Updates in Waterworks and Wastewater Works



License Renewal for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators Update



Experience and Educational Substitutions

One year of experience needed for sitting for your licensing exam is considered 1760 hours in one year.

Education may be substituted for experience at a rate of up to one month experience for each semester hour of college credit approved by the board. An official transcript must be submitted and approved by the board.

Limitations on substitutions:

Under no circumstances shall category experience, education and training substitutions exceed 50% of the total experience required.

No category experience, education or training substitutions are permitted for the experience required to obtain a Class 6, 5 or 4 license.




Three main points are: (1) Although exam fees are going up, exams will be given "on demand" except for holidays and six sites will be offered; (2) Operators apply to the exam vendor and not DPOR-- DPOR only reviews applications for applicants who pass the exam; and (3) an explanation on restrictions on hand-written materials that can be brought into the exam and reference to the questions (on wastewater exams) that were copied verbatim from the exam, reproduced and distributed among operators.  E-exams are a positive step forward and the national average comparing identical e-exams to paper ones is a 10 percent higher pass rate for e-exams. 



Waterworks and Wastewater Works Facility Operator Examination Update

On July 1, 2005, the Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation awarded a contract for examination services to Psychological Services, Inc. (PSI).

PSI will offer computer based testing in six locations in Virginia located in Northern Virginia, Richmond, Roanoke, and Tidewater and one location in Tennessee which is approximately 50 miles from Abingdon and will be convenient for Virginia's southwestern candidates.

In cooperation with the Board, PSI will handle all application processing and exam administration at a cost of $84 to the candidate. The re-exam fee is also $84. PSI will be able to begin administering the exams by computer in mid-March 2006. Upon passing the exam, PSI will provide the candidate with a license application and instructions for submitting the application and $100 licensing fee to the Board.

All candidates will be provided with instructions for applying for the examination. Candidates will submit examination applications directly to PSI on an ongoing basis. Upon application approval, candidates will be contacted by PSI and given the opportunity to schedule the exam on a date and in a location most convenient to the candidate. Examinations will be available daily, Monday through Friday (excluding major holidays).

A candidate information bulletin, which will be available in early December 2005, will explain all procedures and provide information about testing by computer. A tutorial will also be provided to the candidate at the beginning of each examination. The computer administration is easy and no computer skills are required.


The November 18, 2005 examination will be the final examination administered in the paper and pencil format.

There has been a request for some clarification with regard to the use of references during the examination. Due to the discovery of a written list of questions being circulated within some facility plants, which were identical to those on the examination, we have had to institute some measures to preserve the security and integrity of the examination. As you know, the Board is charged with the protection of the public. The licensing examination is designed to admit competent members of the profession into the practice. If the examination is compromised, then we run the risk of candidates being licensed whose actions may harm the public. For this reason, examination security is a serious matter.

The exams are currently open book and the Board has made no decision to change from that format. Candidates are permitted to use subject matter related reference materials during the examination administration. A suggested reference list is available in the candidate information bulletin. Candidates may bring any references into the examination room, textbooks and training manuals, which are related to the profession and formulas included as part of a textbook or training manual. Formulas are also provided with the examination booklets. Candidates may highlight and tab textbooks and training manuals prior to entering the exam room.

Candidates may not bring handwritten notes, legal pads or notepads of any kind, and loose papers into the examination room. Handwritten notes inserted into training manuals must be removed prior to entering the examination room or they will be confiscated by the proctor.

Handouts provided by the trainers and made part of the training manual are allowed.

If candidates have written notes covering the inside covers and/or any blank pages in the reference books or manuals, they must be erased, scratched through or covered prior to entering the examination room or those references will be confiscated by the proctor. If there are notes written in the margins of reference books and training manuals, they will be allowed in the examination room. It is difficult for proctors to tell whether candidates are copying questions and answers or bringing in previously written questions and answers into the exam. To have proctors examine every page of a reference or note would delay the exam administration and create a burden on both candidates and proctors. For this reason, we expect candidates to refrain from bringing in any handwritten notes on separate papers and limiting the notes in reference materials, as described above.

Security is always an important element in providing a valid, reliable examination. The Board needs your help in maintaining the integrity of the examination. This will assist us in licensing those individuals who demonstrate competency in their profession and in safeguarding the public welfare.