Read Microsoft Word - OpCert Final Newsletter 11.16.09.doc text version

California Environmental Protection Agency State Water Resources Control Board

Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Operator Certification Office of Operator Certification (OOC)


Fall/Winter 2009

! Welcome our new staff!

In addition to Debbie Zuccula, Certification Analyst and

Valerie Gregory Examination Analyst, OOC is pleased to welcome our new staff: Doug Wilson ­ Program Manager Christine Gordon ­ Program Administrator Kathy Bare ­ Program Technical Expert Isomia Lamar ­ Program Analyst Lola Mello ­ Program Analyst They all come to the program with great knowledge and wisdom.

Are some questions worth more points than others? Once you have looked through the entire test, try to estimate what pace you should maintain in order to finish approximately 10 minutes before the period is over. That way, you will have a little time at the end to check for careless mistakes like skipped questions or misread items.

Take Short Breaks:

Sometimes it helps if you try taking a few breaks during

the exam by stopping for a moment, shutting your eyes, and taking some deep breaths. Periodically clearing your head in this way can help you stay fresh during the exam session. Remember, you get no points for being the first person to finish the exam, so do not feel like you have to race through all the items - even two or three 30-second breaks may be very helpful.

Don't Skip Around:


Examinations are given a minimum of twice a year, in

early April and in early October. All exams begin at 9:00 a.m. on the scheduled date. Check in starts at 8:30 a.m.

Skipping around the exam can be a waste of valuable

time, because at some point you will have to spend time searching for the skipped questions and re-reading them. Generally, a better approach is to answer each question in order. If you are confused by a question, you may mark the answer you believe to be right, place a question mark next to the question, and come back to it later. Examination Statistics


Examinees must show the colored notice card and photo

identification before they are allowed to take the exam.

ce l phones ... Books, notes, celllll phones or references ce phones materials are allowed in the exam room. Hand held calculators may be used however, alpha-numeric and programmable calculators are NOT allowed. You MUST get all calculators approved by the proctor before starting your exam.

TIPS WHEN TAKING AN EXAM: Note: These tips may be more useful to some examinees, than to others.

Look Over the Test and Pace Yourself:

When you first get the exam, it may be helpful if you

thumb through the pages and get a feel for the exam before beginning to answer the questions. How many questions are there? How many different sections?


%PASSED 64% 45% 38% 59% 68% 53%


Operator Certification E-News is a newsletter published by the State Water Resources Control Board, Office of Operator Certification. Continuing issues will introduce staff, publish articles of interest to certified operators, and highlight enforcement actions taken throughout the state.


How can I get certified?

There are three major things you must do to get

certified. 1. Education: You must meet the education requirements for the grade at which you wish to be certified. Several grade levels have more than one path to certification. Education requirements may be met by taking certain college classes or by taking the seminars or in-house training programs. 2. Examination: You must pass the written test for the grade at which you wish to be certified. Examinations are given twice a year, once in early April and again in early October. To take a test, you must meet the minimum educational requirements for the appropriate grade level and submit an application and the appropriate fees.

The Office of Enforcement of the State Water Resources

Control Board (State Water Board) investigates violations of the operator certification laws and regulations. One of the more serious violations the Office of Enforcement encounters is the operation of WWTPs by uncertified operators ­ this includes people who have never been certified as well as operators whose certificates have expired. Only operators who are currently certified by the OOC may operate a WWTP.

The State Water Board may impose administrative civil liability of up to $100 per day for each day the uncertified operator operated a WWTP. The uncertified operator and any person who owns or operates a WWTP that employs or allows the employment of an uncertified operator is subject to this penalty. The State Water Board may also take disciplinary action against any certified operator who allows an uncertified operator to operate a WWTP. If you have concerns that somebody may be operating a WWTP without proper certification, you may file a complaint at:

More information on the examination requirements is available at: perator_certification/docs/grade_by_req_exam.pdf

3. Experience: You must meet the experience requirements for the grade at which you wish to be certified. Several grade levels have more than one path to certification. To obtain an operator certificate at any grade level, the applicant must have at least one year of experience performing the functions of a WWTP operator while working as an operator in-training.

Keep an on our website Keep looking for new and improved information.


More information on the certification requirements is available at: perator_certification/docs/req_by_grade_cert102009

License Status ­ would you like to know if a WWTP operator is properly certified, at the click of a button? Keep your eye on our website.

Is there something you would like to see in our next newsletter? Send an email to [email protected] We would love to see your suggestions, stories and ideas...


How many educational points do I have on file?

It is the responsibility of the applicant to keep track of their educational points. You may use the chart below to convert units to educational points. Units Educational Points (Semesters) 1 2½ 2 5½ 3 8 4 10 ½ 5 13 ½ 6 16 Units (Quarter) Educational Points 12 weeks 1 1½ 2 3½ 3 5½ 4 7 5 9 6 10 ½ Applicants may not substitute experience for educational


Do you have a question that needs answering? Email

your question(s) to: [email protected]


For those WWTP operators whose certificates expire on December 31, 2009, written notification will be mailed at least 60 calendar days prior to the expiration of your certificate.

The OOC will mail the notification to the operator's address of record. Failure to receive the notification does not relieve an operator from the responsibility of renewing his or her certificate on or before the expiration date. Any operator who fails to renew his or her certificate prior to the expiration date will be subject to a late fee.

What information should I submit with my application?

· · · ·


Original application with fees (original signature is required) Copies of transcripts and/or certification of completion of courses as evidence that you meet the education requirements. Copy of high school diploma; Duty Statement on official letterhead from employer or a Duty Statement signed by the Chief Plant Operator (certification applicants only) and Completed continuing educational points (certification applicants only)

How to Reach Us

State Water Resources Control Board Office of Operator Certification P.O Box 944212 Sacramento, CA 94244-2120 (916) 341-5819 (916) 341-5734

Email: [email protected] Or Internet: cation

You've Got Mail!

Upon request, the OOC will provide a mailing list of

operators who have given their permission to release their names, addresses, and certificate grade to employers for recruitment purposes. To request the list, please fill out the Request for Mailing List. The form is available at: cation/docs/forms/requestmailinglist.pdf


To receive future E-News and other operator certification

information by e-mail, subscribe to the WWTP certification mailing list at:



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