit the following items for review and determination of eligibility:

  • a completed application form  Click Here
  • a copy of any out-of-state certificate (must be fully certified; OIT are ineligible).
  • a copy of the out-of-state wastewater operator certification regulations
  • a copy of any pertinent college degree and transcript information (see copy of Rules for accepted degrees)
  • detailed information of your responsibilities at the out-of-state wastewater treatment facility
  • detailed information regarding the out-of-state wastewater treatment facility treatment process

Review of the material and for determination of eligibility may take 4-8 weeks.

Mail Inquiries to:





Wastewater Operator Certification Program
VT DEC, Watershed Management Division
One National Life Drive, Main Bldg., 2nd Floor
Montpelier VT 05620-3522

Wastewater Operator Certification Program Contacts:


Jill Draper - or phone: 802-490-6118


Note: Written communications to and from state officials regarding state business are considered public records and therefore may be subject to public scrutiny.


Other Wastewater Section Contacts  

Links to Wastewater Operator Certification Program items, including Application Forms:


Download the free Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader       Get Adobe Reader
Wastewater Treatment Facility Operator Certification Rule - September 2014 -  67 KB, 12 pages PDF

Wastewater Treatment Facility Operator Certification Regulations - October 1985 - 19 KB, 11 pages PDF  -   REPLACED BY 2014 Version

Written Practice Regarding October 1985 Regulation Interpretation - February 1997 - 543KB, 3 pages PDF

List of Wastewater Treatment Facility Certified Operators - 52 KB, 10 pages Adobe Acrobat PDF


Wastewater Treatment Facility Operator Certification  EFFECTIVE July 1, 2015 new fee $125.00

NEW Application Form:  PDF 38KB, 5 pages  MS Word 71KB, 5 pages


EFFECTIVE July 1, 2015 new fee $125.00

RENEWAL / UPGRADE  Application Form: PDF 177KB, 2 pgs MS Word 28KB, 2 pages 

Attach:  Affidavit for Reporting Attendance at Wastewater Courses


2015 NEW Wastewater Operator Certification Fees - 1 page PDF

Wastewater Treatment Facility List - 1090KB, 43 pages PDF

Other Related Links

        Water Environment Federation (WEF)

        State of New Hampshire, Department of Environmental Services (NH DES)

        New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission   (NEIWPCC)

        New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA)
        Green Mountain Water Environment Association (GMWEA)

        National Rural Water Association (NRWA)

        Vermont Rural Water Association (VRWA)

        Vermont DEC Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division Water System Operator Program links may contain information pertinent to wastewater treatment facility operator training. Please verify that any courses taken meet wastewater standards for course credits.

What's New?

Quick Links

     September 2014 Wastewater Operator Certification Rule

VT DEC Watershed Management Division 1 National Life Drive, Main 2  Montpelier, VT  05620-3522  Tele: 802-828-1535   Fax: 802-828-1544


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