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  • Protecting Public Health and the Environment

Wastewater Certification ​Renewal - Q & A

​6 NYCRR Part 650 states that your operator certificate is valid for a period of five (5) years.

What are the renewal requirements?

During the five-year period which preceds the expiration date of your certificate, you must complete a minimum number of contact hours of NYSDEC-approved training related to the field of wastewater treatment.  Only the most recent five (5) years of training will be considered for renewal.  The number of contact hours you need depends upon the Grade of your certificate:

  • Grades 1 &1A: 20 hours
  • Grades 2 & 2A: 40 hours
  • Grades 3 & 3A: 60 hours
  • Grades 4 & 4A: 80 hours
For renewal of your certificate, you do not need to be working at a wastewater treatment plant.​​

What happens if I do not get the minimum training contact hours of if I do not file an Application for Renewal of Certificate?

Your certificate has an expiration date.  If you do not renew your certificate by the expiration date, your certificate will expire, and the certificate is no longer valid - you are not certified!   You have one year from the date of expiration to reinstate your certificate through the renewal process.  Only training that  you have completed within five (5) years of the date NYWEA receives your renewal submission will be allowed.  

To reinstate a certificate that is expired for more than one year, you will need to complete the renewal training requirement, pay the $160 certificate renewal application fee, and re-take and pass the Association of Boards Certification (ABC) exam for your Grade certificate.

What kind of training is eligibile for renewal contact hours?

The  training must be relevant to the operation, maintenance or management of a wastewater treatment facility.  Some examples include: operations, maintenance, management, laboratory, safety & first aid, collection systems, process control, mathematics, biology and chemistry.  In addition to NYSDEC-sponsored seminars, training provided by other government agencies, colleges and universities, NYWEA and other professional associations, equipment vendors, consultants, or in-plant training may be eligible

How can I find out if a course I plan to take has been approved by NYSDEC for renewal contact hours?

The  best way is to check the training notice or ask the course sponsor/provider for the NYSDEC course approval number (RTC number).  The RTC number is assigned by NYSDEC to courses which have been approved for renewal contact hours.  RTC numbers are unique to the the content, date, location and contact hours of a course.    

Here is a list of home study and online courses that are "pre-approved" by the NYSDEC for renewal training hours.  RTC numbers do not apply.         NYSDEC Approved Home Study and Online Courses 

Does NYSDEC need to approve the training before I can take it?

NYSDEC approv​al is not needed before you attend any training program.  The training can be approved for contact hours before or after you attend the training.  However, all training used for meeting the renewal requirements must be approved by NYSDEC.

How does a course sponsor/provider obtain approval from the NYSDEC for renewal contact hours?

When should I submit my application for renewal?

You can submit your application any time after you accumulate the minimum renewal training contact hours within your five (5) year renewal period.  Since you can't "bank" your hours in excess of the mimum, it may be best for you to apply for renewal as soon as you reach the minimum hours required for the certificate Grade.  Note, the next five (5) year renewal period does not begin until your current certificate expires. 

Who do I contact if I have questions?  

Contact Operator Certification Administrator Carolyn Steinhauer at 315-422-7811, ext. 4 or via email at


Application for Renewal of Certificate

Renewal Fee

  • There is a $160 fee due with the renewal application (this works out to $32 per year).
  • Please make checks or money orders payable to: NYWEA, 525 Plum Street, Suite 102, Syracuse, NY 13204. Payment method options: Check, Money Order, Voucher/Purchase Order, Paypal, Visa, Mastercard
  • Pay online with PayPal, Visa, or Mastercard

Renewal Training Resources

RTC Approval


  • Contact Operator Certification Administrator Carolyn Steinhauer at 315-422-7811 x 4 or via email at