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Wastewater-Operator Licensing: Required Experience

The TCEQ issues licenses for operators of wastewater-treatment plants and wastewater-collection systems. This page explains the experience that is required.

Applications

We review all applications as consistently and fairly as possible based on the information in your application. It is your responsibility to ensure you meet the experience and educational requirements before taking the test for a license. Complete each application in full, with correct dates of employment and complete, factual descriptions of duties and responsibilities. If you’ve had changes in duties, promotions, or breaks in employment, please note them clearly on your application.

Wastewater-Treatment-Plant Experience (Class A, B, C, D)

30 TAC Subchapter J Exit the TCEQ requires that half the total required experience for Class A, B, and C licensing must be in actual hands-on operation or maintenance of domestic (biological) wastewater-treatment facilities, such as:

  • wastewater-plant operator, superintendent, or foreman;
  • wastewater-plant maintenance mechanic or instrument technician, or
  • laboratory analyst or technician (provided that the analyst works at a lab primarily doing analyses for water utilities, so that the analyst consults daily with wastewater-operations personnel).

Related experience may be used to fulfill the remainder of the experience requirement at a rate of 50 percent. For example, one year of collection-system experience will count for six months toward a treatment-plant license. Acceptable related experience may include duties such as:

  • installation, maintenance, or repair of wastewater collection systems
  • design or construction of wastewater treatment plants and collection systems
  • inspection and sampling of industrial wastewater treatment systems by municipal employees as part of their municipal pretreatment program
  • laboratory analysis of wastewater samples by contract or off-site laboratory personnel

No experience is required for Class D licensing. (Renewability of Class D licenses)

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Wastewater-Collection-System Experience (Class I, II, III)

  • Components on residential property normally installed or repaired by a plumber are not considered to be part of a wastewater-collection system and will not count as experience for any level of wastewater-collection licensing.
  • Experience must be in actual wastewater-collection-system operation or maintenance duties, such as:
    • installation or maintenance of mains, laterals, trunk sewers, lift stations, and manholes
    • repair of wastewater-collection systems
  • Credit for experience not directly connected with collection-system operation or maintenance will be approved at a rate of 50 percent if the experience involves tasks that are similar to those required for the operation and maintenance of collection systems. This includes duties such as:
    • inspection and sampling of industrial wastewater treatment systems by municipal employees as part of their municipal pre-treatment program
    • design or construction of wastewater-collection systems
    • wastewater-treatment-plant operation or maintenance

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Industrial Wastewater Experience

A separate industrial wastewater operator’s license is not available at this time. However, if work experience is gained operating a wastewater-treatment system at an industry with a large plant incorporating biological wastewater treatment, that experience will count towards wastewater-treatment-plant experience (for Class A, B, and C licenses). Industrial pretreatment where limited treatment is used, such as pH adjustments, will not count as experience for licensing. We may request a more detailed description of industrial experience, including volumes treated and a schematic of the treatment units, so we can accurately evaluate the applicable experience.

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Experience Maintaining On-Site Aerobic Treatment Units

Experience in maintenance of on-site aerobic treatment units does not apply toward the requirements for wastewater operator licensing. A Class D license is renewable if it is a license to perform maintenance on on-site aerobic treatment units.

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Other Applicable Experience

Full-time water-utility personnel who have both water and wastewater duties in approximately equal amounts will be credited with 100 percent of their time of employment as applicable toward wastewater-operator licensing. Persons whose duties primarily involve potable water distribution or treatment with occasional wastewater-collection-system or treatment-plant duties will be credited with a proportional amount of wastewater experience.

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For More Information

For questions about experience qualifications, contact the Wastewater Operator Licensing Program in Austin at 512-239-0176, fax 512-239-6272, or write to us at:

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Compliance Support Division
Wastewater Operator Licensing Program, MC 178
P.O. Box 13087
Austin, TX 78711-3087

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