Facility classification

In November 2018, the Water and Wastewater Facility Operators Certification Board updated and revised the criteria for facility classification in Regulation 100. These revisions are important because treatment facility and distribution/collection system classification establishes the minimum certification level for operators who act as the certified operator(s) in responsible charge (ORC). All facilities are subject to classification according to the criteria adopted by the board. Many facility classifications will remain unchanged. The revised regulation included a delayed implementation period for existing facilities of March 1, 2021. If you are a certified operator in responsible charge (ORC) for a facility, you are expected to hold the certification at the new level to remain in compliance with Regulation 100 – starting March 1, 2021. Please review this webpage and Regulation 100 to be informed.

What is this about?

  • A short summary of the 2018 updates is in this fact sheet
  • If an ORC does not hold the correct certification, here is a helpful summary guide

When do new classifications apply?

  • For new or substantially modified facilities, the new criteria has been applied since March 1, 2019. Any treatment facility submitting changes to the division for approval (water or wastewater) has been evaluated by the Engineering Section during design review for classification changes that are applicable upon construction completion of the facility.
  • For existing facilities, the new criteria will be applied beginning March 1, 2021.
  • For distribution and collection systems, the new criteria will be applied beginning March 1, 2021. 

How do I know the facility classification?

The facility classification criteria are written so owners/operators can identify the facility classification. Please review facility classification sections in Regulation 100.Sections 100.4 to 100.9 are the primary facility classification sections. Exemptions are included in section 100.1.5. 
 
Drinking water facility classifications
Drinking water treatment and distribution system classifications are listed in the monitoring schedule. Treatment facilities are classified as A, B, C, D and O. Level A is highest and O indicates the facility is exempt from a treatment operator. Distribution system facilities are classified as 1, 2, 3, 4 and 0. Level 4 is highest and 0 indicates the facility is exempt from a distribution operator. 
 
Wastewater facility classifications(Domestic wastewater treatment, collection, and industrial treatment)
Wastewater treatment and collection system classifications are presented in the following table. 

Treatment facilities are classified as A, B, C, D and O. Level A is highest and O indicates the facility is exempt from a treatment operator. “I-” indicates industrial treatment operator is required. Collection system facilities are classified as 1, 2, 3, 4 and 0. Level 4 is highest and 0 indicates the facility is exempt from a collection operator. Note for all collection systems: The 2018 updates to Regulation 100 include a new 2-step process for determining classifications. The first step will be consideration of population using the same numerical thresholds as before. The second step will be evaluation of identified complicating factors such as large lift stations in the collection system (see section 100.9.2 of Regulation 100). Note: Satellite collection systems are not in the table below. Please contact David Kurz at david.kurz@state.co.us regarding satellite collection systems

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  • Where do I get information about certification testing?
    The Board has changed the operator testing program to provide more testing opportunities each year and in more locations in Colorado, as implemented by the Board’s contractor Colorado Certified Water Professionals (CCWP). Examination information and CCWP operator portal tutorials.
  • When is the site-specific certified operator in responsible charge possible?
    If the classification of the facility is increasing and the ORC needs to get a higher certification to remain ORC, the Board included a few situations where an existing ORC could remain ORC for an extra time period. The applications for site-specific ORC were due by December 31, 2020 and can no longer be accepted. Operators are encouraged to study and test for the higher certification (see above for testing information). 
  • Frequently asked questions and answers

Use ctrl-f to search for words within the table.

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Individual questions can be emailed to:

  • Domestic wastewater, collection, reclaimed water, industrial wastewater: David Kurz, Lead Wastewater Engineer: david.kurz@state.co.us.
  • Drinking water, distribution: Tyson Ingels, Lead Drinking Water Engineer: tyson.ingels@state.co.us.