Drinking Water Operator Certification
What a Class C Operator Needs To Know

Class C applicants are expected to have a mastery of all subjects listed under Class D. They are not expected to have complete mastery of all subjects listed below, but at least should have some familiarity of them in the context of water quality and treatment.

Ability to make common water works measurements, calculations, and conversion is expected. Topics listed with an asterisk (*) may have some level of calculation involved.

Source Water

Characteristics

  • Bacteriological
  • Chemical
  • Physical
  • Groundwater and surface water supplies
  • Hydrologic cycle, aquifers
  • Well location, construction, and yield

Perform Security and Administrative Duties

  • Administer and record operation and maintenance plan
  • Administer safety program
  • Budget and finances
  • Emergency response procedures
  • Record compliance information
  • Respond to complaints
  • Sanitary surveys
  • Security
  • Water rates
  • Watershed management
  • Write reports -internal, state, federal

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Monitor/Evaluate/Adjust Treatment Processes

Chemical Treatment/Addition Process

  • Aeration
  • Breakpoint chlorination – meaning, significance, determination
  • *Chlorine disinfection – hypochlorite, gas
  • Corrosion control – phosphate compounds
  • *Fluoridation
  • Oxidation – potassium permanganate, prechlorination
  • pH adjustment

Filtration Process

  • *Backwash – purpose, characteristics, hazards, rates
  • Cartridge filters
  • Filter aids
  • Gravity filtration
  • Pressure or greensand filtration

Other Treatment Processes

  • Cartridge filters
  • *Ion exchange/softener
  • Iron and manganese sequestration/removal

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Operate Equipment

  • Blowers and compressors
  • *Chemical feeders
  • Computers
  • Electrical controls
  • Engines
  • Filters
  • Generators
  • Groundskeeping equipment
  • Hand tools
  • Hydrants/flushing
  • *Hydraulic equipment
  • Instrumentation
  • Leak detection and repair
  • Meters – positive displacement, turbine, compound
  • *Motors
  • Pigs/pipe cleaning
  • Pipe – size, type, and C factor
  • Pipe and valve locators
  • Power tools
  • Pressure sensors
  • *Pumps – centrifugal, positive displacement
  • SCADA system/RTU/Telemetry
  • Tapping equipment
  • Valves – pressure reducing, gate, corporation stop, altitude, pneumatic

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Evaluate and Maintain Equipment

Evaluate Operation of Equipment

  • Backflow prevention devices
  • Blowers and compressors
  • Check speed of equipment
  • Inspect equipment for abnormal conditions
  • Measure temperature of equipment
  • Read charts
  • Read meters
  • Read pressure gauges

Perform Preventive Maintenance on:

  • Backflow prevention devices
  • Blowers and compressors
  • Chemical feeders
  • Engines
  • Fittings
  • Generators
  • Hydrants/flushing
  • Hydraulic equipment
  • Instrumentation
  • Meters
  • Motors
  • Pipes
  • Plant/wells building and grounds
  • Pneumatic equipment
  • Pumps
  • Service connections
  • Storage facilities
  • Valves

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System Design

  • Assess system demand
  • *Perform pressure readings
  • Read blueprints, readings, and maps
  • Select materials
  • Select pipes
  • Static, dynamic, suction and discharge head
  • System map

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Laboratory Analysis

Collect Samples, Perform Analyses, and Interpret Results

  • *Chlorine dose/demand/residual
  • Coliform – pathogens, waterborne diseases
  • Fluoride concentration
  • Hardness
  • Iron/Manganese
  • Lead/Copper
  • Nitrate
  • Ortho-polyphosphate
  • pH – acids, bases
  • Temperature
  • Trihalomethane

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Perform Safety Procedures

  • Chemical handling and storage
  • Confined space entry
  • Contamination/Duty Officer/Spill response
  • Electrical hazards
  • Excavation
  • Fire safety
  • First aid
  • Lockout/tagout
  • OSHA compliance
  • Pathogens
  • Personal hygiene
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Respiratory protection
  • Traffic/Work Zone control
  • * Trenching and shoring

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Install Equipment

  • Backflow prevention devices
  • Hydrants
  • Meters
  • Piping and fittings
  • Pumps
  • Service connections
  • Shoring
  • Taps
  • Valves
  • Water mains

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Comply with Part 141 National Drinking Water Regulations

  • Subpart A - General definitions
  • Subpart B - Maximum contaminant levels
  • Subpart C - Monitoring and analytical requirements
  • Subpart D - Reporting and recordkeeping
  • Subpart I - Control of lead and copper
  • Subpart O - Consumer confidence reports
  • Subpart Q - Public notification

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Knowledge of Minnesota Specific Needs

  • Minnesota certification laws
  • MDH recommended
  • Sanitary surveys
  • Source water/wellhead protection plans
  • Vulnerability assessment
  • Cold weather operation

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Knowledge of:

  • Approved backflow methods and devices
  • Basic laboratory equipment
  • Blueprint/as-built readings
  • Disinfection and dechlorination processes
  • Cavitation – causes and solutions
  • Characteristics of disinfectants – gas, liquid
  • Chemical properties, handling, and storage
  • Corrosion – causes, effects, and control
  • Dechlorination – system flushing
  • Effects of heat applied to chlorine cylinder
  • Effects of moisture on chlorine gas
  • Emergency plans
  • Facility operation and maintenance
  • Filter operation and maintenance, parts
  • Filtration methods
  • Fire flow requirements
  • *Flushing rate/hydraulic principles
  • Function of recordkeeping system
  • General biology, chemistry, and physical science
  • General electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic principles
  • Head loss in pipes – causes, significance
  • Joints restraints and thrust blocks
  • Laboratory equipment and techniques
  • Lubricant and fluid characteristics
  • *Measuring instruments
  • Monitoring requirements
  • Normal characteristics of water
  • Normal chemical range
  • Operation and maintenance practices
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Pipe fittings and joining methods
  • *Piping material type and size
  • Principles of general communication
  • Principles of measurement
  • Process control instrumentation
  • *Proper application of chemicals
  • Proper chemical handling and storage
  • Proper safety procedures
  • Proper sampling procedures
  • Pumps – priming, packing, bearings, alignment, cavitation
  • Regulations/Safe Drinking Water Act
  • Reporting/recordkeeping requirements
  • Sampling procedures
  • Standard methods
  • Start-up and shutdown procedures
  • Tuberculation – causes and effects
  • Valve types and uses
  • Water treatment concepts and processes
  • Water storage facilities – types and purpose
  • Well drilling principles
  • Wellhead protection

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Ability to:

  • *Adjust chemical feed rates
  • *Adjust flow patterns
  •  Adjust process units
  • *Calculate dosage rates
  • *Calculate system pressure and head
  • *Calibrate equipment
  • Calibrate instruments
  • Communicate verbally and in writing
  • Confirm chemical strength
  • Demonstrate safe work habits
  • Determine what information needs to be recorded
  • Diagnose/troubleshoot process units
  • Differentiate between preventive/corrective maintenance
  • Discriminate between normal/abnormal conditions
  • Evaluate operation of equipment
  • Follow written procedures
  • Identify potential safety hazards
  • Interpret data
  • Interpret Material Safety Data Sheets
  • Maintain processes in normal operating conditions
  • *Measure chemical weight/volume
  • Monitor and adjust electrical and mechanical equipment
  • Operate and maintain filters
  • Operate safety equipment
  • Organize information
  • Perform basic math
  • Perform general maintenance and repairs
  • Perform physical measurements
  • Prepare chemicals
  • Read maps and as-builts
  • Recognize normal/abnormal analytical results
  • Recognize unsafe work conditions
  • Record information
  • Report findings
  • Review reports
  • Select safety equipment
  • Use hand tools

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Return to Water Supply Operator Exam References

Updated Monday, 08-Apr-2013 07:38:16 CDT