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Global: Call for topics for the 2024 Wastewater Conference
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Call for conference topics

The MPCA Planning Committee is asking for your help to define content and topics for the Wastewater Conference in October. 

It's quick and easy — the Call for Topics form is only 3 questions.

In Minnesota, wastewater treatment operators — those responsible for the daily, onsite operation of wastewater facilities and collection systems — must be certified. Their class of certification must be equal or higher to the class of the facility. The MPCA administers the certification program and provides workshops and conferences to help you stay up to date on your certification.

Treatment facilities are classified A, B, C, and D according to a rated point system based on the unit processes, loading to the plant, and the permit's final effluent limitations

Type S systems — collection, pumping, and conveyance facilities distinctly separate in operation from treatment facilities — are classified S-A, S-B, S-C, and S-D based on the community's population. Where a type S facility is not distinctly separate, it is considered part of the treatment facility.

  • Class S-A: serving a population of 50,000 or more
  • Class S-B: serving a population of 15,000 to 49,999
  • Class S-C: serving a population of 1,500 to 14,999
  • Class S-D: serving a population of less than 1,500

Note: A city manager, superintendent of public works, or other administrator is not considered an operator unless their duties include the day-to-day operation of a wastewater facility.

12876: Wastewater training and exam events
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Wastewater training and exams

Find upcoming trainings and exams through the events calendar.

Course descriptions

Collection system basic seminar

Intended for entry level operators or as a refresher for experienced operators. Covers proper operation and maintenance of wastewater collection systems. Topics include inflow/infiltration, lift stations, collection system cleaning, traffic control, safety, collection system math, and more. Exams offered on the last day. Contact hours: 16 Wastewater.

Industrial byproducts workshop

Recommended for Type IV operators that land apply industrial wastes, including food processing, wood ash, industrial wastewater sludge, pretreatment sludge and more. Topics include site suitability, application rates, permitting requirements and waste management. Contact hours: TBD Wastewater. Typically offered every other year, as in-person event and as an online webinar.

One-day pump workshop

Recommended for those who operate, maintain or troubleshoot pumps. Covers pump maintenance, packing, seals, bearings, control panels, troubleshooting, and a hands-on session. No exams. Contact hours: 6 Wastewater. This workshop is only offered as an in-person event.

Stabilization pond seminar

A must for all stabilization pond operators. Covers pond design, operation and maintenance, discharge procedures and calculations, pump calibration, dissolved oxygen and pH meter demonstrations, and troubleshooting. In-person seminars may also include a field trip to a stabilization pond. Exam offered on the last day. Contact hours: 16 Wastewater.

Type IV (land application) basic course

This course is required for those who want to become certified as Type IV operator or inspector. Covers site selection, application rates, nitrogen management, reports, field analysis of potential sites, verification of site/soils data, management problems. Exam offered on the last day. Contact hours: 16 Type IV or 16 Wastewater.

Type IV (land application) refresher course

Recommended for operators and inspectors who need to renew their Type IV certificate or who need a refresher. Reviews land-application management procedures, including elements of the basic course. No exam. Contact hours: 6 Type IV or 6 Wastewater.

Type V (spray irrigation) basic seminar

Training is offered in partnership with the University of Minnesota. Recommended for entry-level spray irrigation operators or as a review for experienced spray operators. Topics covered include permit certification requirements, goals of land treatment, crop management, loading calculations, operations and monitoring. Exam offered on the last day. Contact hours: 16 Wastewater or 16 Type V.

Type V (spray irrigation) refresher

This one-day refresher is offered in partnership with the University of Minnesota. Recommended for spray irrigation operators who want to review permit certification requirements, essential goals and objectives of land treatment, crop management, loading calculations, operations and monitoring. No exam. Contact hours: 6 Wastewater or 6 Type V.

Wastewater treatment basic

A basic- to intermediate-level course geared toward the proper operation and maintenance of biological wastewater treatment facilities. Covers wastewater terminology, secondary treatment types, wastewater math, sampling process and procedures, reporting, safety and more. This course is intended for entry-level operators or as a refresher for experienced operators. Exam offered on the last day. Contact hours: 16 Wastewater.

Wastewater training accreditation

If your organization offers wastewater-operations training and would like to be accredited to offer training to Minnesota operators, you must apply to the MPCA. To receive training program approval prior to the course, submit the form to the MPCA at least 60 days before the training event.

Certification exams

Certification exams are offered at MPCA training seminars on the last day of class. Eligibility is determined by experience and/or education requirements. Exam applications must be received 15 days prior to the exam along with the exam fee, a description of your job duties, your length of service, name, and supervisor's phone number. If you are substituting educational experience for operating experience, submit a copy of a college diploma or other proof of school attendance or graduation.

All exams are closed book. You will be given a formula book. Bring a non-programmable calculator (no smartphones) and a No. 2 pencil. A passing grade is 70 out of 100. If you fail the exam, you can retake it after three months. We can identify the topics of incorrect answers, upon request, to help you focus your areas of study. You can review your exam if you submit a request within 60 days of notification of the results.

The agency will notify you if you pass the exam. Then you must submit the $45 certification fee within 90 days to become certified. If you don't submit the fee within 90 days, you must apply for re-examination.

Certificates expire three years after being issued. During that time the following contact training hours must be met for renewal:

  • Class A and S-A = 32 hours
  • Class B and S-B = 24 hours
  • Class C and S-C = 16 hours
  • Class D and S-D = 8 hours
  • Type IV = 6 hours
  • Type V = 6 hours

Need to know

Need to know criteria can help wastewater and collection system operators understand the basic skills necessary to operate a system or run a plant.

Exam dates

Forms and resources


US Bank charges a service fee of 2.15% for all credit card transactions or 1.25% for each debit card transaction. A separate non-refundable service fee or flat fee will be displayed on your credit card statement, in addition to the MPCA-charged training fee.

Online registration is not available at this time.

Other training providers and resources