Operator Certification Training & Exams
The Stabilization Pond class deals strictly w/ ponds and is the best class for preparing to take the
System exam. The Basic WW Treatment class deals w/ all types of wastewater treatment other than ponds
and is the best class for preparing to take the Class I WW Treatment exam. Small systems that use ponds
treatment can come into compliance with the OpCert Law by passing either the Class I WW exam or the Small
WW System exam.
Water systems serving less than 500 people that use wells can come into compliance by passing the
Small Water Treatment exam. Larger systems must pass the Class I Water Treatment exam.
All dates are tentative based on number of applicants. Certification exam applications must be submitted
for ALL exams including retakes. Applications MUST be received by the Department of Agriculture and
Natural Resources (DANR) at least two weeks before the exam date, as required by the Operator
Certification Rules (ARSD 74:21:02:40). Applicants will receive a confirmation of their exam receipt by
the Department. Applications will be accepted via fax at 773-5286. Check or money orders made out to
"DANR-Operator Certification" are required. Applications must be filled out completely as they are the
sole source of information used to determine operator eligibility to take an exam. Click here to download the latest Exam Schedule.
The following must have a certified operator in direct responsible charge of their system:
- All wastewater treatment or wastewater collection systems
that serve more than 500 people.
- All transient non-community water treatment systems using
surface water or groundwater under the direct influence of surface water or treating with a disinfectant
(chlorine, chlorine dioxide, ozone, etc.).
- ALL community and non-transient non-community (NTNC) water
treatment/distribution systems regardless of size.
Click here to find your system classification.
The following operators must be certified:
- Any operator in charge of one of the above water or
- Any operator making process control/system integrity
decisions affecting water quality/quantity at a community or NTNC water system must be certified at any
- An operator certified at the designated level of the
treatment plant/distribution system must be available for each operating shift at a community or NTNC
Click here to lookup operators in your area.
Exam References-ABC's exam questions are primarily referenced to publications from California State
University, Sacramento (916-278-6142); the Water Environment Federation (WEF) (800-666-0206); and the
American Water Works Association (AWWA) (800-926-7337). SD Association of Rural Water Systems (SDARWS)
does have some study material; however, the best study material is from the above organizations. DANR does
not supply any study material. For more information on references and study materials, please check the
Association of Boards of Certification WEB page.
For more information on what is covered on the various certification exams download the following references:
Contact these organizations for your training materials:
Try these links for more information on online training opportunities:
For more information on references and study materials, please check The Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) web page.
Any questions on the various training courses that are presented may be directed to the South Dakota
Association of Rural Water Systems (605-556-7219). If there are any questions on certification, please
contact Tammie HIll at the Drinking Water Program in Pierre (Phone: 605-773-3577) (Fax: 605-773-5286)
(E-mail: Tammie Hill).
All exams cost $60.00. Also after July 1 there will be no fee for the annual renewal.
Questions about operator certification should be directed to Tammie Hill at the Drinking Water Program in
Pierre (phone: 605-773-3577 fax: 605-773-5286 email: Tammie Hill)
Question concerning the various training courses and for study materials should be be directed to the SD
Association of Rural Water Systems (605-556-7219).