Drinking Water Operator Certification – Michigan Courts


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Operator certification is important in promoting Safe Drinking Water Act compliance. It establishes minimum professional standards for the operation and maintenance of public water systems.
Michigan Wastewater Operator Certification Program
2022 Certification and Training Calendar
Recordings of Previous Drinking Water Trainings
Approved Online Courses
Scott Schmidt
[email protected]
Additional Program Contacts
Water is one of Michigan’s most valuable resources.  And so are the water professionals that place an important role in keeping the water running through our pipes each day.  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has officially designated December 12-18, 2022 as Water and Wastewater Professionals Workforce Week honoring the dedication of the state’s highly trained operators, technicians, administrative professionals, and all other specialists who are work to ensure Michigan communities has safe and reliable drinking water and that rivers and lakes are both fishable and swimmable.
These are the most commonly used and asked for resources in Operator Training and Certification.
All certification renewal information can be found here.
EGLE offers a number of independent training courses, as well as courses co-sponsored with various technical assistance providers throughout the year. In addition to the EGLE courses, we approve courses by other providers for CEC credits.
You need to know which exam or exams you would like to take. The exams available are based on the classifications and requirements explained in our Exam Applications and Study Guides section. After you know which test you want to take you need to get a copy of an exam application. You can do that by contacting us or by printing the application available on this web site.
Certification Exams are offered twice a year in May and November. Certification exam application and study guides can be found on the right. In addition to applying for exams, you can also check the number of CECs you have earned, as well as look up certification renewal information.
Do not send in applications before 90 days prior to your certification expiration date. Do not use this application for any other certification renewal.
The State of Michigan allows for temporary reciprocity of certification for operators that have certification in another state. Operators holding certification in another state who would like to become certified in Michigan are allowed to apply for a temporary reciprocal license under Rule R325.11914 of the Safe Drinking Water Act, 1976 PA 399 as amended. A temporary license will be issued for a time frame to where the applicant can take and receive the results from the next certification exam, which shall not exceed 18 months. Temporary license holder(s) who pass the certification exams will receive full certification in the State of Michigan. If the applicant fails to pass the certification examination their temporary license will no longer be valid.
The following list contains items the reciprocity applicants must complete before submission:
Courses submitted for Continuing Education Credit (CEC) must relate directly to the operation, maintenance, or management of a drinking water system.  Wastewater CECs are managed separately. If you feel that your course could also qualify for wastewater CECs, please see the Wastewater Operator Certification page for the information on applying for wastewater CECs.
To obtain approval of a training course, the course sponsor must submit an Education and Training Programs CEC Approval Application and a course agenda for each training program electronically to [email protected] or to one of the addresses on the application. The agenda must list, at a minimum, the topic of discussion for each segment of the program and the duration of each program segment.  (See example agenda) Please provide as much detail as you can about the topics and learning objectives of your course to help the Drinking Water Advisory Board of Examiners (ABE) make their decision.
Following receipt of the application and agenda, the course will be submitted for approval by the ABE.  The ABE meets at least twice a year and all meeting dates are posted on the EGLE website.  Please submit all courses for approval at least two weeks before the scheduled meeting.  All applicants will receive notification of course approval or disapproval as well as specific course completion requirements after the ABE decision.  CEC course approval is valid for three years.
Any live webinars that are about drinking water, including technical and managerial topics, that grant CECs, and are at least 1 hour in length, are approved for CECs. In order to earn credit, you must sign-up and watch the webinar on your own and request a certificate from the EPA. We are unable to grant CECs without a certificate from the EPA, so if it is unclear as to whether certificates are being awarded for any particular webinar, please contact the EPA directly before attending. Please submit the certificate(s) to [email protected].
In Person Classes
Online Course(s)
EPA Small Systems Monthly Webinar Series
Reports are submitted annually to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Safe Drinking Water Act 399 contains information for Supplying Water to the Public, and consists of 27 parts. The Rules for Drinking Water Operator Certification are included in Part 19.
No matter your skills or interests, there is a career for you in water. It takes a variety of positions to help ensure Michiganders have clean water, and there is a substantial and immediate demand for workers in these fields. Careers in water operations are stable and offer competitive salaries and opportunities for growth.
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Working side-by-side with partners at local, regional, state and federal levels, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) safeguards our state’s environment while supporting the economic growth and development crucial for Michigan’s future. 
Our job is hard, but our mission is simple: to protect Michigan’s environment and public health by managing air, water, land, and energy resources. If you are looking to make a difference and be part of something greater, apply TODAY!
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