Maintaining Your Operator’s License

The water operator profession protects public health and safety by insuring safe drinking water, providing sufficient water for sanitary purposes and as needed fire protection. The profession is also an environmental profession by managing natural resources and a community profession through the planning and maintenance of the infrastructure needed to perform the service of providing water. As a licensed professional there are expectations of performance. The following will help you maintain your license as well as help you understand the varied expectation of the profession.

Training and Professional Development | Professional Development Training Calendar | Training Providers | Becoming a Training Provider | Renewals | Professional Responsibilities

Training and Professional Development

Licenses have a two year cycle established at the time of the first license. You should plan to get your training within the renewal period of your license. Training requirements are for the highest held license:

6 hours for VSWS 12 hours for Class I
18 hours for Class II 24 hours for Class III or IV

For more information about training credit hours (TCHs), please review the TCH Fact Sheet. For a report that shows the number of TCH currently on file for your water operator's license, see this report, updated monthly.

Training topics must be relevant to the treatment or distribution licenses held.
Relevant Training topics will have:

  • An influence on water quality, water supply, or public health protection; and
  • Be directly related to the operation or maintenance of a water system; or
  • Be directly related to managing the operation or maintenance of a water system.

See the Relevancy Fact Sheet for more information. To check to see if a course has been approved please contact Teresa Trott at (207) 287-7485

Professional Development Training Calendar

The Drinking Water Program strives to maintain an updated listing of Maine-based training opportunities to meet continuing education requirements for license renewal. Click on the link below to view a calendar of recent training. Contact Terry Trott for paper copies of the training calendar.

Drinking Water Operators Professional Development Training Calendar

Please contact training providers directly to sign up for courses.

Training Providers

The Providers listed below have been approved to offer training to Maine water operators. Specific topics must meet relevancy. It is up to the licensee to determine appropriateness for relevancy. To have a topic or class approved or to check to see if a class has been approved, contact Teresa Trott at (207)-287-7485.

Maine Rural Water Association (MRWA) (exam preparation and other courses)
Maine Water Utilities Association (MWUA)
Joint Environmental Training Coordinating Committee (JETCC)
New England Water Works Association (NEWWA)
North East Water and Wastewater Training Associates (NEWWTA)
University of California (correspondence and online courses)
American Water College
American Water Works Association (AWWA)
CEU Plan
Life Safety Specialists
Red Vector
Sam Elliot
Sandra Bolotsky
Small Water Supply
Technical Learning College
The Jacman Group Safety Training
Contact Teresa Trott for other organizations that may offer specialized training.

In-House Training

Public water systems may offer training in-house provided by a water training professional. These trainings may need prior approval or may have been previously approved. Safety programs offering training do not need to be preapproved whether offered by an outside provider or in-house trainer. Accurate records must be maintained, and signed attendance sheets should be kept on file in case of audit. Topics may only be used once during a renewal cycle. General safety topics (example first aid) do not meet relevancy requirements. Contact Teresa Trott for more information or with questions.

The following documents should be submitted prior to the training.

Free Online Training

Free Online Training is available through the Montana Water Center. The training, called “Water Operator Basics 2005,” is a free online course that may be used as a study guide for exam preparation or used as renewal training contact hours (TCHs). You will need to download the program to your computer and create an account in order for your study to be recorded for renewal credit. The Water Operator Board approves up to 11 TCHs of this course. Please note, the wastewater lagoon system training within this online training is not approved for water operator TCH.

Becoming a Training Provider

Some organizations wish to become approved training providers. The following information will assist your organization in reviewing the options to provide water operator training in Maine. Contact Teresa Trott for further guidance.


Keeping Your License Up To Date

Watch for training you are interested in throughout your license renewal cycle. Renewal notices are sent out in November of each year. There is a grace period until March 2nd. Please update your mailing address with the Board to assure an accurate mailing.

Renewal Dates

Licenses with a 2011 and earlier renewal date are now expired. In order to hold a license again, re-examination must take place.

Licenses with 2012 and 2013 renewal dates are in an inactive mode. Licenses remain inactive for two years. During the inactive period an operator may not be “in responsible charge” of a public water system. To reactivate an inactive license the required TCH, renewal fee and reinstatement fee may be submitted to the Board. Training contact hours may be used from the time of license issuance to the present for renewal of the license. They may not be used for more than one renewal.

Individuals performing duties without active licenses could be found to be operating without a license. This is a civil charge against the person brought before the Board. Systems may be found to be operating without a licensed operator, which would be a violation brought by the Drinking Water Program against the system.

Professional Responsibilities

As in many professions, there is a code of ethics in the water operator profession. These are the principles by which the professionals serve their associates.

Water Operator Code of Ethics

The Board licenses operators to operator water systems in Maine. With the authority to license persons also is the responsibility to assure the licensed persons perform the respective tasks satisfactorily. The Board has the authority to suspend or revoke licenses. The following describes this process.

Procedure for filing a complaint against an operator
Complaint Form

Please also review the section on Public water system operator requirements for a better understanding of operator responsibilities.