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Drinking Water Operator Training

This program has ended and is currently not available.

St. Louis Community College’s training for drinking water operators was an Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7 grant-funded program. The accelerated job training is being driven by the potential for job openings, due to the fact that many water operators are reaching retirement age within the next 5 years. According to the 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for 2010-2020, there will be a 12 percent increase, or approximately 12,900 jobs, for water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators across the nation.

The College also recognizes the importance of drinking water operator training and education because the health of a community relies on having competent drinking water treatment operators. Our community demands clean water 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Estimates vary, but clean water demand per person can reach 70 gallons or more each day!

Training included classroom work, as well as on-site training at water utility facilities. Topics covered included:

  • water sources (ground and surface)
  • water testing
  • water treatment
  • operating water distribution systems
  • math equations associated with treatment and distribution

Upon successful completion of the training, students were able to take certification exams provided by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for water treatment (Level D) and water distribution (DS-1). Drinking water operator certification establishes a professional standard, and also provides the knowledge and understanding drinking water operators need to provide safe, adequate drinking water to the public.

The training program is approved by the Missouri Department of Natural Resource (DNR) as course No. 1506127. This DNR course approval is equivalent to six months of water treatment and six months of distribution system operating experience. Certification renewal training credit hours are water treatment (57.5 hours), distribution (57.5 hours), wastewater (22.5 hours) and concentrated animal feeding operations (7.0 hours).