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

Class E 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. 

Operate System

Groundwater Wells

Source

  • Aquifers
    • Hydrologic Cycle

Construction

  • Minnesota Well Code Requirements
  • Well Components
    • Purpose

Well Log/Well Sealing Log

Required Capabilities:

  • Ability to troubleshoot well problems
  • Ability to communicate verbally and in writing
  • Ability to differentiate between preventive/corrective maintenance
  • Ability to perform general maintenance and repairs
  • Ability to evaluate operation of equipment
  • Ability to maintain processes in normal operating conditions

  • Knowledge of safeguards in well location and construction
  • Knowledge of sanitary hazards for supply
  • Knowledge of well components and construction
  • Knowledge of well records
  • Knowledge of facility operation and maintenance
  • Knowledge of principles of general communication
  • Knowledge of start up and shut down procedures

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Water Quality Parameters and Sampling

Compliance with Part 141 National Drinking Water Regulations

Subpart A – General Definitions

Subpart B – Maximum Contaminant Levels

  • Bacteriological, Nitrate, Lead and Copper, Arsenic
  • Source, Health Risks

Subpart C – Monitoring and Analytical Requirements

  • Bacteriological, Nitrate, Lead and Copper Sampling, Arsenic

Subpart D – Reporting and Recordkeeping

  • Well Logs, Well Sealing Logs, Sanitary Surveys, Notice of Violation Letters, Maintenance Records, Sample Results Forms, Source Water Assessments

Subpart I – Control of Lead and Copper

  • Purpose, Control Methods

Subpart O – Consumer Confidence Reports

  • Due date, Notification Methods

Subpart Q – Public Notification of Drinking Water Violations

  • Purpose
  • Methods of Notification
  • Boil Order
  • Alternate Supply

Required Capabilities

  • Ability to follow written procedures
  • Ability to interpret Material Safety Data Sheets
  • Ability to perform basic math
  • Ability to recognize normal and abnormal analytical results
  • Knowledge of chemical handling and storage
  • Knowledge of general biology, chemistry and physical science
  • Knowledge of normal characteristics of water
  • Knowledge of regulations
  • Knowledge of reporting requirements
  • Knowledge of safety procedures
  • Knowledge of sampling procedures

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Water Quality Parameters and Sampling

Treatment Units

Purpose

Types

  • Water softener, cartridge filters

Components

Operation

Storage and Pressure Tanks

Purpose

Types

  • Hydropneumatic, Bladder, Elevated Tanks, Ground Storage

Components

Operation

Required Capabilities

  • Ability to properly operate treatment units
  • Ability to safely and properly operate storage and pressure tanks
  • Ability to differentiate between preventive/corrective maintenance
  • Ability to discriminate between normal/abnormal conditions
  • Ability to maintain processes in normal operating conditions
  • Ability to perform general maintenance and repairs
  • Ability to diagnose/troubleshoot system
  • Ability to monitor and adjust equipment
  • Ability to follow written procedures

  • Knowledge of water softener operations
  • Knowledge of cartridge filter operations
  • Knowledge of water softener components
  • Knowledge of cartridge filter components
  • Knowledge of storage and pressure tank operations
  • Knowledge of storage and pressure tank components
  • Knowledge of system pressure
  • Knowledge of start up and shut down procedures
  • Knowledge of facility operation and maintenance

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Install, Maintain, and Evaluate Equipment

Perform Well Disinfection Procedures

When to Disinfect

Safety

  • Electrical, Chemical, Respiratory

Well Disinfection Procedure

  • Chlorine Solution, Circulation of Chlorinated Water, Removal of Chlorinated Water

Disinfection Issues

  • Water Heaters, Number of Disinfections, Water Softener Disinfection, Follow-up Sampling

Required Capabilities

  • Ability to safely and properly disinfect a well and distribution system
  • Ability to recognize unsafe conditions
  • Ability to communicate verbally and in writing
  • Ability to select and operate appropriate safety equipment
  • Ability to demonstrate safe work habits
  • Ability to differentiate between preventive/corrective maintenance
  • Ability to discriminate between normal/abnormal conditions
  • Ability to follow written procedures
  • Ability to perform basic math

  • Knowledge of well construction and components
  • Knowledge of well records
  • Knowledge of well disinfection procedure
  • Knowledge of safety procedures
  • Knowledge of potential dangers to employees and system
  • Knowledge of chemical properties, handling and storage
  • Knowledge of general biology, chemistry and physical science
  • Knowledge of personal protective equipment
  • Knowledge of principles of general communication
  • Knowledge of facility operation and maintenance
  • Knowledge of start up and shut down procedures
  • Knowledge of general electrical, mechanical and hydraulic principles

Cross Connection Control

Cross Connection Definitions

  • Backflow, Back-siphonage, Back Pressure

Cross Connection Control

  • Backflow Prevention Devices
  • System Design and Plumbing Connections

Required Capabilities

  • Ability to recognize cross connections and unsafe conditions
  • Ability to evaluate operation of equipment
  • Ability to maintain processes in normal operating condition

  • Knowledge of cross connections and impact on water system
  • Knowledge of approved backflow prevention methods and devices

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Perform Safety Duties

Electrical Hazards

  • Lockout/Tagout

Chemical Hazards, Storage, and Handling

Material Safety Data Sheets

Fire Safety

Confined Space Entry

  • Procedures
  • Ventilation
  • Protective Equipment

Traffic Control in Work Areas

First Aid

Personal Protective Clothing and Personal Hygiene

Lifting

OSHA Requirements

Required Capabilities

  • Ability to communicate verbally and in writing
  • Ability to interpret Material Safety Data Sheets
  • Ability to recognize unsafe work conditions/safety hazards
  • Ability to select and operate appropriate safety equipment
  • Ability to demonstrate safe work habits

  • Knowledge of emergency plans
  • Knowledge of safety procedures
  • Knowledge of potential dangers to employees and system
  • Knowledge of chemical properties, handling and storage
  • Knowledge of personal protective equipment
  • Knowledge of principles of general communication

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Perform Administrative, Compliance, and Security Duties

Administrative

Administer Compliance Program

Administer Operation and Maintenance Plan

Administer Security Program

Administer Safety Program

Record Compliance and Safety Information

Record Facility Operation and Maintenance Information

Write Reports – Internal, State and Federal

  • Consumer Confidence Report, Sampling Forms, Department of Natural Resources Water Appropriations Permit

Coordinate Emergency Response with Other Organizations

Provide System Emergency Plan

Respond to Complaints

Required Capabilities

  • Ability to communicate verbally and in writing
  • Ability to follow written procedures
  • Ability to record information
  • Ability to determine what needs to be recorded
  • Ability to interpret data
  • Ability to organize information
  • Ability to perform basic math
  • Ability to recognize normal/abnormal analytical results

  • Knowledge of safety procedures
  • Knowledge of emergency plans
  • Knowledge of security measures
  • Knowledge of facility operation and maintenance
  • Knowledge of proper sampling procedures
  • Knowledge of monitoring requirements
  • Knowledge of operation and maintenance practices
  • Knowledge of principles of general communication
  • Knowledge of Safe Drinking Water Act Regulations
  • Knowledge of reporting and record keeping requirements

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Compliance and Knowledge of Minnesota Specific Needs

Minnesota Certification Laws

  • Operation Activities, Renewal Requirements

Sanitary Surveys

  • Purpose and Corrective Actions

Plan Review

  • Requirements

Distribution

  • Maintenance
  • Disinfection
  • Backflow Prevention

Required Capabilities

  • Ability to communicate verbally and in writing
  • Ability to follow written procedures
  • Ability to interpret data
  • Ability to recognize normal/abnormal analytical results
  • Ability to perform basic math
  • Ability to organize information
  • Ability to determine what needs to be recorded
  • Ability to record information
  • Ability to differentiate between preventive/corrective maintenance
  • Ability to discriminate between normal/abnormal conditions
  • Ability to maintain processes in normal operating conditions
  • Ability to perform general maintenance and repairs

  • Knowledge of sanitary surveys
  • Knowledge of piping materials
  • Knowledge of water treatment concepts and processes
  • Knowledge of general biology, chemistry and physical science
  • Knowledge of reporting/record keeping requirements
  • Knowledge of Safe Drinking Water Act Regulations
  • Knowledge of monitoring requirements
  • Knowledge of proper sampling procedures
  • Knowledge of principles of general communication
  • Knowledge of normal characteristics of water
  • Knowledge of facility operation and maintenance
  • Knowledge of blueprints and maps
  • Knowledge of electrical, mechanical and hydraulic principles
  • Knowledge of function of tools

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Source Water Protection Activities

Purpose

Responsibilities of the Public Water Supply

Inner Wellhead Management Zone and Isolation Distances

Required Capabilities

  • Ability to protect the public water supply from contamination
  • Ability to communicate verbally and in writing
  • Ability to organize information
  • Ability to record information

  • Knowledge of source water protection
  • Knowledge of general biology, chemistry and physical science
  • Knowledge of hydrology
  • Knowledge of regulations
    • Local, State, Federal

Security

Facilities and Components

  • Wells, Well Houses, Plumbing, Treatment Rooms, Storage Rooms, Water Facility Grounds, Tanks, Towers, Treatment Equipment, Chemical Storage
  • Computers

Security Measures

  • Lighting, Locks, Inspections, Signage

Emergency Plan

Required Capabilities

  • Ability to communicate verbally and in writing
  • Ability to discriminate between normal/abnormal conditions
  • Ability to follow written procedures
  • Ability to secure system

  • Knowledge of emergency plans
  • Knowledge of security measures
  • Knowledge of potential dangers to employees and system

  • Blowers and compressors
  • Computers
  • Electronic testing equipment
  • Engines
  • Generators
  • Groundskeeping equipment
  • Hand tools

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Return to Water Supply Operator Exam References

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