Drinking Water Operator Certification: What a Class E Operator Needs To Know - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

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

Below is a list of Knowledge and Abilities that Class E applicants should be aware of in the context of water quality and treatment but are not expected to have a complete mastery of all. 


  • Knowledge of The Safe Drinking Water Act
  • Knowledge of the role of the Minnesota Department of Health in providing safe drinking water
  • Knowledge of operator certification and renewal requirements
  • Knowledge of well components, construction, Minnesota Well Code, and well logs
  • Knowledge of aquifers and the hydrologic cycle
  • Knowledge of sanitary surveys/purpose and corrective actions
  • Knowledge of source water protection
  • Knowledge of pressure tank operation and maintenance
  • Knowledge of proper well and distribution system disinfection procedures
  • Knowledge of Maximum Contaminant Levels for bacteria, nitrate, lead, copper and arsenic and their sources
  • Knowledge of proper sampling/monitoring procedures and requirements
  • Knowledge of public notification requirements
  • Knowledge of record keeping requirements
  • Knowledge of basic principles of back pressure and back-siphonage
  • Knowledge of cross connections and the impact on the water system
  • Knowledge of backflow devices and proper testing, repair and recordkeeping
  • Knowledge of water system security measures
  • Knowledge of emergency plans
  • Knowledge of safety procedures and personal protection equipment
  • Knowledge of basic electrical and chemical safety
  • Knowledge of distribution system operation and maintenance
  • Knowledge of piping materials, valves, flushing devices and maps
  • Knowledge of water softener and cartridge filter operation and maintenance
  • Knowledge of plan review requirements
  • Knowledge of Consumer Confidence Report and due date (community systems)
  • Knowledge of general electrical, mechanical and hydraulic principles


  • Ability to follow written procedures
  • Ability to develop an emergency contacts list including names and phone numbers
  • Ability to perform basic math
  • Ability to communicate verbally and in writing
  • Ability to record information
  • Ability to interpret water sample test results and other information
  • Ability to diagnose/troubleshoot water system problems
  • Ability to recognize when the system is not performing normally
  • Ability to evaluate operation of equipment and adjust accordingly
  • Ability to perform or direct others to perform general system maintenance and repairs
  • Ability to work in a safe manner
  • Ability to recognize unsafe work conditions/safety hazards
  • Ability to secure system facilities and components
  • Ability to protect the water system from contamination
  • Ability to safely and properly disinfect a well and a distribution system

Go to > top

Return to Water Supply Operator Exam References

Updated Wednesday, August 06, 2014 at 01:51PM