Frequently Asked Questions About the OPC Wastewater Training Program

How often is the certification exam offered?
The certification exam is offered three times a year: February, May and September. Each exam is preceded by a 3 - 4 day preparation course which reviews the MS Wastewater Facilities Operations / Training Manual.

Do I have to meet all the education and experience requirements for certification before I can take the exam?
No. You do not have to be "certifiable" prior to taking an exam. Your exam grade will be kept on file for three years during which time you can complete your education and/or experience requirements.

Am I required to pass through each classification of certification, or can I go straight to a higher class?
You are allowed to begin certification at any classification level for which you meet the educational and experience requirements. However, an operator must have taken and passed a class II exam or equivalent in order to sit for the class III or class IV exam. Proof of passing class II must be provided.

Do I have to pre-register for the workshops?
You are not required to pre-register; however, we do request that you confirm your intention to attend, if possible, for our planning purposes.

Is there a fee to attend MDEQ workshops?
The MDEQ does not charge a fee for its workshops. The MWPCOA Short Course and the MDEQ /MSRWA workshop do require a fee paid to the sponsoring group.

Does my certification fee include membership in MWPCOA or vice versa?
NO. Since the beginning of mandatory certification in 1987, the Mississippi Water & Pollution Control Operator's Association (MWPCOA) is no longer administering the certification program. Certification and Association membership are separate issues.

Which certification class do I need?
Required certification class is based on the type and size of the treatment facility. Refer to the regs for the full listing of classifications. If you are new to wastewater treatment and have no experience, we typically recommend that you begin at level one (I) or two (II).

Can I get continuing education credits from sources other than MDEQ?
YES. We approve a wide variety of classes for CECs. We require that all requests for approval be submitted prior to the class. We do not, as a rule, approve in-house training provided by in-plant personnel. Please note that the regulations require that half of the hours needed for renewal must be MDEQ sponsored. All workshops on the MDEQ training calendar as well as the annual conferences of the MW&PCOA, MSRWA and the MWEA are considered MDEQ sponsored

Do the classes I take in preparation for the exam count as CECs for renewal?
Only classes taken after obtaining certification can be eligible for CECs.