3745-7-06 Certification of operators.

The director shall, in accordance with this chapter, provide for the examination of individuals applying for certification as operators and the issuance of appropriate certificates to applicants who meet the appropriate requirements and pass the appropriate examination.

(A) Application.

(1) Applicants for examination and certification shall submit an application on a form provided by the director. The complete application and appropriate fees as set forth in section 3745.11 of the Revised Code shall be submitted at least ninety calendar days prior to the date on which the examination is scheduled.

(2) When required by the council, it will be the responsibility of the applicant to furnish additional documentation to the agency to verify information provided on the application.

(3) Any applicant who submits incomplete, false, or incorrect information on the application shall be disqualified from taking the examination as set forth in rule 3745-7-18 of the Administrative Code.

(B) To be eligible for examination in accordance with this chapter the applicant shall fulfill the requirements of paragraphs (B)(1) to (B)(7):

(1) Not have been convicted of, or plead guilty to, a criminal charge involving falsification, fraud, or terrorism;

(2) At the time of application and prior to the examination date, not had any of their Ohio operator certifications revoked or have a certification under suspension;

(3) Not have an operator certificate from any other state currently revoked or under suspension;

(4) Not have performed the duties of an operator of record without a valid certificate of the appropriate field and classification, unless in accordance with the exemptions and exceptions contained in this chapter;

(5) Have a high school diploma or the equivalent;

(a) Documentation of successfully passing the general education development test or a statement of high school equivalence shall be accepted in lieu of a high school diploma ; or

(b) Completion of a vocational training program in the field of application may be accepted in lieu of a high school diploma .

(6) Have the ability to:

(a) Read and understand sections 6109. and 6111. of the Revised Code and the rules adopted thereunder;

(b) Perform mathematical calculations required to operate in the field for which certification is being sought; and

(c) Complete and maintain records and regulatory reporting forms required to document the proper operation of a public water system, treatment works, or sewerage systems.

(7) Have operating experience related to the field for which the application is being considered in accordance with the minimums in table A of this rule.

Table A: Operating experience required

Certification Operating experience required
Class A See paragraph (B) (7)(c) of this rule
Class I 1 year
Class II 3 years
Class III 5 years experience including at least 1 year of experience as a Class II certified operator in the same field
Class IV See paragraph (C)(2) of this rule

(a) The director may accept post high school education or training in place of operating experience in qualifying for examination under this rule. However, except as provided in paragraph (B) (7)(c) of this rule, all applicants for examination are required to have at least one year of operating experience by the date of the scheduled examination in the type of system for which certification is sought unless waived in accordance with rule 3745-7-07 of the Administrative Code.

(b) Applicants are required to describe in detail their experience in operating water and wastewater treatment facilities.

(c) To be eligible to take the class A examination for certification, applicants shall have education, and operating or work experience in accordance with the chart below:

Education and experience requirements for class A operators

Years of Education Operating Experience Work Experience *
High school diploma or equivalent 1040 hours ** 3 years **
Associate's degree 780 hours ** 2 years **
Bachelor's degree 520 hours 1 year

* Work experience means time spent at a job where a portion of duties involve dealing with a public water system or treatment works.

** Successful completion of one or more of the OTCO (operator training committee of Ohio) "Basic Water" or "Basic Wastewater" course, the California State University at Sacramento "Small Water System Operation and Maintenance" or "Small Wastewater System Operation and Maintenance, Volume I" course, or the equivalent shall reduce the experience requirement to one year of work experience or five hundred twenty hours of operating experience.

(C) Alternative eligibility requirements

(1) An applicant for a class II or class III public water or wastewater examination or for a class II water distribution or wastewater collection examination, who is certified at the same or a higher classification in the other field, may be granted a fifty per cent reduction in actual operating experience requirements in the field applied for, on the basis of operating experience obtained in the other field, except that a minimum of one year of actual operating experience in the field applied for is still required.

(2) Applicants for class IV certification shall have possessed a valid class III certification in the field for which the application is submitted for a minimum of three years, with two of those years consisting of management experience at a class III or IV facility in the field for which the application is submitted.

(3) The director may allow the following reductions in the operating experience requirement for examination for certification at levels above class I. However, documented completion of at least one year of operating experience in the field for which they are applying is required to be certified as a class II operator. Similarly, documented completion of at least one year operating experience in the field for which an applicant has applied and an additional twelve months operating experience as a class II operator in the field for which an applicant has applied is required to be eligible to take the class III examination.

(a) The operating experience requirement to take the examination for class II operator certification is reduced by two years if an applicant holds:

(i) A bachelor's degree from a four-year accredited institution in environmental, chemical, or civil engineering or a physical or natural science; or

(ii) A two year technical degree in the field of water or wastewater treatment.

(b) The operating experience requirement to take the examination for class III operator certification is reduced by three years if an applicant holds a bachelor's degree from a four-year accredited institution in environmental, chemical, or civil engineering or a physical or natural science.

(c) The director may accept substitution of each year of college completed by an applicant, not holding a bachelor's degree, for one year of required operating experience. Substitution shall only be granted provided that the applicant was pursuing a degree in environmental, chemical, or civil engineering, or a physical or natural science.

(d) The director may accept an applicant's completed drinking water or wastewater courses as a substitute for experience when applying for examination for class II or III operator certification on a case-by-case basis. The director may publish a list of courses that have been approved for substitution of experience.

(e) An applicant who passes the examination before showing the required operating experience shall be an operator in training, subject to the conditions of paragraph (C) of rule 3745-7-07 of the Administrative Code.

(D) An applicant who does not meet the required operating experience in paragraph (B) (7) of this rule may take the examination in accordance with the provisions in rule 3745-7-07 of the Administrative Code.

(E) Applicants who do not meet the examination prerequisites in the classification for which they requested certification may be permitted, without re-applying, to take an examination in a lower classification for which they do meet the prerequisites.

(F) Exam format.

(1) The examinations for each classification shall be in a format accepted by the director. Alternate examination methods may be accepted by the director if an applicant has a disability that would prevent them from taking the standard examination.

(2) The director shall establish and publish criteria for exams and the associated score necessary to pass the exams.

Effective: 02/23/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2011 and 11/30/2016
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 6111.46 , 6109.04
Rule Amplifies: 6111.46 , 6109.04
Prior Effective Dates: 2/1/64, 4/17/86, 1/1/99, 2/12/01, 12/21/06