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Certification Guide and Examination Handbook
The Certification Guide and Examination
Handbook are designed to help Maryland's environmental professionals
prepare for certification to operate water and wastewater systems.
Maryland state law requires certification of
operators responsible for treatment, storage, and distribution of drinking
water and collection, treatment, and discharge of wastewater. A rigorous
certification process ensures that qualified personnel are operating
Maryland's water and wastewater facilities.
Certification Guide outlines the state
certification requirements, as well as the certification renewal
requirements. The Guide provides a step-by-step overview of the
Examination Handbook describes in
detail the examination process and how to prepare most effectively for the
examination. It identifies the topics that are tested on each exam and
offers helpful test-taking strategies.
Please note that
while these publications are available, some of the exam prescriptions
are out dated. MCET is working with WWOA and CWEA to update this
These books were produced with funding and in
partnership between the Maryland Center for Environmental Training (MCET)
College of Southern Maryland,
Water and Waste Operators
Association of Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia,
and the Maryland Board of Waterworks and Waste Systems Operators.
the some of our training documents
you will need the Adobe® Reader®. It is free and available for
download at the
Adobe® Web site.
Process vs. Non-Process: AKA the 50% Rule
As an operator of a system in Maryland that provides drinking water for our citizens and treats the waste generated by our daily activities, you play an important role in protecting both public health and the environment of Maryland. The process of certifying operators in Maryland is governed by regulations and standards which you need to meet in order to be in compliance.
The original intent of the certification training requirements was to ensure that the operators of water and waste systems maintained an adequate level of technical knowledge about the processes they operated at their facility.
Over a number of years many non-process technical training events were approved for certification hours because the topics were relevant to operations. Some examples would be maintenance of equipment, safety topics, math skills, and lab testing.
More recently, the intent of the regulations was reviewed by the Board of Waterworks and Waste Systems Operators. The Board became aware of a trend in the industry related to the types of training being submitted to renew certificates. Specifically, many operators were renewing their certificates without taking any process type of training. In fact, an operator could renew his/her certificate without taking one process related class.
This review of the intent of the regulations resulted in the 50% rule which is now in effect. The rule requires that a minimum of half the training used for renewal hours is process related. Any training event where at least 50% of the material covered is approved for process control will be designated as a
"process" class. All others will be designated as non-process. Operators must have at least 50% of their credits in process to renew or gain their certification.
Note: The Maryland
Department of the Environment is located at the Montgomery Park Business
Center, 1800 Washington Blvd, Baltimore, MD 21230. New phone for the
Board is 410-537-3167.