Certification & Licensing

Want to know what's required in your state for licensing? Curious about reciprocity requirements for each of the six New England states? View our chart of drinking water operator programs and reciprocity requirements, complete with links to websites and contact information for each of the six New England states (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, & VT). 

Operator Certification Information

Annual Exam Review "Concepts and Practices of Drinking Water Distribution/Treatment" Course Offering Schedule: Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters

A=Fall     B=Spring     C=Summer

Fall (A) Spring(B) Summer (C)
1D (6 week - exam review) 1D (6 week - exam review) 1D (6 week - exam review)
1T (6 week - exam review) 1T (6 week - exam review) 1T (6 week - exam review)
D2-D4 (12 week required for exam) D2-D4 (12 week required for exam) Not offered
T2 (12 week required for exam) Not offered Not offered
Not offered T3-T4 (12 week required for exam) Not offered

Full Licensing Information and Applications for Each New England State:

The below documents were developed by NEWWA and act as a guides for drinking water operators across all six New England states. Click on any of the titles to download the document. 

To view and download various helpful documents for utilities, visit our Utility Resources pages.

For a copy of the matrix comparing operator certification requirements and reciprocity across the New England states, CLICK HERE

Operator Definitions/Professional code of Ethics for Water System Operators (.pdf)
In order to establish and maintain a high standard of integrity, skills and practice in the profession of water system operations and to safeguard the life, health, property, and welfare of the public, the following rules of professional conduct are adopted by every person holding a license as a water system operator in New England.

List of Offenses Providing a Basis for Enforcement Action (.pdf)
The following list of offenses is considered to be good cause to suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew an operator’s certification. The possible enforcement action taken and the procedure for such action will vary among the individual states. The list is not meant to be all-inclusive and other acts of negligence or incompetence could result enforcement actions against an operator’s certification.

Operator Duties and Responsibilities (NTNC) (.pdf)
PWS Type: Small community water systems and Non-Transient Non-Community Water Systems.
An operator shall perform the following duties as applicable at a public water system at which that individual is designated a certified operator.

Operator Duties and Responsibilities (systems >1000) (.pdf)
PWS Type: All community and non-transient non-Community water systems including distribution systems >1000.
Treatment: Disinfection process, chemical treatment, or no treatment.
An operator shall perform the following duties as applicable at a public water system at which that individual is designated a certified operator. These are all duties a system operator may need to perform depending on organizational structure; a system may subdivide duties among operators.

Guidelines for Public Water Systems Contracting Water Operations (.pdf)
A Public Water System (PWS) contract for the operation of your system should contain information and requirements in the areas as described in this document. This document is intended as a guide in developing a contract. It is recommended that you seek legal council to review the contract before implementation.

Policy for Renewal Training Courses for Water System Operator Recertification (.pdf)
This policy establishes criteria for renewal training to ensure that the training is under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instructors. The criteria established are the minimum requirements and are meant to assure that drinking water operators will receive professional development opportunities needed to complete their job duties and responsibilities, which is to supply safe drinking safe to the public.

Excavation/Backhoe Training & Licensing Information

NEWWA offers a comprehensive excavation safety and backhoe/front-end loader training program to interested students.

Excavation Safety/Competent Person Training:
This course presents key trenching/excavation topics, including soil analysis, protective systems (sloping, shoring, shielding), hazardous atmospheres, excavation site safety, and hazard recognition. 

OSHA's excavation standard states that a competent person is: "one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings, or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees and has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them." OSHA requires a competent person to perform soil analyses and determine the protective system to be used in excavations. Daily inspections are also required. Inspection personnel must also be trained in the regulations. 

This program is designed for water utility professionals, both management and operations, who desire competent person proficiency in trenching/excavations as it applies to the OSHA regulations. It will also be of interest to public works and construction professionals involved in excavation/trenching. Please note: This course is not offered as a certification program. The examination is designed to demonstrate proficiency only.

Backhoe/Front-End Loader Training:
The backhoe/front-end loader training course provides aspiring equipment operators (backhoe and front-end loader) with practical, classroom-based instruction, coupled with thorough, hands-on skill training. Classroom sessions cover machine principles, operating principles, trenching and excavating, and special safety considerations. Hands-on, field training utilizes actual equipment (backhoe and front-end loader), and incorporates extensive, individualized instruction. Each student is allowed ample opportunity to train on each piece of equipment with close supervision, developing specific skills (through practice exercises and skill drills), varying from performing pre-operational inspections, to loading and trenching. Class size is limited to optimize the learning experience.

Before taking “Hands-On Backhoe and Front End Loader Operator Training,” each registrant must complete the NEWWA course: “Excavation Safety: Are You A Competent Person?” (or equivalent - see description above).

Licensing in Massachusetts:
Those seeking to become licensed backhoe/front-end loader operators in Massachusetts (Department of Public Safety, Division of Inspection), must apply separately to take the examination (practical), and pay an additional (non-refundable) fee. The Massachusetts licensing examination will be administered following completion of both, 1-day backhoe/front end loader operator training courses. 

Registrants are not required to take the Massachusetts Licensing Examination (MA Department of Public Safety, Division of Inspection) following the course. For questions regarding the exam and procedures, contact Mary Keating.