Wastewater operators training and certification

In Minnesota, wastewater treatment operators must be certified in order to operate and maintain a wastewater treatment facility. The MPCA administers the certification program and provides workshops and conferences to help you stay up to date on your certification

Registration

Covid-19 update. The 2021 Training Calendar is announcing only the first 6 months of the calendar year in order to stay flexible and accommodate potential impacts of the COVID-19 (Pandemic) as it evolves. The first 6 months is offering primarily online (virtual/webinar-based) training events. The 2021 Wastewater Operator Training Calendar is subject to change as the Pandemic evolves. 

Watch this web page for up-to-date event details and cancelations.

PDF icon 2021 Wastewater operator training calendar and registration form (p-tr2-10)

Online registration is not available at this time.

For registration, call 651-757-2591. For exam information call 651-757-2103 or 800-657-3659 (press 3); Fax: 651-205-4594.

Operator — has full and active responsibility for the operation of a wastewater treatment facility or wastewater collection system. 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 the facility.

Wastewater treatment facility — any plant, disposal field, lagoon, or other works installed for the purpose of collecting, pumping, treating, stabilizing, or disposing of sewage

Microsoft Office document icon Wastewater and Biosolids Training Manuals Order Form (p-tr2-14)

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.

Wastewater training accreditation: Information for trainers

File Criteria and application for wastewater training accreditation (wq-wwtp8-28)

To receive training program approval prior to the course, you must complete this form and submit the following information to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) at least 60 days before the training event.

Annual conferences

Conferences will be online-only: March 16-17, 2021. Registration will be offered on a separate brochure coming soon

  • Collections System Operators conference
  • Wastewater Operation conference

Trainings and workshops

Biological nutrient removal workshop

For operators of activated sludge wastewater facilities who are interested in improving process control and biological nutrient removal. Six contact hours.

Collection system operators

Exam refreshers: Class SA/SB, SC/SD
In-person training: March 23-24 at Marriott Northwest | Brooklyn Park: 7025 Northland Dr. (763-536-8300 or 800-441-6422)
In-person exam date: March 25 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
Exam postmark date: March 10
Capped at 50 per class

Wastewater operations

Exam refreshers: Class A/B, C/D
In-person training: March 23-24 at Marriott Northwest | Brooklyn Park: 7025 Northland Dr. (763-536-8300 or 800-441-6422)
In-person exam: March 25 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
Exam postmark date: March 10
Capped at 50 per class

Wastewater basics [Mini-session]

Introduction to wastewater treatment, terminology, and sampling. (2) WW contact hours.
Online training: January 12

Introduction to stabilization ponds [Mini-session]

Basics of pond design, operation, and the pond discharge calculation. (2) WW contact hours.
Online training: January 26

Compliance and enforcement [Mini-session]

Overview of Compliance Permit, Discharge Monitoring Report, and E-service. (2) WW contact hours.
Online training: February 9

Activated sludge [Mini-session]

Overview of wastewater microbiology and the activated sludge process. (2) WW contact hours.
Online training: February 23

Collection systems [Mini-session]

Overview of collection system design and maintenance. (2) WW contact hours.
Online training: March 9

Biological nutrient removal [Mini-session]

Nutrient removal basics and process control. (2) WW contact hours.
Online training: March 29

Collection system basic seminar

Intended for entry level operators or as a refresher for experienced operators, this seminar covers proper operation and maintenance of wastewater collection systems. Topics include inflow/infiltration, lift stations, collection system cleaning, traffic control, safety, collection system math. (16) wastewater contact hours. Exam held on the last day.
PDF icon Collection system basic seminar agenda (p-tr2-08b)
Dates and times will be released at a later date

Industrial byproducts workshop

Recommended for Type IV operators that land apply industrial wastes; such as food processing, wood ash, industrial wastewater sludge, pretreatment sludge and more. Topics include site suitability, application rates, permitting requirements and waste management. (9) contact hours.
PDF icon Frequently asked questions about Type 4 (Land Application) and Type 5 (Spray Irrigation)
Not available at this time

One-day pump workshop

For those who operate, maintain or troubleshoot pumps. Workshop covers pump maintenance, packing, seals, bearings, control panels, troubleshooting, and a hands-on session. (6) contact hours. No exams.
In person: June 16 at General Repair Vadnais Heights: 3535 International Drive, Vadnais Heights (651-766-0874)

Stabilization pond seminar

A must for all stabilization pond operators. This seminar covers pond design, operation and maintenance, discharge procedures and calculations, pump calibration, dissolved oxygen and pH meter demonstrations, troubleshooting, and a field trip to a stabilization pond. (16) contact hours. Exam held on last day.
Online training: May 10-11 and May 17-19 (one event spread across 5 days)
In-person exam session: May 20 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at Holiday Inn & Suites, Lakeville, 20800 Kenrick Avenue, Lakeville (952-469-1134)
Exam postmark date: May 5

Type IV (land application) basic course

For those who want to become certified as Type IV operator or inspector, this course covers site selection, application rates, nitrogen management, reports, field analysis of potential sites, verification of site/soils data, management problems. Individual assistance available, if needed. This course plus six months experience is a prerequisite for taking the Type IV exam.
PDF icon Frequently asked questions about Minnesota waste disposal facility operator/inspector certification: Type 4 (land application) and Type 5 (spray irrigation)

In-person: April 6-8 at the Best Western Plus, 2101 S Broadway, New Ulm (507-359-2941)
In-person exam session: April 8 (12:30 p.m to 4:30 p.m.)
Exam postmark date: March 24

Type IV (land application) refresher course

For operators and inspectors who need to renew their Type IV certificate or who need a refresher. This course reviews land-application management procedures, including all elements of the basic course. Individual assistance available. (6) contact hours. No exam.
Prerequisite: Basic course
Online training: January 27-28
Online training: May 26-27

Type V (spray irrigation) basic seminar

Covers permit certification requirements, goals of land treatment, crop management, loading calculations, operations and monitoring. (16) Type V or wastewater contact hours. Exam held on last day.
PDF icon Frequently asked questions about Minnesota waste disposal facility operator/inspector certification: Type 4 (land application) and Type 5 (spray irrigation)
In-person June 15-17 at the Baymont by Wyndham Owatonna, 245 Florence Ave (507-455-1142)
In-person exam session: June 17 (12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
Exam postmark date: June 2

Type V (spray irrigation) refresher

This one day refresher covers permit certification requirements, goals of land treatment, crop management, loading calculations, operations and monitoring. Six Type V or wastewater contact hours. No exam.
Online training: April 20-21

Wastewater treatment basic

A basic- to intermediate-level course geared toward the proper operation and maintenance of biological municipal wastewater treatment facilities. Seminar covers wastewater terminology, secondary treatment types, wastewater math, sampling, reporting and safety. Intended for entry-level operators or as a refresher for experienced operators. 16 contact hours. Exam held on last day.
PDF icon Wastewater Treatment Technology Seminar: Agenda
Dates and times will be released at a later date

Certification exams

Certification exams are given at the indicated 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.

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

Certification renewal contact training hours are listed in this document. For more information on certification, contact Tracy Finch, tracy.finch@state.mn.us; 651-757-2103 or 800-657-3659 (press 3) Fax: 651-205-4594.


Wastewater exam dates

Registration for individual exam sessions may be capped.

March 4 (8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)
Kelly Inn | Saint Cloud: 100 4th Ave S (320-253-0606)
Exam postmark date: February 17

March 25 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
Marriott Northwest | Brooklyn Park: 7025 Northland Dr N (763-536-8300)
Exam postmark date: March 10

April 8 (12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
Best Western Plus, 2101 S Broadway, New Ulm (507-359-2941)
Exam postmark date: March 24

May 20 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
Holiday Inn & Suites, Lakeville, 20800 Kenrick Avenue
Exam postmark date: May 5

June 17 (12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
Baymont by Wyndham Owatonna, 245 Florence Ave, Owatonna, (507-455-1142, Ext. 320)
Exam postmark date: June 2

June 24 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
Jimmy’s Conference Center, 3535 International Dr, Vadnais Heights
Exam postmark date: June 9

Contact