Wastewater Operator Certification

All wastewater treatment facilities in Delaware must be operated under the direct supervision of a Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator. The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control administers the certification program with advice and assistance from the Board of Certification For Operators of Wastewater Facilities.

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Faye Wheeler
Executive Assistant

License Certification: $50

License Renewal: $50

Late Renewal Surcharge: $15

Emergency License: $375

Exam Registration: $100

A wastewater operator is an person who, through observation, interpretation, or decision, operates a wastewater facility or a segment of a system or facility. The state of Delaware issues four different levels of wastewater operator license.

Level I requires a high school diploma and one year of acceptable operating experience.

Level II requires a high school diploma and three years of acceptable operating experience in wastewater facilities of Class I or higher.

Level III requires a high school diploma, two years of approved college level education in engineering or allied subjects, and four years of acceptable operating experience in wastewater facilities of Class II or higher, two years of which must have been in a position of direct responsible charge.

Level IV requires a college degree of completion of four years in a standard curriculum in engineering or allied subjects and four years of acceptable operating experience in wastewater facilities of Class III or higher, two years of which must have been in a position of direct responsible charge.

Learn more about the process and requirements for wastewater operator licensing.

Becoming a Licensed Operator

To become a licensed wastewater operator, applicants must first pass an exam and then submit an application.

The Exam

The exam is offered twice each year on the Terry Campus of Delaware Technical and Community College, in Dover. Applicants must register in advance for the exam using the exam registration form or online through the Digital DNREC web portal.

There is a separate written exam for each level of license. The exams are made up of multiple-choice and true/false questions. Applicants must earn a score of 75 percent or higher to pass.

Exam results will be sent to applicants by mail within four to six weeks of the exam. Scores are valid for three years from the date of the exam. (Note: a passed exam does not mean the applicant is a licensed wastewater operator)

The Application

Applicants who have passed the exam may submit an application Application for Certification, along with their educational transcripts.

Applicants who do not meet the experience or the educational requirements may, with the approval of the Board, receive an Operator-In-Training (OIT) license.

Applicants who hold certifications or licenses from other states, where requirements are found to be equal to Delaware’s requirements, may apply for certification in Delaware under the state’s reciprocity provision.

At the start of each year, all wastewater facilities in Delaware must report the names of all Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operators to the Department using a Section 4.04 Report Form. They must report any personnel changes involving Licensed Operators, within 30 days after the change.

Continuing Education Training

Wastewater operator licenses are issued for a two year period. To renew, applicants must provide proof of at least 20 hours of approved training during the two years. A minimum of ten hours must be directly related to wastewater facility operations or maintenance. Up to ten hours may be indirectly related courses that are approved by the Board of Certification For Operators of Wastewater Facilities. Duplication of directly related courses in consecutive renewal periods is not allowed.

The Board maintains a list of approved and denied courses available in multiple locations and online from dozens of vendors. The Board also accepts requests for training course approval.

Related Links and Information

Wastewater Operator Licensing Overview Brochure

Delaware Technical & Community College Environmental Training Center

Delaware Rural Water Association

Water and Waste Operators Association of Maryland, Delaware and District of Columbia