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Water: Drinking Water Operator Certification

Operator Certification

Water Sector Workforce

Water sector professionals are vital to protecting public health through the operation and maintenance of water and wastewater treatment plants.

They ensure that clean and safe water is consistently provided to the public.

Learn about what EPA is doing to promote and ensure a sustainable water sector workforce.

Operator certification helps protect human health and the environment by establishing minimum professional standards for the operation and maintenance of public water systems. In 1999, EPA issued operator certification program guidelines specifying minimum standards for certification and recertification of the operators of community and nontransient noncommunity public water systems.  These guidelines are currently being implemented through state operator certification programs. While the specific  requirements vary from state to state, the goal of all operator certification programs is to ensure that skilled professionals are overseeing the treatment and distribution of safe drinking water. Operator certification is an important step in promoting compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).


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