Presentation on theme: "Operator Training and Certification Program"— Presentation transcript:
1 Operator Training and Certification Program Program Manager:Carrie BohanProgram Staff:Ken SmithMartin SuzukiGalen Heffern
2 Operator Training and Certification Program Regulations (18 AAC 74)The Three ArticlesPrimary FunctionClassification of SystemsWater SystemsWater Distribution SystemsCertification of OperatorsNew ProgramsTaking Exams at the Next LevelOnline ExamsOperator Reimbursement Program
3 Operator Certification and Training Regulations (18 AAC 74) Article OneRequirements for large water/wastewater systemsClassifying systems/certifying operatorsArticle TwoRequirements for small water systemsArticle ThreeRequirements common to bothRenewal requirementsFeesDefinitions
4 Finding Your Very Own Copy of the Regulations dec.alaska.gov/water/opcert/index.htm
5 The Basic Rule What we do: Certify Operators Classify Systems Supervising operators of water systems must be certified at levels equal to system classifications.What we do:Certify OperatorsClassify Systems
6 Types of Systems We Classify Water SystemsChevak WT PlantPhoto Courtesy of DCCEDEmmonak WT PlantPhoto Courtesy of DCCEDAkiak WT PlantPhoto Courtesy of DCCEDTypes of Systems We ClassifyFire Hydrant in ChignikPhoto Courtesy of DCCEDWater DistributionWater Lines in Saint MichaelPhoto Courtesy of DCCEDWater Tanks in False PassPhoto Courtesy of DCCED
7 Water SystemsEklutka WT PlantPhoto Courtesy of AWWUAnaktuvuk Pass WT PlantPhoto Courtesy of DCCEDKongiganak WT PlantPhoto Courtesy of DCCEDPublic Water Systems provide water for human consumption through pipes or other conveyances to at least 15 service connections or serve at least 25 people for at least 60 days a year.A Community Water System (CWS) serves the same population year round.A Non-Transient Non-Community Water System (NTNCWS) serves at least 25 of the same people at least six months per year.A Transient Non-Community Water System (TNCWS) does not regularly serve at least 25 of the same individuals over six months per year.PWSIDClassification based on complexity646 water systems
8 Water System Classification < 500 peopleNo Chemicals – Small UntreatedOne Chemical – Small TreatedComplex treatment – Point rating system determinesWater Treatment classification> 500 peoplePoint rating system determinesWater Treatment classificationHoonah
9 Water Distribution Systems Insulated Piping in AlakanukPhoto Courtesy of DCCEDWater Tank in Fort YukonPhoto Courtesy of DCCEDFire Hydrant in AkiakPhoto Courtesy of DCCEDMore than 500 people or 100 service connectionsMore than 15 service connectionsClassification based on size and complexity100 systems
10 Water Distribution Classification Fires Hydrants in NuiqsutPhoto Courtesy of DCCEDWater Main Leak Repair in SaxmanPhoto Courtesy of Kerry LindleyFIRST - Number of Service ConnectionsClass 1 = 15 to 500Class 2 = 501 to 5,000Class 3 = 5,001 to 15,000Class 4 = >15,000THENIf water is circulated or heated to prevent freezing, then one classIf five or more pressure zones, then one classIf both occur, then only one class
11 Finding the Classification of a System dec.alaska.gov/water/opcert/index.htm
15 Management/System Owner Considerations Regarding System Classification Know the classification of each system under their controlKnow why each system is classified at the level it isQuestion authority (don’t take our word for it)Be aware that changes to the system might affect system classification
17 Operator Certification Eligibility Requirements – Small SystemsSmall Untreated Water SystemsHigh School Diploma or G.E.D.Three months of operating experience at a system classified as a small, untreated water system or greater (or completion of a department approved training course)Small Treated Water SystemsSix months of operating experience at a system classified as a small, treated water system or greater (or completion of a department approved training course)
18 Operator Certification Eligibility Requirements – Large SystemsEducationExperience
19 Operator Certification Eligibility Requirements – Large SystemsProvisional LevelHigh School Diploma or G.E.D., andThree months of operating experience in the system type requested, orCompletion of a department-approved course
20 Operator Certification Eligibility Requirements – Large SystemsLevel IHigh School Diploma or G.E.D., andOne year (1,950 hours) of operating experience in the system type requested
21 Operator Certification Eligibility Requirements – Large SystemsLevel IIHigh School Diploma or G.E.D., andThree years of operating experience in the system type requested
22 Operator Certification Eligibility Requirements – Large SystemsLevel IIIWater DistributionHigh School Diploma or G.E.D.;Four years of operating experience of which two years must be specific to water distribution in a class II or higher facility; andOne year of post-secondary education (45 CEUs)Water TreatmentFour Years of operating experience of which two years must be specific to the water treatment in a class II or higher facility; and2 years of postsecondary education (90 CEUs).
23 Operator Certification Eligibility Requirements – Large SystemsLevel IVWater DistributionHigh School Diploma or G.E.D.;Six years of operating experience, of which three years must be specific to water distribution in a class III or higher facility; andOne year of postsecondary education (45 CEUs).Water TreatmentFour years of operating experience, of which two years must be specific to water treatment in a class III or higher facility; andFour years of post-secondary education (180 CEUs)
24 Counting Simultaneous Experience The Catch 22:Operator Works 2 Hours / DayEligible for Level 1 exams in8 years!Water TreatmentWater DistributionSimultaneous Experience:Operator Works 2 Hours / DayEligible for Level 1 exams in1 year.Water TreatmentWater DistributionApplies only to the Supervising Operator;Applies only to systems REQUIRED to have a certified operator;A system-specific certificate is issued;Once the eligibility requirement for the level of certification are met, it is the responsibility of the operator to submit an application to the Department.
25 Operator Certification Eligibility RequirementsEducationExperienceExams10 Different Drinking Water-Oriented ExamsSmall Water Systems Untreated, TreatedWater Treatment P/1, 2, 3, 4Water Distribution P/1, 2, 3, 4Twice Yearly Exam Cycles (April/October)OnlineProvisional level exams are also available at the conclusion of introductory courses.
26 A Note about Exams ABC (Association of Boards of Certification) Water TreatmentWater DistributionAll ABC exams are comprised of 100 multiple choice questions.HOWEVER…
27 A Note about Exams Water Treatment Water Distribution ABC Prescriptive (Modified based on Alaskan systems)Exams are comprised of 100 multiple choice questions.Exam descriptions are available online at:Keep in mind:Exams test across the range of classification, not just one system.Cover both surface water and groundwaterSample Topics:KMnO4, GreensandCirculating SystemsChlorination
28 Small Water System Exams Small Untreated Water System50-question multiple choice examExam description available atSmall Treated Water System
29 “Paper & Pencil” ExamsWritten certification exams are administered statewide twice a year, in April and October.Application DeadlineExam DateAugust 23, 2011October 7, 2011February 21, 2012April 6, 2012August 21, 2012October 5, 2012February 19, 2013April 5, 2013August 27, 2013October 11, 2013February 25, 2014April 11, 2014August 26, 2014October 10, 2014
30 Small Water System Online Certification Exams Online Exams AvailableSmall, Untreated Water SystemSmall, Treated Water SystemApplicationOne-page applicationFeesAt the time of application:$20 application feeAt the time of testing:$30 exam fee payable to the Testing CenterThere are No Application DeadlinesAs soon as we receive your application and application fee, we will authorize you to take the online exam at one of the testing centers.Locations:AnchorageDillinghamFairbanksGlennallenKenaiKetchikanPalmer
31 Online ABC Exams Online ABC Exams Available Now: Water Treatment Water DistributionOne-Page ApplicationNo-shows for previous examsRetakes (previously failed)One level higherFull ApplicationDuring exam cyclesOnline Application
32 Online ABC Exams Locations: Anchorage Juneau Kenai Ketchikan Fairbanks Online Exams Now:Water TreatmentWater DistributionFeesAt the time of application:$20 application fee$40/exam fee ( from $30)At the time of testing:Per exam testing center fee (varies)Application Deadlines1st and 15th of every month15 days to activateMust take within 2 monthsLocations:AnchorageJuneauKenaiKetchikanFairbanksValdezBethelBarrow
33 Exams at the Next Level Before: Now: An operator MUST meet the education and experience requirements BEFORE taking the exam.Now:An operator can take the next higher exam BEFORE meeting the education and experience requirements. You hold a level 1 certificate, you can take a level 2 exam You hold a level 2 certificate, you can take a level 3 exam You hold a level 3 certificate, you can take a level 4 exam You hold a P, you can’t take anythingRestrictions:The passing score for the next level higher exams is valid as long as the certificate at the lower level is active, i.e., not expired.Operators must apply to upgrade the certificate.Applications are reviewed 4 times per year.
34 Finding an Operatordec.alaska.gov/water/opcert/index.htm
36 Renewing a Certificate To renew the following certificates, 3.0 CEUs are required (2.0 must be core to the water/wastewater industry):Water TreatmentWater DistributionAdditionally, the certificate renewal fees must be paid:$50 per certificate by mail or$35 per certificate online using a credit card.
37 Getting CEUsContinuing Education Units (CEUs) are offered in a variety of formats:Correspondence coursesOnline coursesClassroom coursesConferencesWorkshops1 CEU is equivalent to 10 hours of class time.
39 Core/Non-Core/DW-Core? Core CEUs – training/education specifically related to water/wastewater systems, or integral to their operationNon-core CEUs – relevant to water/wastewater industry, but indirectlyDrinking-water core CEUs – core CEUs specifically related to water systemsOnly required for SU or ST certificationIf you do not hold an SU or ST certification, you will receive Core credit for a DW Core class.
40 Management Considerations Regarding Operator Certification Know the required levels of certification for each operatorBe aware that operators may need more than one certificateBe aware of the certification requirements – that it takes time and educationBe aware of how certification exams are administered (online, at courses, or in the community)Budget for application fees, exam fees, training fees, and possibly travelBudget time for the operator to studyBe aware of training opportunity formatsBe proactive in providing out-of-the-ordinary training opportunities to operatorsBe aware of what help/funding is out there
41 Operator Reimbursement Program The Operator Training and Certification Program has funds available to reimburse water operators for costs associated with continuing education.Each eligible operator may receive up to $1,500 towards education expenses.The program was started in 2008.Since 2008, approximately $265,000 in education expenses have been reimbursed.
42 Operator Reimbursement - Eligibility Certified operators of water systems that require a certified operatorNon-Certified operators of water systems that require a certified operatorThese operators may only be reimbursed for courses that make them eligible for certification exams.
43 Operator Reimbursement – Approved Expenses Major TravelAirfare, Ferry. No taxis or car rentals.Course FeesNo Application or exam fees.LodgingHotel only. No per diem or food expenses.
44 Operator Reimbursement – Approved Courses ClassroomOperators may be reimbursed for travel to and from the course, course fees, and lodging while attending the course.CorrespondenceOperators may be reimbursed for course fees and postage.OnlineOperators may be reimbursed for course fees.
45 Operator Reimbursement – Process An operator* submits a pre-approval form.DEC reviews this form and sends the operator* approval (or denial) that they are eligible for the reimbursement program.The operator attends an approved training course.The operator* then submits a reimbursement form, in addition to all relevant receipts.If everything is in order, DEC will send a check to the operator*.*A city/utility may also claim reimbursement on the operator’s behalf.
46 Operator Reimbursement – Fine Print In order to receive reimbursement for a classroom, online, or correspondence course, an operator MUST complete that course.More information may be found on our website:dec.alaska.gov/water/opcert/index.htm
47 Operator Reimbursement Program Eligible SystemsApproved course lists depending on certificationForms depending on who we’re reimbursingForms for requesting reimbursement after the course