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

Class D applicants are not expected to have a complete mastery of all subjects listed below, but at least should have heard of them in the context of water quality and treatment. Ability in basic arithmetic and an understanding of basic conversions is expected.

Topics listed with an asterisk (*) may have some level of calculation involved.

Source Water

Characteristics

  • Biological – iron bacteria
  • Chemical – pH, hardness, dissolved oxygen, dissolved solids
  • Physical – temperature, turbidity, color, taste and odor

Perform Security and Administrative Duties

  • Administer operation and maintenance plan
  • Administer safety program
  • Coordinate emergency response with other organizations
  • Provide system emergency plan
  • Record compliance and safety information
  • Record facility operation and maintenance information
  • Respond to complaints
  • Write reports – internal, state, federal

Monitor/Evaluate/Adjust Treatment Processes

Chemical Treatment/Addition Process

  • Adsorption – cartridge filters
  • Aeration
  • *Chlorine disinfection – hypochlorite, gas
  • Corrosion control – phosphate compounds
  • *Fluoridation – hydrofluosilicic acid
  • pH adjustment

Other Treatment Processes

  • Cartridge filters
  • *Ion Exchange/softener
  • Iron and Manganese sequestration/removal
  • Oxidation – potassium permanganate, chlorine

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Operate Equipment

  • Blowers and compressors
  • *Chemical feeders
  • Computers
  • Electronic testing equipment
  • Engines
  • Generators
  • Groundskeeping equipment
  • Hand tools
  • Hydrants/flushing
  • *Hydraulic equipment
  • Instrumentation
  • Leak correlators/detectors
  • Meters – positive displacement, turbine, compound
  • *Motors
  • Pigs
  • Pipe repair
  • 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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Install, Maintain, and Evaluate Equipment

  • Backflow prevention devices
  • Blowers and compressors
  • Chemical feeders
  • Engines
  • Fittings
  • Generators
  • Hydrants/flushing
  • Hydraulic equipment
  • Instrumentation
  • Meters
  • Motors
  • Pipes
  • Pneumatic equipment
  • Pumps
  • Shoring
  • Taps
  • Treatment plant/well buildings and grounds
  • Service connections
  • Storage facilities – equipment, chemical
  • Valves
  • Water mains
  • Water storage facility/winter operation

Evaluate Operation of Equipment

  • Check speed of equipment
  • Inspect equipment for abnormal conditions
  • Measure temperature of equipment
  • Read charts
  • Read meters
  • Read pressure gauges

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System Design

  • Assess System Demand
  • *Perform pressure readings
  • Read Blueprints, readings, and maps
  • Select materials
  • Select pipes
  • System Map

Laboratory Analysis

Collect Samples, Perform Analyses, and Interpret Results

  • *Chlorine dose/demand/residual
  • Contact time as CT value
  • Microbiology – coliforms, pathogens,
  • Fluoride concentration
  • Hardness
  • Iron/Manganese
  • Lead/Copper
  • Nitrate
  • Ortho – polyphosphate
  • pH
  • Temperature

Perform Safety Procedures

  • Chemical handling and storage
  • Confined space entry
  • Contamination/duty officer/spill response
  • Electrical hazards/machine guarding
  • Excavation
  • Fire safety
  • First aid
  • Lifting
  • Lockout – tagout
  • Material Safety Data Sheets
  • Personal hygiene
  • Personal protective equipment
  • SCBA Respiratory protection/air monitoring
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Traffic/work zone control
  • * Trenching and shoring

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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 of Drinking Water violations

Knowledge of Minnesota Specific Needs

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

Knowledge of Wells and Storage Tanks

  • Aquifers
  • Hydrology – hydrologic cycle
  • Pressure standards and pressure control processes
  • Pressure tanks, components and maintenance
  • Safeguards in well location and construction
  • Sanitary hazards for supply
  • Troubleshooting well problems
  • *Types/purpose of storage – elevated, pressure tanks
  • Wells – construction, components, and inspection
  • *Well Depth Measurement
  • Well Pump Maintenance
  • Well Records
  • *Well Specific Capacity

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Knowledge of:

  • Approved backflow methods and devices
  • Basic laboratory equipment
  • Blueprint/as–built readings
  • Disinfection and dechlorination processes
  • Characteristics of disinfectants – gas, liquid
  • Chemical properties, handling, and storage
  • Corrosion factors and control
  • Emergency plans
  • Facility operation and maintenance
  • Fire flow requirements
  • *Flushing rate/hydraulic principles
  • Function of recordkeeping system
  • General biology and chemistry and physical science
  • General electrical, mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic principles
  • Horsepower and pump efficiency
  • 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 cleaning
  • Pipe fittings and joining methods
  • *Piping material type and size, location
  • 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
  • Regulations/Safe Drinking Water Act
  • Reporting/recordkeeping requirements
  • Sampling procedures
  • Standard methods
  • Start–up and shut–down procedures
  • System pressure
  • Water treatment concepts and processes

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Ability to:

  • *Adjust chemical feed rates
  • *Adjust flow patterns
  • Adjust process units
  • *Calculate dosage rates
  • *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 safety equipment
  • Organize information
  • Perform basic math
  • Perform general maintenance and repairs
  • Perform physical measurements
  • Prepare chemicals
  • Recognize normal/abnormal analytical results
  • Recognize unsafe work conditions
  • Record information
  • Report findings
  • Review reports
  • Select safety equipment
  • Use hand tools
  • Select proper safety equipment

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Return to Water Supply Operator Exam References

Updated Thursday, 10-Oct-2013 12:48:27 CDT