Facility classification

In November 2018, the Water and Wastewater Facility Operators Certification Board updated and revised the criteria for facility classification in Regulation 100. These revisions are important because treatment facility and distribution/collection system classification establishes the minimum certification level for operators who act as the certified operator(s) in responsible charge (ORC).

All facilities are subject to classification according to the criteria adopted by the board. Many facility classifications will remain unchanged. The revised regulation includes a delayed implementation period for existing facilities. If you are a certified operator in responsible charge (ORC) for a facility and if the classification will be changing, you will be expected to upgrade to the new level if you want to stay on as the ORC. Please review this webpage and Regulation 100 to be informed.

What is this about?
A short summary of the 2018 updates is in this fact sheet.


When do new classifications apply?

  • For new or substantially modified facilities, the new criteria will be applied beginning March 1, 2019. Any treatment facility submitting changes to the division for approval (water or wastewater) will be evaluated by the Engineering Section during design review for classification changes that are applicable upon construction completion of the facility.
  • For existing facilities, the new criteria will be applied beginning March 1, 2021. Distribution and collection systems will not change until March 1, 2021, unless system population increases to the next level before then.

How do I know the future facility classification?

The facility classification criteria are written so owners/operators can identify the facility classification. Please review facility classification sections in Regulation 100. Sections 100.4 to 100.9 are the primary facility classification sections. Exemptions are included in section 100.1.5.

To assist owners/operators, the Water Quality Control Division has estimated probable classifications in the following tables, based on limited information. After reviewing the current Regulation 100, if you agree with the classification in the table, no response is required. If you disagree with the estimates for March 2021 facility classifications, please have one representative for your facility complete the online form. We will review the information submitted and contact you.  

 
Drinking water facility classifications

Treatment facilities are classified as A, B, C, D and O. Level A is highest and O indicates the facility is exempt from a treatment operator. Distribution system facilities are classified as 1, 2, 3, 4 and 0. Level 4 is highest and 0 indicates the facility is exempt from a distribution operator.

 


Wastewater facility classifications (Domestic wastewater treatment, collection, and industrial treatment)

Treatment facilities are classified as A, B, C, D and O. Level A is highest and O indicates the facility is exempt from a treatment operator. “I-” indicates industrial treatment operator is required. Collection system facilities are classified as 1, 2, 3, 4 and 0. Level 4 is highest and 0 indicates the facility is exempt from a collection operator.

Note for all collection systems: The 2018 updates to Regulation 100 include a new 2-step process for determining classifications. The first step will be consideration of population using the same numerical thresholds as before. The second step will be evaluation of identified complicating factors such as large lift stations in the collection system (see section 100.9.2 of Regulation 100). Note: satellite collection systems are not in the table below.

To provide information for a probable March 2021 classification for all collection systems, including satellite collection systems, please have one representative for your facility complete the online form. We will review the information submitted and contact you.

 


Where do I get information about certification testing?

The Board has changed the operator testing program to provide more testing opportunities each year and in more locations in Colorado, as implemented by the Board’s contractor Colorado Certified Water Professionals (CCWP). Examination information is available at: colorado.gov/cdphe/ccwp-certification-examination and CCWP operator portal tutorials are at: colorado.gov/cdphe/ccwp-portal-tutorials.

 
When is the site-specific certified operator in responsible charge possible?

If the classification of the facility is increasing and the ORC needs to get a higher certification to remain ORC, the Board included a few situations where an existing ORC could remain ORC for an extra time period. These situations are described in section 100.10.8 (a)-(c). Estimates are about 4% of current ORCs will need a higher certification. Operators are encouraged to study and test for the higher certification before March 2021 (see above). The site-specific ORC must be requested by December 31, 2020. The division will be developing an application for requesting site-specific ORC status.

Frequently asked questions and answers
Use ctrl-f to search for words within the table.

Individual questions can be emailed to:

  • Domestic wastewater, collection, reclaimed water, industrial wastewater: David Kurz, Lead Wastewater Engineer david.kurz@state.co.us.
  • Drinking water, distribution: Tyson Ingels, Lead Drinking Water Engineer tyson.ingels@state.co.us.