To protect public health, drinking water treatment systems must be properly operated and maintained. For this reason, and to protect the financial investment of drinking water supplies, the Illinois EPA operates a Drinking Water Operator Certification Program that certifies the technical competency of operators of community water supplies.
An operator certified as competent by the Illinois EPA must be able to perform duties without endangering public health. In order to determine competency, the Illinois EPA must evaluate whether applicants for certification possess the necessary skills, knowledge, ability, and judgment to properly operate and maintain the facilities entrusted to their care. Therefore, applicants for certification must meet specific experience, education and examination requirements in order to qualify for certification. To help ensure that certified drinking water operators' knowledge stays current, certified operators are also required to meet continuing education requirements in order to renew their certificates.
Certification examinations and questions have been validated through a process of expert panel review with every question being examined for content, readability, accuracy, and relation to a job analysis. Certification examinations are offered each month at various locations around the state.
Information regarding non-community water supplies is available from the Illinois Department of Public Health.