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Division of Compliance Assistance
Certification and Licensing Branch

The Distribution Certification School and Exam event (DW8797) scheduled for June 14-17, 2011 at Lake Barkley State Resort Park has been rescheduled for June 21-24, 2011.

ANNOUNCEMENT - The Solid Waste Certification Program has been transferred to the Division of Compliance Assistance (DCA).

Implementation of the Solid Waste Landfill Operator/Manager, Compost Operator and Landfarm Operator Certification Program has been transferred from the Division of Waste Management to DCA, Certification and Licensing Branch.

The Division of Waste Management suspended the 2010 solid waste certification training due to a prioritization of permitting activities by the Solid Waste Branch. DCA will now be responsible for certification of solid waste operators and development of the training schedule. At this time, the 2011 Solid Waste Training Schedule has not been finalized by the division. Additional information regarding the Solid Waste Certification Program and training courses will be updated on this website in the near future. Questions related to solid waste certification or the training schedule should be directed to Lisa Butler or Julia Kays or 502-564-0323. We appreciate your patience during this transaction.

**Notice** The Certification Program would like to announce that the Expense Reimbursement Grant (ERG) is no longer available to provide financial assistance services for reimbursement of examination and training fees or for travel expenses. Funds from this grant have been exhausted.

Why are operators important? 

You probably haven't contemplated your tap water or what happens to your dishwater after you pull the plug on the drain. It is up to the thousands of certified water and wastewater operators in Kentucky to ensure that you don't have to think about it. Drinking water treatment plant operators treat water so that it is safe to drink. Pumped from wells, rivers, streams and reservoirs to water treatment plants, water undergoes a series of processes that remove or destroy harmful materials and microorganisms. System operators ensure that the purification process goes smoothly and efficiently.

Wastewater treatment plant operators are responsible for the purification of wastewater. They remove harmful organisms, solid wastes and toxic chemicals (such as lead and mercury) from domestic and industrial wastewater. They then return the treated water to the rivers, streams and other bodies of water. Without well-trained water and wastewater operators, the health of Kentucky's people and bodies of water would be greatly compromised.

What does the Certification and Licensing Branch do to ensure that operators are properly trained? 

The Kentucky Operator Certification Program provides training and issues certifications to ensure that individuals engaged in performing many of Kentucky's critical environmental activities are qualified and capable to perform their duties. Program activities include:

  • Issuing certification licenses to Kentucky's bottled water, collection, distribution and treatment operators.
  • Presenting classes statewide for bottled water, collection, distribution and treatment operators.
  • Assisting the Kentucky Board of Certification of Water Treatment and Distribution System Operators and the Kentucky Board of Certification of Wastewater System Operators.
  • Developing and implementing an operator recruitment strategy that encourages individuals to consider a career in wastewater and drinking water systems.
  • Attending career fairs and speaking to groups about water treatment careers.
  • Providing relevant information to certified operators and interested parties through e-mail announcements and newsletters. You can be added to the program's distribution list by calling Lisa Butler at 800-926-8111, ext. 317, or by e-mailing

The Kentucky Board of Certification of Water Treatment and Distribution System Operators and the Kentucky Board of Certification of Wastewater System Operators serve in an advisory capacity to the program. One of the board's activities is the review of continuing education courses for continuing education credit from third-party trainers.

Operator Certification is responsible for the testing and training records of certified operators. The Certification Program does not administer facility requirements. If you have a question on what classification of operator your facility is required to have or any other staffing requirements, contact the Kentucky Division of Water at 502-564-3410.