Program Description and Background


Consistent with State policy established in 1977 concerning the provision of safe drinking water and to promote the public health and welfare, the 1991 Nevada State Legislature enacted legislation (Nevada Revised Statutes 445A.875 through 880) that created the public water systemoperator certification program. The program was implemented by the State Health Division and regulations were drafted and approved by the State Board of Health. The implementation and enforcement of the regulations now falls under the authority of the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) through the Bureau of Safe Drinking Water.

The operator certification regulations apply to all persons who operate community or non-transient non-community public water systems and to persons who operate transient non-community systems that utilize surface water as a source. Trained and certified operators are necessary to ensure that the systems are managed in a manner that fully protects public health and the environment. 

These persons must obtain a fully certified operator certificate issued by the NDEP. Fully certified operators may operate more than one water system. Certified operators must renew their certificates every two years. Continued education training credits are required to renew certificates. Training classes must be approved by the Bureau of Safe Drinking Water.

An Operator-in-Training (OIT) certification examination is offered to those persons who want to work in the water industry but do not have the experience for a full certification. Operator-in-Training certificates may be converted to full certificates after the required experience in operating is obtained. Certification through reciprocity with other states or foreign countries is specifically addressed in the regulations and is granted on a case by case basis.

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