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Licensing Guide For 
Operators Of Wastewater Facilities 



Licensing of Sewage Works Operators, 
O.Reg. 129/04 



Revised: April 2010 



Copyright Provisions and Restrictions on Copying: 

This Ontario Ministry of the Environment work is protected by Crown copyright 
(unless otherwise indicated), which is held by the Queen's Printer for Ontario. It 
may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes if credit is given and Crown 
copyright is acknowledged. 

It may not be reproduced, in all or in part, for any commercial purpose except 
under a licence from the Queen's Printer for Ontario. 

For information on reproducing Government of Ontario works, please contact 
ServiceOntario Publications at co pyright(g)ontario.ca 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

1 INTRODUCTION 4 

1.1 Purpose of Certification Guide 4 

1.2 Certification Program Is Administered by a Third Party 4 

1.3 Separate Guide to Completing Certification Forms 4 

1.4 Separate Drinking Water Operator Certification Program Guide 5 

1.5 Tips on Reading this Guide 5 

1.6 Program Mandate 5 

2 FACILITIES GOVERNED BY O. REG. 129/04 5 

3 FACILITY CLASSIFICATION 6 

3.1 Facilities That do not Fall Under Provincial Jurisdiction 6 

4 CERTIFICATION OF OPERATORS 7 

4.1 Overview 7 

4.1.1 Functions that Must be Performed by a Certified Operator 7 

4.1.2 Types of operator licences 8 

4.2 Licence Qualifications - Operators-In-Training 8 

4.2.1 OITs are valid for three years 9 

4.3 Licence Qualifications -Class I to IV Licences 9 

4.3.1 Exception -Professional Engineer 13 

4.3.2 Experience Exemption for Professional Engineers 13 

4.3.3 Transferability of Operator Licences 13 

Note: The operator does not receive a licence of the type they are deemed to hold 13 

4.3.4 Conditional Operator Licence 13 

4.3.5 Operator Licence to be Displayed 14 

4.3.6 Reciprocity 14 

4.4 Licence Renewal 14 

4.4.1 Overview 14 

4.4.2 Renewal of Operator Licences 15 

4.4.3 Training Requirements 15 

4.5 Re-issuance of Operator Licence after It Expires 16 

4.6 Replacement of Licence 16 

4.7 Refusal to Issue or Renew an Operator's Licence 16 

4.8 Revocation or Suspension of an Operator's Licence 16 

4.9 Appeals 17 

5 CERTIFICATION EXAMINATIONS 17 

5.1 Exam Application 17 

5.2 Locations 18 

5.3 Confirmation Letter 18 

6 OPERATING STANDARDS FOR FACILITIES 19 

6.1 Overall Responsible Operator (ORO) 19 

6.2 Operator-in-Charge (OIC) 20 

6.2.1 Duties of Operator-in-Charge 20 

6.3 Strikes and Lock-outs 21 

6.4 Record-keeping re: Operation of Facility 21 

6.5 Operators and Maintenance Manuals 22 

7 OWNER/OPERATING AUTHORITY RESPONSIBILITIES 22 



8 FEE SCHEDULE 25 

8.1 Application Forms 25 

9 PREPARING FOR CERTIFICATION - STUDY GUIDES 26 

10 WWOCS (WATER WASTEWATER OPERATOR CERTIFICATION SYSTEM) 26 

11 HOW TO OBTAIN MORE INFORMATION 26 



i Introduction 

1.1 Purpose of Certification Guide 

This certification guide provides information on the requirements to secure and renew a 
wastewater operator licence. The guide provides interpretation of the Licensing of Sewage 
Works Operators Regulation, O. Reg. 129/04, made under the Ontario Water Resources Act. 

This certification guide is provided for information purposes only. Where there is a discrepancy 
between this program guide and O. Reg. 129/04, the regulation prevails. Owners, operating 
authorities and operators should refer to O. Reg. 129/04 and the Ontario Water Resources Act for 
a complete understanding of their legal responsibilities, and certification compliance 
requirements. 

1.2 Certification Program Is Administered by a Third Party 

The operator/water quality analyst certification program is administered by a third party under 
contract with the Ministry. Presently the third party is the Ontario Water Wastewater 
Certification Office (OWWCO), also known as the Certification Program Administrator. 

The Certification Program Administrator is responsible for possessing certificate and licence 
renewal applications, processing exam applications, coordinating and marking exams, notifying 
operators of the need to renew their licence, selling exam study guides, informing operators on 
continuing education courses that meet the necessary criteria, and providing information to 
operators. 

Details on how to contact the Certification Program Administrator is provided in section 11 of 
this guide. 

1.3 Separate Guide to Completing Certification Forms 

Supplementary to this certification guide is a 'Guide to Completing MOE Certification Forms', 
which can be found on the website of the Certification Administrator. The guide to completing 
forms contains a list of all the forms related to facility classification and operator certification 
and licence renewal, and provides instructions on when and how to complete specific forms. 
(The forms can also be found on this website). 



1.4 Separate Drinking Water Operator Certification Program Guide 

A separate program guide for the licensing of drinking water operators and water quality analysts 
is available at on the ministry's drinking water portal ( www. Ontario . ca/drinkingwater ) . 



1.5 Tips on Reading this Guide 

The reference to Director throughout the regulation is reference to a person or persons appointed 
by the Minister of the Environment as having the authority to make such decisions. The 
'Director' under O. Reg. 128/04 and O. Reg. 129/04 is the Manager of Certification, Training 
and Client Services within the Drinking Water Programs Branch, Drinking Water Management 
Division, Ministry of the Environment. 

The meanings of key terms used in this guide are set out in shaded text within the section in 
which the term is used. For exact legal definitions of terms, please refer to the relevant 
regulations and the Ontario Water Resources Act. 

Policy that supplements O. Reg. 129/04 is contained in separate Guidelines, and can be obtained 
from the Certification Program Administrator (see section 11 of this guide for contact 
information) or on the ministry's website. However, in some instances, part of the policy has 
been included in this guide (in boxes within the relevant section). 



1.6 Program Mandate 

The certification program establishes occupational standards for operators. It is also intended to 
give greater assurance of clean surface water and public health to the residents of Ontario 
through ensuring that operators have the education, experience and knowledge to perform their 
responsibilities effectively. 



2 Facilities Governed by O. Reg. 129/04 

O. Reg. 129/04 applies to: 

a) sewage works that requires a certificate of approval from the ministry under section 
53 of the OWRA and that is owned or operated by the Crown or a municipality, if 
the sewage received by the sewage works is treated; and 

b) a sewage works that requires a certificate of approval from the ministry under 
section 53 of the OWRA and that is not owned or operated by the Crown or a 
municipality, if the sewage received by the sewage works is: 

• toilet, sink or culinary liquid waste, or 

• other sewage of a kind normally discharged from a residential subdivision 
other than storm water, ground water, surface drainage or land drainage 



Exception: This regulation does not apply to on-site (e.g. septic) sewage systems which do not 
drain or discharge directly or indirectly into a ditch, drain or storm sewer or a well lake, river, 
pond, spring, stream, reservoir or other water or watercourse. Such systems with a design 
capacity of less than 10,000 litres per day are regulated under the Ontario Building Code. 
Systems greater than 10,000 litres per day capacity do require a certificate of approval from the 
ministry, but do not require certified operators (unless otherwise indicated in a certificate of 
approval). 

Generally, this regulation does not apply to sewage systems treating industrial sewage which 
discharge directly or indirectly into a ditch, drain or storm sewer or a well lake, river, pond, 
spring, stream, reservoir or other water or watercourse. The regulation may apply to such 
systems if domestic sewage is also treated separately or if the industrial sewage and domestic 
sewage are combined and the treatment process includes treatment of the domestic waste. For 
further information please consult with the Certification Program Administrator. 

A wastewater collection system that is located on private property is considered a plumbing 
system. Plumbing systems do not require classification nor licensed operators. 



3 Facility Classification 

The owner of a wastewater facility must file an application with the Director to have the 
classification of their facility determined. Facilities are classified by assigning classification 
points for facility characteristics in the Tables found in Schedule 1 of O. Reg. 129/04. Facilities 
are classified as Class 1, Class 2, Class 3 and Class 4. The larger and more operational complex 
a facility is the higher classification rating it will receive. 

The owner must ensure that the certificate of classification is conspicuously displayed at the 
facility or, if this is not practical (e.g. at some collection systems), the certificate should be 
displayed at the premises from which the facility is managed. 

If the facility is altered or no longer meets the criteria under which it was originally classified, 
the owner must apply to have the classification re-determined. Generally, if a wastewater 
treatment facility is undergoing an upgrade or expansion and a certificate of approval for an 
amendment is submitted, it is recommended that the owner consult with the Certification 
Program Administrator to determine if re-classification is required. 

Further, the Director may request that a facility have their classification re-determined if the 
classification points in Schedule 1 of the regulation have been amended, or the Director is of the 
opinion that the facility no longer meets their original classification. 

3.1 Facilities that do not Fall Under Provincial Jurisdiction 

Wastewater facilities which do not fall under provincial jurisdiction do not require classification 
of their facilities (i.e., federal facilities and First Nations facilities). The owner of the facility 
may submit an application to the Certification Program Administrator, who will review the 
facility and provide a notional classification. This notional classification will indicate what level 





and class the facility would be classified as if the facility fell under provincial jurisdiction. 
Operators who work in these facilities can be certified, and the experience gained working in 
theses facilities will be evaluated for upgrades and renewals, just as all other operators. 

4 Certification of Operators 
4.1 Overview 

Section 14 (1) of O. Reg. 129/04 requires that the owner of the facility ensure that every operator 
employed, or persons performing operational duties in the facility holds a valid licence. 

'Operating' duties are those functions typically performed by an operator as described in the 
definition of 'operator' below. 

This includes a maintenance worker, a laboratory technician, or other employee who is 'on call' 
and is expected to perform operating functions when 'called out' to do so. 

4.1.1 Functions that Must be Performed by a Certified Operator 

An operator is defined by the functions they perform, not by the job title, union affiliation, or 
whether or not they are in a supervisory or management position. 






a ■ i i i I'liirii'iii ii 


a 
ter 




Aii operator means a peison who conducts opeiauonal checks ol oi who adjusts, tests, oi evaluates 
process that controls the effectiveness or efficiency of a facility and includes a person who adjusts or 
directs the flow, pressure or quality of wastewater within the facility, if that person works in a wastewa 
collection facility. 














A person must be certified as an operator in order to perform the following 
functions (also referred to as 'operating' functions). 
Note: this list is not a complete list. Other tasks the treatment or 
collection of wastewater may also require an operator's licence to 
undertake. For additional information, please contact the Certification 
Program Administrator: 

• control flow or pressure of wastewater in a facility 

• addition of chemicals to treat wastewater using and/or through making 
adjustments to treatment equipment 

• monitor gauges, meters and control valves related to disinfection, treatment 
or collection of wastewater 

• conduct operational tests within the facility 

• start and stop pumps, engines and generators to control and adjust flow and 
treatment 

• open and close valves and gates, whether done manually or by remote 
control (a non-certified person can open and close valves for the purpose of 
'exercising' a valve) 










7 





• isolate portions of a sewage collection system through the diversion of 
sewage for the purposes of repair or maintenance 

• maintain logs (e.g. shift logs) or other forms of record-keeping related to 
treatment and collection activities in the facility, make entries into such 
logs/records including meter and gauge readings 

A person does not need to be certified to perform the following functions: 

• repair previously isolated treatment equipment or sewers 

• cleaning sewers using a method which does not significantly impact the 
flow of sewage 

A person or contractor that is not certified as a wastewater operator can perform 
functions normally required to be done by a certified operator provided they are 
being directly supervised by a certified operator, meaning the certified operator 
is physically present and monitoring the work being performed. All operational 
work is the responsibility of the certified operator. 



4.1.2 Types of Operator Licences 

Operator licences correspond to the types of facilities: 



'able 1: 




Type of Facility 


Classes of Licences 


Wastewater Treatment 


Operator-in-Training 
Class 1 
Class 2 
Class 3 
Class 4 


Wastewater Collection 


Operator-in-Training 
Class 1 
Class 2 
Class 3 
Class 4 



4.2 Licence Qualifications - Operators- In-Training 

An operator-in-training (OIT) licence allows new operators to gain one year of experience 
required in order to become a Class I operator. 



To secure an OIT licence a person must: 

• successfully complete grade 12 or equivalent (see ministry guideline 3.1 for a list of 
Grade 12 equivalents); and 

• pass an OIT or Class I exam. 



An OIT licence allows a person to perform all regular operating functions. However, an OIT 
cannot be designated as the overall responsible operator or as an operator-in-charge. 



4.2.1 OITs are Valid for Three Years 

OIT licences expire at the end of three years from the date it was originally issued. A person 
holding a wastewater OIT may renew the licence for an additional 3-year term. 



4.3 Licence Qualifications -Class I to IV Licences 

The Director will issue an operator's licence provided the applicant meets all of the 
qualifications for the specific licence applied for and pays the required fee. 

To qualify for an operator's licence, a person must: 

• meet education and training requirements; 

• meet experience requirements; and 

• pass a certification examination. 

The higher the level of licence, the more education and experience required. The experience 
must be gained in the type of facility corresponding to the licence for which the individual is 
applying. For example, if the applicant is applying for a treatment licence, the person must have 
experience in a treatment facility. (See Note 6 to Table 2 below for exceptions). 



Operating 1 experience is experience performing the functions described in 
section 4.1.1 of this guide. For further clarification operating experience means 
on-site charge and/or hands-on operating of the facility. On-site charge will only 
apply to individuals who make operational decisions and provide detailed 
operational instructions to other operators. 



The licence qualifications for each type and class of licence are summarized in the following 
table (also see Notes to Table immediately following the table). 



A description of what constitutes related and different experience is available in a Ministry of the Environment 
guideline. 3.4 : Experience as an Operator 



Table 2: Qualifications 



Licence 


Education/ Training 

(See Notes 1,3 & 4) 


Experience 

(See Notes 2,5,6 
&7) 


Exam 


Other (See Note 9) 


OIT 


Grade 12 or equivalent. 


N/A 


OITor 
Class I 
(See note 
10) 




Class I 


Grade 12 or equivalent. 


1 year as a valid 


Class I 


Experience must be 






operator 


exam 


'operating' experience - 






experience 




see definition above 






while holding 










an OIT 






Class II 


Grade 12 or equivalent. 


Total of 3 years 


Class II 


Must hold a Class I 






(See note 8) 


exam 


licence (or deemed to 
hold) for that type of 
facility (See note 11) 


Class III 


Grade 12 or equivalent + 


Total of 4 years, 


Class III 


Must hold a Class II 




2 years of additional 


of which 2 


exam 


licence for that type of 




education or training the 


years must be as 




facility 




Director considers 


an OIC in a 








relevant 


Class II, III or 
IV facility 






Class IV 


Grade 12 or equivalent + 


Total of 4 years, 


Class IV 


Must hold a Class III 




4 years of additional 


of which 2 


exam 


licence for that type of 




education or training the 


years must be as 




facility 




Director considers 


an OIC in a 








relevant 


Class III or IV 
facility 







10 



Notes to Table: 

1. Grade 12 equivalency is generally that described in the box immediately following. For a 
detailed description, please refer to the ministry's guideline 3.1. 



The following is considered equivalent to having secured grade 12: 
a Canadian post secondary diploma or degree 
securing the General Educational Development (GED) certificate 
a 2-3 year certificate or 3-4 year diploma from a recognized Canadian 
university or community college 

a secondary school graduation diploma or GED from other Canadian 
provinces and territories (CEJEP from Quebec) and the US will be considered 
equivalent 
a certificate of apprenticeship from Ontario or other Canadian jurisdictions 

• completion of a 2 or 3 year college program related to water or wastewater 
successful completion of the first year of a college program in directly related 
to water or wastewater (for example engineering technologist or technician) 
experience from other countries may be considered as Grade 12 equivalent, 
contact the Certification Administrator for details - see section 11 for contact 
information, or review guideline 3.1 for more specific information. 



2. Only experience gained while certified to do the work will be considered. 

3. For the purpose of calculating education or training obtained through continuing 
education, 450 hours of education or training equals one year. This translates into 45 
Continuing Education Units (CEU), since 1 CEU equals 10 hours of training. 

4. Substitute experience for education/training : 

a. Class III applicants may substitute up to one year experience as an operator-in-charge 
in a Class II, III or IV facility, above that required to meet the experience 
qualifications, for one year of education/training (or 450 hours of additional 
education/training. 

b. Class IV applicants may substitute up to two years of experience as an operator-in- 
charge in a Class III or IV facility, above that required to meet the experience 
qualifications, for the two years of additional education/training. 

5. Substitute education/training for experience : Class II, III and IV applicants can substitute 
education & training (except for elementary and secondary education), above that 
required to meet the additional education and training qualifications for up to 50% of the 
required operating experience (not applicable for substituting OIC experience). 



Eligible substitutions include: 

relevant post secondary education such as community college, trade school, 



11 











university 

training that meets the 'continuing education' training criteria for purpose of 

certificate renewal 




6. Substitute different experience: Class II, III and IV applicants may be permitted to 
substitute experience as an operator in a different system, experience in a system other 
than as an operator, or other relevant qualifications, for licence qualifying experience. 
However, the Director needs to be satisfied that such experience or qualifications are 
relevant to the licence being applied for. 




Examples of different experiences that may be considered are: 

■ experience gained working in a drinking water system 

■ experience gained working in a laboratory conducting tests on drinking 
water or wastewater 

■ experience gained within a wastewater facility doing electrical or mechanical 
maintenance, or work as a technical expert or trades person 

The ratio is often 2 to 1 or 3 to 1. For example, 3 years of distribution 
experience would be equivalent to one year of treatment experience if applying 
for a higher treatment licence. 

(See Ministry guideline 3.4 for more detail) 




7. Application of part-time experience: The application of part-time experience is defined 
in ministry guideline 3.4, and operating experience for contractors is detailed in ministry 
guideline 5.3. 




Generally an operator, who works in a facility that does not require the operator 
to be at the facility full-time but does require the operator to be available full- 
time, will receive one year experience credit for each year employed. However, 
an operator working part-time in a system requiring full-time operators will 
receive credit for the actual time worked. 




8. The years of experience indicated in this table are not cumulative. For example, a Class 1 
operator is required to obtain 1 year of experience. The Class 2 operator requires a total 
of 3 years of experience, which includes the 1 year required to obtain the Class 1. 

9. An operator may upgrade their licence only one class higher than the licence they 
currently hold, and can only hold a licence one level higher than the highest class of 
system for which they are employed. 

12 



10. An operator has the choice to challenge the OIT or Class I exam when entering the 
program. If the operator does not yet have a year of experience under a valid licence the 
operator will receive the OIT licence until this requirement has been met. 

11. An operator who holds a Class 1 WWT licence is deemed to hold a Class I WWC 
licence, and may apply directly to a Class 2 WWC provided they meet the experience 
requirements for that licence (e.g. three years of collection experience). 

4.3.1 Exception - Professional Engineer 

An owner can employ a professional engineer or a series of professional engineers who do not 
hold a wastewater operator licence, as an operator, for up to six months in a 12 month period. 

A profession engineer means a professional engineer as defined in the Professional Engineers Act. 



4.3.2 Experience Exemption for Professional Engineers 

A professional engineer accredited in Ontario does not have to meet the experience qualifications 
if the professional engineer obtains a mark of 85% or higher on the exam for the type and class 
of licence for which they are applying. 

4.3.3 Transferability of Operator Licences 

An operator who holds one type of licence may be deemed to hold other licences for the purpose 
of being able to work in that facility. The following chart shows this transferability: 

Table 3 



Licence Held by Operator 


Licence Operator Deemed to Also Hold 


Class I to IV Wastewater Treatment 


■S Class I Collection licence 


Class I to IV Wastewater Collection 


Not transferable 



Note: The operator does not receive a licence of the type they are deemed to hold. 

4.3.4 Conditional Operator Licence 

The Director may issue a conditional operator licence for operators holding any type and class of 
licence (except for an operator-in-training licence). 

The Director may issue a conditional licence if: 

• the owner or operating authority that employs or has offered to employ the applicant 
satisfies the Director that they cannot obtain the services of an operator of the type and 
class required under this regulation (for example, if an owner of a Class III wastewater 
treatment facility is unable to find an operator holding a Class III wastewater treatment 
licence); and 

• the owner or operating authority gives both the applicant and the Director a written 
commitment to help the applicant comply with all the conditions of the facility; and 



13 



• the required fee is paid. 

A conditional operator's licence is valid only for the facility for which it has been issued. The 
operator cannot use it to work in another facility. The Director may impose certain conditions in 
a conditional licence. The licence expires three years after it is issued, or on an earlier date 
specified on the licence, but may be renewed by the Director, if the renewal requirements are 
met. (See section 4.4 of this guide, Licence Renewal below). 



Examples of when a conditional licence might be issued by the Director are as 
follows: 

■ when a facility upgrade or expansion changes the classification level of the 
facility, and no operator employed in the facility has a licence at the new 
classification level of the facility 

■ when facilities are unable to hire a person with the required class of licence. 

Conditions that may be placed on a conditional licence include, but are not limited 
to: 

■ the operator meeting specific training requirements in addition to the annual 
training requirements 

■ technical support or operational back-up be available to the operator holding the 
conditional licence 



4.3.5 Operator Licence to be Displayed 

The owner or operating authority must clearly display the licence of every operator employed by 
them at the operator's workplace, or if this is not practical (such as for a collection system), at 
the premises from which the facility is managed. 

4.3.6 Reciprocity 

Under the Agreement on Internal Trade, and Ontario Labour Mobility Act, the Ministry of 
Environment recognizes certificates from other Canadian jurisdictions that have certification 
programs equal to that held in the Province of Ontario. The Ministry still requires the 
completion of the Entry Level Course for the issuance of a class 1 drinking water certificate for 
those individuals who are applying from a Canadian jurisdiction which does not have an entry 
level program. Contact the certification administrator for more details. 



4.4 Licence Renewal 

4.4.1 Overview 

Renewal of an operator licence is the responsibility of the holder of the licence. An expired 
licence is not a valid licence. Contravening section 14 of O. Reg. 129/04 - i.e. working as an 
operator without holding a valid operator licence - is an offence under the Regulation. 



14 



Therefore, it is important that operators notify the Certification Office of a change in address 
and renew their licence before it expires. 

Generally the certification office issues a renewal notice and application form to an operator 
ninety (90) days prior to the date when their licence expires. Operators who apply for licence 
renewal, meet the renewal qualifications, and pay the required fee will receive a new licence 
containing the new expiry date. 

4.4.2 Renewal of Operator Licences 

Operator licences expire every three years. To qualify for renewal, the operator must have: 
a. experience in the previous 5 years working as an operator in a facility or related 
experience 



In general related experience includes a role in the drinking water and 
wastewater industry that enables a person to remain knowledgeable and current 
on wastewater treatment or collection equipment and methods. 

For example, an operator who becomes a drinking water supervisor, trainer or 
technical expert would meet the experience requirement during the time that they 
are actively engaged in such role. 

Other related experience could include experience as an electrical/mechanical or 
maintenance employee of the wastewater system, or as a laboratory technician or 
scientist who tests water. 

See ministry guideline 3.4 for more detail on related experience. 



b. pay the required fee. 

For a conditional operator's licence to be renewed, the applicant for renewal must also have met 
the conditions of the conditional licence. 

4.4.3 Training Requirements 

The owner of a facility shall ensure that every operator employed in the facility is given at least 
40 hours of training every year. 

The training may include, for example, training in new or revised operating procedures, reviews 
of existing operating procedures, training in safety, and training on studies of information and 
technical skills related to environmental subjects. 

The owner shall ensure that records are maintained of the training given under this section. Such 
records are to include the names and positions of the operators who attend the training, the date 



15 



of each training session, the duration and the subjects covered. The owner shall submit copies or 
summaries of the records to the Director upon request. 

Operators who hold both drinking water and wastewater certificates/licences must meet the 
training requirements for both O. Reg. 128/04 and O. Reg. 129/04. Generally training on topics 
related to that of a drinking water operator may be used to meet both the requirements of O. Reg. 
128/04 and O. Reg. 129/04. Training on topics specific to wastewater may only be used to meet 
the requirements for O. Reg. 129/04. 

Training records do not have to be submitted at that time of renewal. Records should be 
maintained in the event the Ministry requests copies. 

Training may not be pro-rated for part time operators (a full 40 hours is required). In addition, 
training may not be averaged between years. 

4.5 Re-issuance of Operator Licence after It Expires 

If the renewal application is made within five years of the expiry date , the applicant must: 

• meet the normal licence renewal requirements. 

If the renewal application is made more than five years after the expiry date, the applicant must: 

• meet the qualifications in Schedule 2 for that type of Class of licence (including passing the 
certification exam). 

4.6 Replacement of Licence 

The Director may issue a replacement licence if an operator's licence has been lost or destroyed, 
or if the operator's name has changed and the original licence is returned to the Director. A fee 
will be charged. 



4.7 Refusal to Issue or Renew an Operator's Licence 

The Director may refuse to issue or renew an operator's licence if: 

• any of the circumstances under which the Director can revoke or suspend a licence under 
apply; 

• the licence to be renewed was revoked or suspended; 

• the applicant is a holder of a wastewater operator's licence under O. Reg. 129/04 that was 
suspended or that the Director is authorized to revoke or suspend. 



4.8 Revocation or Suspension of an Operator's Licence 

The Director may revoke or suspend an operator's licence, including an operator-in-training' s 
licence, for reasons described in subsection 11 of O. Reg. 129/04. The Director may issue a 



16 



licence of another type and class than the licence suspended or revoked, providing the applicant 
meets the necessary qualifications. 

The circumstances that might cause a Director to revoke or suspend a licence are: 

• The application was fraudulent or contained inaccurate information 

• The person was discharged from employment in a facility for gross negligence or for 
incompetence in the performance of his or her duties, unless the person has not yet exhausted 
the rights of appeal available under a collective agreement 2 

• An operator-in-charge has failed to: 

> take all steps reasonably necessary to operate the processes within his or her 
responsibility in a safe and efficient manner in accordance with the relevant operations 
manuals; 

> Ensure the processes within his or her responsibility are measured, monitored, sampled, 
and tested in a manner that permits them to be adjusted when necessary; 

> Ensure that records are maintained or all adjustments made to the processes within his or 
her responsibility; or 

> Ensure that all equipment used in the processes within his or her responsibility is properly 
monitored, inspected and evaluated and that records of equipment operating status are 
prepared and available at the end of every operating shift, 

which resulted in: 

> the discharge of a pollutant into the natural environment; 

> an adverse effect on the health or safety of an individual; or 

> an adverse effect on a process in the facility 

• The person has failed to meet or has contravened any condition that is set out in his or her 
licence. 



4.9 Appeals 

Any licence decision made by the Director under the regulation may be appealed to the 
Environmental Review Tribunal. Details on appeal rights are included in all letters issues by the 
Director which denies an application for licence. 



5 Certification Examinations 
5.1 Exam Application 

In addition to meeting the experience and education requirements specific to the different 
operator licences, the applicant must also pass a certification exam in order to receive a licence. 



2 If a person chooses not to appeal within the time required it would have the same effect as having exhausted their 
right of appeal. 

17 



Applicants may only write examinations one class higher than the class of licence 
that they hold. Applicants must wait a minimum of 90 days from the date of 
writing to take the next class level exam or to retry an exam after a failure. 



Examination application(s) can be secured from the office of the Certification Administrator. 
(See Section 11 of this guide for contact information). 

5.2 Locations 

A list of the exam dates and locations can be found on the website of the Certification 
Administrator (see Section 11 of this guide for contact information). 

5.3 Confirmation Letter 

The Certification Administrator will send an examination confirmation letter. This letter will 
confirm the following details: 

the exam to be written (i.e. WTII) 

the date and time scheduled for the exam 

location of the exam (map included) 

materials required to bring to the exam (personal photo ID and calculator) 

licence eligibility requirements (details on the documents that need to be submitted in order 

to have the licence issued upon passing the examination). This evaluation may be performed 

prior to an exam OR when the applicant receives the exam marks. 

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that he or she is eligible to obtain the next level of 
certification prior to applying or writing an exam. 

Note: Under normal circumstances, drinking water examinations are scheduled in the morning, 
and wastewater examinations are scheduled for the afternoon. You must bring this 
confirmation, plus a government issued photo ID and a document with your address to the 
examination session or you will not be able to write the exam on that date . 

If an operator writes an examination for a licence they have not yet acquired, the examination 
mark is valid for five years from the day of completion. For example, if a class III operator 
writes his class IV examination, but is not eligible for the class IV licence, that exam mark is 
valid for a five year period. For more information on this policy, review ministry guideline 
3.11. 

Following notice of having passed the exam (pass is 70%); operators and water quality analysts 
may need to submit the appropriate documentation related to other licence qualifying 
requirements. 



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6 Operating Standards for Facilities 

The owner or operating authority of a facility must ensure that every operator employed in that 
facility holds a licence applicable to that type of facility, or a conditional licence applicable to 
that particular facility. 



6.1 Overall Responsible Operator (ORO) 

The owner or operating authority must designate an overall responsible operator (ORO) to 
ensure that a knowledgeable, experienced staff person is available at all times to provide advice 
to all operators working within the facility and to respond to emergencies. 

An overall responsible operator means an operator designated as overall responsible operator of a 
facility under section 15 ofO. Reg. 129/04 

The owner or operating authority of each facility must designate as overall responsible operator, 
an operator who holds a licence for that type of facility and that is of the same class as or higher 
than the class of that facility. For example, the overall responsible operator of a Class III 
wastewater treatment facility must hold a Class III or Class IV wastewater treatment licence. 



To 'designate' means to appoint an operator as holding the position of overall 
responsible operator. It must be clear to other operators working in the facility, and 
to the ministry inspector, who the overall responsible operator is for each shift. The 
expectation is that the overall responsible operator would be identified either 
through recording the ORO's name in the daily log, through a memo that is posted, 
etc. 

The intent of the regulation is that there be an ORO designated for a facility at all 
times. In order to achieve this goal, an owner or operating authority can designate 
one operator to be the ORO for particular shifts or days and another operator as the 
ORO for the other shifts or days, provided there is only one ORO designated at any 
given time (and that whoever is designated as the ORO meets the requirements of 
holding a licence for that type of facility, of the same class or higher than that 
facility and is fully aware that they are the ORO assigned at that time). 

The ORO may have responsibility for more than one facility provided it does not 
affect their ability to perform their responsibilities. 

The ORO can be off-site; however, he or she must be able to respond immediately 
and effectively to an emergency at the site. 



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If a designated overall responsible operator holding the proper qualifications is absent or unable 
to act, the owner or operating authority or, if the owner or operating authority authorizes it, the 
overall responsible operator, may designate an operator who holds a licence applicable to that 
type of facility and no more than one class lower to act on their behalf (for example, if the 
overall responsible operator for a Class IV collection facility is absent, an operator holding a 
Class III collection facility licence can act in their place). 

Owners/operating authorities of facilities can only rely on "backup" overall responsible operators 
for up to 150 days in any 12-month period in a facility. The Director can make an exception if 
the Director is satisfied that the owner or operating authority cannot reasonably hire an operator 
holding a class of licence as high or higher than the class of facility. The Director must also be 
satisfied that extending the time period will not result in a significant risk to the natural 
environment. 

The duties of an overall responsible operator cannot be delegated to an operator-in-training. 



6.2 Operator-in-Charge (OIC) 

The owner or operating authority of each facility must designate one or more operators-in-charge 
(OIC). 

An operator-in-charge means an operator or professional engineer who is designated as an operator-in- 
chargeofa facility under section 17 ofO. Reg. 129/04. 

An operator-in-charge can be any operator, except an operator-in-training. 

The owner or operating authority can also designate a professional engineer, who does not have 
an operator's licence, as operator-in-charge. However, the owner can only rely on a professional 
engineer or series of professional engineers to be the operator-in-charge for up tol80 days in any 
24-month period. 

A professional engineer means a professional engineer as defined in the Professional Engineers Act 

The owner or operating authority must ensure that records are maintained of the amount of time 
each operator works as operator-in-charge. 

6.2.1 Duties of Operator-in-Charge 

An operator-in-charge is authorized to: 

• set operational parameters for the facility or for a process that controls the effectiveness 
or efficiency of the facility; and 

• direct or instruct other operators in the facility to set such operational parameters. 

The operator-in-charge shall: 



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take all steps reasonably necessary to operate the processes within his or her 

responsibility in a safe and efficient manner, in accordance with the relevant operations 

manuals; 

ensure that the processes within his or her responsibility are measured, monitored, 

sampled and tested in a manner that permits them to be adjusted when necessary; 

ensure that records are maintained of all adjustments made to the processes within his or 

her responsibility; and 

ensure that all equipment used in the processes within his or her responsibility is properly 

monitored, inspected and evaluated and that records of equipment operating status are 

prepared and available at the end of every operating shift. 



The main purpose of creating an operator-in-charge (OIC) position is to ensure 
that operators securing a higher class of licence have had the experience and 
responsibility reflected in the duties of an OIC. For example, to secure a Class III 
or IV licence, the operator must have a specific number of years of experience as 
an OIC. 



For more information on the roles and responsibilities of the ORO and OIC, please review 
ministry guideline 5.1. 

6.3 Strikes and Lock-outs 

During a strike or a lockout involving operators employed in a facility, the Director may direct 
that the facility be allowed to operate without the presence of an overall responsible operator or 
certified operator for that type of facility. However, the Director must be satisfied the facility 
can be operated without risk to human health or the natural environment. 



To assist the Director in making such determination, the owner or operating authority 
must submit a 'strike plan' containing specific information. Details on the 
information required can be secured from the office of the Certification Administrator. 



Information on how to prepare for a strike or lock-out can be found in ministry guideline 5.2. 



6.4 Record-keeping re: Operation of Facility 

The owner or operating authority must ensure that logs or other forms of record-keeping are 
available to record information about the operation of the facility. 

Entries into such records must be made chronologically. Entries can only be made by the overall 
responsible operator or the operator-in-charge or by a person authorized to do so by the owner, 



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operating authority, overall responsible operator or the operator-in-charge. The person who 
makes the entry must be clearly identified on the record. 

The operator-in-charge or another authorized person must record the following information on 
each operating shift: 

• date, time of day the shift began and ended, and number or designation of the shift; 

• names of all operators on duty during the shift; 

• any departures from normal operating procedures that occurred during the shift and time 
they occurred; 

• any special instructions that were given during the shift to depart from normal operating 
procedures and the person who gave the instructions; 

• any unusual or abnormal conditions that were observed in the facility during the shift, 
any action that was taken and any conclusions that were drawn from the observations; 
and 

• any equipment that was taken out of service or ceased to operate during the shift and any 
action taken to maintain or repair equipment during the shift. 

The owner or operating authority must ensure that all records are accessible at the facility for at 
least two years after the last entry in it has been made. Copies or summaries of the records must 
be given to the Director when requested. 

6.5 Operators and Maintenance Manuals 

The owner or operating authority shall ensure that operators and maintenance personnel must 
have ready access to the operations and maintenance manuals that contain the plans, drawings 
and process descriptions necessary for the safe and efficient operation of the facility. 



7 Owner/Operating Authority Responsibilities 

Owners and operating authorities have been assigned specific responsibilities under O. Reg. 
129/04. The table below lists these responsibilities and identifies when the responsibility is 
solely that of the owner, versus both that of the owner and operating authority. 



Responsibilities 


Owner 


Op. Auth. 


File an application for facility 
classification 


S 




Ensure the certificate of facility 
classification displayed in 
workplace 


V 


V 


Ensure that every operator 
employed in the facility holds a 
licence applicable to that facility, or 
a conditional licence 


V 


V 


Ensure that a copy of the licence of 


V 


S 



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every certified operator in their 
employ is displayed at the 
workplace of the operator, or if this 
is not practical, then at the premises 
from which the workplace is 
managed 






Designate an overall responsible 
operator 


V 


V 


Designate one or more operators as 
operators-in-charge 


V 


V 


Ensure that records are maintained 
of the amount of time each operator 
works as an operator-in-charge 


V 


V 


Ensure that logs or other record- 
keeping mechanisms are provided 
to record information concerning 
the operation of the facility 


S 


S 


Ensure that logs and other record- 
keeping methods are accessible in 
the facility for at least two years 
after each entry in it was made 


S 


S 


Ensure that operators and 
maintenance personnel have ready 
access to operations and 
maintenance manuals that contain 
plans, drawings, and process 
descriptions sufficient for the safe 
and efficient operation of the 
facility 


V 


V 


Ensure that every operator 
employed in their facility is given at 
least 40 hours of training every 
year. 


V 


V 


Maintain records which include the 
names and positions of operators 
who attended training sessions, the 
date or dates of each training 
session, the duration of each 
training session and subjects 
covered. 


V 


V 



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8 Fee Schedule 

The fees related to the operator and water quality certification program are shown in Table 5 
below: 

Table 5 



Fee 


Drinking 

Water 

Operator Fee 


Operators-in-Training 


Wastewater 
Operator Fee 


Water Quality 
Analyst 






Drinking 
Water OIT 


Wastewater 
OIT 






Exam 


$75 


$30 (all 4 
exams) 


$30 (all 4 
exams) 


$75 


$75 


Licence 


$115 


$30 


N/A 


$115 


$115 


Licence 
Renewal 


$115 


$115 


$75 


$75 


$115 


Late Renewal 


$25 


N/A 


N/A 


N/A 


$25 


Replacement 
Licence 


$75 


$75 


$75 


$75 


$75 


Facility 
Classification* 


$150 


N/A 


N/A 


N/A 


N/A 


Course 
Assessment** 


$50 + $30 per 
CEU 


N/A 


N/A 


N/A 


$50 + $30 per CEU 



* paid by owner ** paid by course provider 

The appropriate fees must be enclosed with applications. The 'Guide to Completing MOE 
Certification Forms' provides further detail on making payment. 



Beginning April 1, 2009, all fees (cheques and money orders) must be made payable to the 
Minister of Finance, except for "Study Materials", which should be made out to HR Associates. 



8.1 Application Forms 

When applying for exams or licences, please ensure that all documentation, fees, and verification 
forms are fully completed. Verification of employment (experience forms) must be signed by an 
authorized representative of the employer. 

Type or print all information clearly, using a pen only. Please keep a copy of all forms submitted. 
Application forms, supporting documents and fees are to be forwarded to the office of the 
Certification Program Administrator. 



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9 Preparing for Certification - Study Guides 

The certification office has a number of study materials and aids to assist operators prepare for 
exams. For a list of current study materials and for recommendations on other materials please 
visit the certification office's website. See section 11 of this guide for contact information. 



10 WWOCS (Water Wastewater Operator Certification 
System) 

Applicants to the Certification Program are able to apply for examinations, licence renewals and 
upgrades and to order resources online. In order to access the Certification Program information 
system, an operator must obtain a user ID and password from the Certification Program 
Administrator. The application form to request a user ID can be found on the Certification 
Program Administrator's website, or by accessing the system via the internet at the following 
web address: www.ontario.ca/drinkingwater . 

For more information on the system, or to obtain a user guide, please contact the Certification 
Program Administrator. 

ii How to Obtain More Information 

For more information, a copy of the Resource Guide, Need-To-Know guides, Forms and the 
Guide to Completing Certification Form, copies of O. Reg. 129/04, or to order manuals, please 
contact the office of the Certification Administrator: 

Ontario Water Wastewater Certification Office (OWWCO) 

302 The East Mall 

Suite 410 

Etobicoke, ON M9B 6C7 

Telephone: (416) 231-2100 

Toll Free: 1-877-231-2122 

Fax: (416)231-2107 

Email: info@owwco.ca 

www.owwco.ca 



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