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Certified Water and Wastewater Operators are Integral to Montana Communities

  • Moira Davin
  • October 03 2023

HELENA—Water and wastewater facilities are an integral part of Montana’s way of life. An estimated 86 percent of Montanans get their water from public water systems. These public water systems and their water works operators are the first line of defense against contaminants getting into our water supplies and threatening public health. Water and wastewater facilities require a certified operator that is trained in providing drinking water to communities and treating wastewater to the correct level before it is discharged. 

“Community drinking water and wastewater facilities are services many Montanans depend on, and they take work to maintain and operate properly,” said DEQ Technical and Operator Certification Section Supervisor Libby Henrikson. “Operators that are certified to maintain these facilities provide a critical public service in our communities. As operators throughout the state near retirement, we need to train new operators who are passionate about serving their communities.”

More than 50 percent of certified water and wastewater operators throughout the state are over the age of 50. Communities will be looking for new operators to be able to maintain services to the public.

An operator must be certified to ensure the proper management, operation and maintenance of the facility systems. DEQ retains the primacy and operations for the certification program that provides testing and training to operators in Montana. Operators need a high school or college diploma and must pass their certification level exam.

DEQ is co-hosting a training called Fall Water School on Oct. 10-12 in Bozeman to provide in-depth training on critical issues facing Montana’s operators. The training is a collaborative effort between DEQ and Montana State University’s Department of Civil Engineering and Academic Technology and Outreach. Topics at the training include presentations on emerging contaminants, capacity development and tours of local facilities. DEQ has a limited number of complimentary registrations for people interested in becoming a certified operator.

To learn more about becoming a certified operator, contact:

Tags: Water quality and Press Release