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 MPCA has modified our schedule of training events for Fall 2020, which includes opportunities for operators to take in-person certification exams, limited classroom offerings, and online-only webinars. Scroll down to view the status of each of our offerings below.

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

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

  • Collections System Operators conference
  • Wastewater Operation conference

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.

July 2020 workshop canceled

In accordance with state strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19, the in-person, classroom style workshop scheduled for July 15 in St. Cloud has been canceled.

To be rescheduled later this fall as an online (virtual) event.

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)

November (9, 10, 16, 17, 18), 2020
Webinar-only training - (5) sessions to complete: Nov. 9 & 10 (8 a.m.  11:30 a.m.); Nov. 16, 17, 18 (8 a.m. 11:00 a.m.)
PDF icon Registration form: Collection system basic webinar (p-tr2-18)

In-person exam session: Nov. 19 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.) at Marriott Northwest | Brooklyn Park: 7025 Northland Dr. (763-536-8300 or 800-441-6422)
Exam postmark date: November 4
Registration capped at 60 participants
Training event registration does not include exam application or exam fee. Must submit exam application and exam fee separately.
File Wastewater certification exam: Application form (wq-wwtp8-00)

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. Nine contact hours.

PDF icon Frequently asked questions about Type 4 (Land Application) and Type 5 (Spray Irrigation)

Not available in 2020

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. Six contact hours. No exams.

October 2020 workshop canceled

In accordance with state strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19, the in-person, classroom style workshop scheduled for October 14 in New Prague has been canceled.

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.

Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2020
Grandview Lodge | Nisswa: 23521 Nokomis Ave (866-801-2951)
Exam postmark date: September 17
Registration capped at 30 participants

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)

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

October 2020 workshop postponed

The online training scheduled for October 21-22 has been postponed. A new date is anticipated in January 2021.

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)

June 2020 workshop postponed

In accordance with state strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19, the in-person Type V Basic seminar scheduled for June 16-18 in Owatonna is postponed.

We are evaluating our ability to reschedule the Type V Basic later this year when in-person instruction is again possible, or when class offerings on-line can be provided. Details about this offering will posted on this webpage.

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.

Not offered in 2020

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

December (8, 9, 14, 15, 16), 2020
Webinar-only training - (5) sessions to complete: Dec. 8 & 9 (8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.); Dec. 14, 15, 16 (8 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)
PDF icon Registration flyer for the Wastewater Treatment Basic - Webex seminar (p-tr2-19)

In-person exam session: Dec. 17 (new time: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.) at Marriott Northwest | Brooklyn Park: 7025 Northland Dr. (763-536-8300 or 800-441-6422)
Exam postmark date: December 2
Registration capped at 60 participants
Training event registration does not include exam application or exam fee. Must submit exam application and exam fee separately.
File Wastewater certification exam: Application form (wq-wwtp8-00)

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

September 24, 2020 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
Marriott Northwest | Brooklyn Park: 7025 Northland Dr N (763-536-8300)
Exam postmark date: September 9

October 9, 2020 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
Kelly Inn | Saint Cloud: 100 4th Ave S (320-253-0606)
Exam postmark date: Sept. 24, 2020
Registration capped at 38 participants

October 22, 2020 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
Marriott Northwest | Brooklyn Park: 7025 Northland Dr N (763-536-8300)
Exam postmark date: October 7

November 5, 2020 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
Marriott Northwest | Brooklyn Park: 7025 Northland Dr N (763-536-8300)
Exam postmark date: October 21

Contact