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Pennsylvania Code



Subchapter A. GENERAL PROVISIONS


Sec.


302.101.    Definitions.
302.102.    Purpose.
302.103.    Scope.
302.104.    Certification requirements.

§ 302.101. Definitions.

 The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Accelerated certification—A method of upgrading a system’s available operators’ certificates to accommodate a change in the system’s capacity or treatment technology.

   Act—The Water and Wastewater Systems Operators’ Certification Act (63 P. S. § §  1001—1015.1).

   Activated carbon adsorption—A water treatment process designed to improve the quality of water being treated by using activated granular or powdered carbon to remove specific organic chemical compounds by adsorption.

   Activated sludge—The treatment technology that mechanically introduces air into wastewater to achieve microbiological suspended growth treatment such as extended aeration, sequential batch reactors, contact stabilization, conventional, step feed or oxidation ditch.

   Administrative hearing—A meeting of the Board, or Board-designated agent, held upon petition of the Department to revoke, suspend, modify or reinstate an operator’s certificate in accordance with 2 Pa.C.S. Chapter 5, Subchapter A (relating to practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies).

   Aeration—A water treatment process designed to improve the quality of water being treated by introducing air or oxygen into water to remove undesirable dissolved gases, to remove volatile organic compounds or to oxidize inorganic compounds so they can be removed as particulates.

   Applicant—A person seeking certification as a water or wastewater system operator.

   Application for certification action—A written request for the Board to take a certification action using approved Department forms.

   Available operator—A certified operator who is onsite or able to be contacted as needed to make process control decisions in a timely manner to protect public health and the environment.

   Bioperable operator—A certified operator who holds a valid certificate for both water and wastewater systems.

   Bioperable training—Department-approved continuing education training that has content that is applicable to both water and wastewater systems.

   Board—The State Board for Certification of Water and Wastewater Systems Operators.

   Board-designated agent—A Board member, Certification Program Advisory Committee member or Department staff person who completes certain duties on behalf of the Board.

   Board guidelines—The guidelines established to carry out the powers and duties of the Board.

   Board Secretary—A Department staff member elected by the Board to implement administrative aspects of the Drinking Water and Wastewater System Operators’ Certification Program.

   CHR—Criminal history record—A report of criminal history record issued by the Pennsylvania State Police under 18 Pa.C.S. Chapter 91 (relating to criminal history record information).

   Cartridge or bag filtration—For drinking water, a process for the purpose of substantial particulate removal by straining with bag or cartridge filters manufactured of various materials and pore sizes.

   Certificate program—A Department-approved curriculum or series of training courses leading to a certificate or diploma in water or wastewater treatment.

   Certification—The process by which an individual obtains a water or wastewater system operator’s certificate.

   Certification action—Action taken by the Board related to a certification examination or recertification or the issuance of an initial certificate, certificate renewal or certificate through reciprocity.

   Certification Program Advisory Committee—The advisory committee created under the act.

   Certified operator—An operator who holds a valid certificate in accordance with the act.

   Chemical addition—A water treatment process designed to improve the quality of the water being treated through the addition of chemicals such as lime, soda ash, caustic soda and permanganate.

   Circuit rider—A management program in which a certified operator may make process control decisions at more than one system of different ownership.

   Class—An alphabetic letter assigned by the Department to a water or wastewater system based upon the classification of a system or an alphabetic letter assigned to an individual’s certificate.

   Classification—The size or type of a water or wastewater system.

   Clean Streams Law—The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. § §  691.1—691.1001).

   Client ID—The unique data management system generated identification number assigned to the operator used to track the operator’s certification records.

   Collection system—A system of pipelines or conduits, pumping stations and force or gravity mains used for collecting and conveying wastes to a point of treatment and disposal.

   Community water system—A public water system which serves at least 15 service connections used by year-round residents or regularly serves at least 25 year-round residents.

   Consecutive system

     (i)   A public water system that obtains all of its water from another public water system and resells the water to a person, provides treatment to meet a primary maximum contaminant level or provides drinking water to an interstate carrier.

     (ii)   The term does not include bottled water and bulk water systems as defined in §  109.1 (relating to definitions).

   Contact hour—The standard unit of measure assigned by the Department for participation in a Department-approved training event based on the amount of instruction time received.

   Continuing education—Approved activities to include training, outreach programs, contact hours, meetings, presentations and other activities designed to increase the knowledge, skills and abilities of system operators.

   Conventional filtration—For drinking water, the series of processes for the purpose of substantial particulate removal consisting of coagulation, flocculation, clarification and granular media filtration. The clarification step must be a solid/liquid separation process where accumulated solids are removed during this separate component of the treatment system.

   Corrosion control and sequestering—A water treatment process designed to mitigate the adverse effects of corrosion in drinking water.

   Department—The Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth.

   Diatomaceous earth filtration—For drinking water, a process for the purpose of substantial particulate removal, in which a precoat cake of diatomaceous earth filter media is deposited on a support membrane (septum) and, while the water is filtered by passing through the cake on the septum, additional filter media, known as body feed, is continuously added to the feed water, to maintain the permeability of the filter cake.

   Direct filtration—For drinking water, a series of processes implemented for the purpose of substantial particulate removal consisting of coagulation and filtration. The term includes flocculation after coagulation, but does not include sedimentation.

   Distribution system—Pipelines, appurtenances, devices and facilities that convey potable water under pressure to customers.

   Drinking water environmental laboratory supervisor—An individual having the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to supervise laboratory procedures and the reporting of analytical data for an environmental laboratory operated by a drinking water system in accordance with industry, State and Federal standards.

   Environmental Hearing Board—The board established under the Environmental Hearing Board Act (35 P. S. § §  7511—7516).

   Environmental laboratory—A facility engaged in the testing or analysis of environmental samples.

   Environmental Quality Board—The board established under section 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. § §  510—20).

   Environmental sample—A solid, liquid, gas or other specimen taken for the purpose of testing or analysis as required by an environmental statute.

   Environmental statute—A statute administered by the Department or the EPA relating to the protection of the environment or protection of public health, safety and welfare.

   Examination—A test module or grouping of test modules administered by the Board or its designated agent used in part to determine the competency of applicants for certification or recertification.

   Fee—A nonrefundable cost assigned to cover the expenses of the program.

   Fixed film treatment—A wastewater treatment technology that uses a fixed contact media to achieve treatment such as trickling filters and rotating biological contactors.

   GED—General equivalency diploma.

   Gaseous chlorine disinfection—A water treatment process designed to inactivate pathogenic organisms from water being treated utilizing gaseous chlorine.

   Grandparented—The temporary exemption for an existing operator of an existing system, as of February 21, 2002, from the initial educational and examination requirements for certification where a system was not required by prior law to have a certified operator. A grandparented operator may be the operator in responsible charge.

   Groundwater—Water that is located within the saturated zone below the water table and is available to supply wells and springs.

   Hydraulic design capacity—The maximum monthly design flow at which a drinking water or wastewater system is expected to consistently provide the required treatment or at which a distribution or collection system is expected to properly function without creating a backup, surcharge or overflow.

   Industrial wastewater treatment system—Any system that treats industrial waste or pollution, but not sewage, as those terms are defined in section 1 of The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. §  691.1).

   Investigation—A detailed inquiry as to the nature, circumstances and official records regarding an applicant or certified operator’s criminal conviction as identified in a criminal history record.

   Ion exchange and greensand—A water treatment process such as greensand filtration, ion exchange or activated alumina designed to improve the quality of water being treated by removal of inorganic constituents.

   Master certificate—A certificate authorizing an operator to make process control decisions at any water or wastewater system of a specific size, regardless of the treatment technology subclassifications used by that system.

   Membrane filtration—For drinking water:

     (i)   A pressure or vacuum driven separation process in which particulate matter larger than 1 micrometer is rejected by an engineered barrier, primarily through a size-exclusion mechanism, and which has a measurable removal efficiency of a target organism that can be verified through the application of a direct integrity test.

     (ii)   The term includes the common membrane technologies of microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis.

   NPDES—The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System as authorized under section 402 of the Federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C.A. §  1342).

   Noncommunity water system—A public water system which is not a community water system.

   Nongaseous chemical disinfection—A water treatment process designed to inactivate pathogenic organisms from water being treated utilizing nongaseous chemical elements or compounds.

   Nontransient noncommunity water system—A noncommunity water system that regularly serves at least 25 of the same persons over 6 months per year.

   Operator

     (i)   An individual who works with water or wastewater system processes or portions thereof.

     (ii)   The term includes, but is not limited to, an individual who may be gaining experience to obtain certification in appropriate subclassifications within classifications of certification. These individuals will have a working knowledge of system operation.

   Operator-in-responsible-charge—An individual designated by the owner to be the certified operator who makes the process control decisions that directly impact the quality or quantity, or both, of water.

   Operator-in-training—An applicant for certification who has passed the certification examination but does not meet the experience requirements.

   Order of the Department—An order of the Department issued under section 4(b)(2) of the act (63 P. S. §  1004(b)(2)) and orders of the Department issued under section 4(b)(1.1) of the act.

   Owner—A person who owns or is the holder of an applicable permit for the operation of a water or wastewater system.

   Ozonation—The water treatment process designed to inactivate pathogenic organisms from water being treated utilizing ozone.

   PLC—Programmable logic controls—A small computer used for automated control of machinery used for water and wastewater treatment. The PLC replaces the many timers, relays and other devices used to control start/stop, run time and level controls of this machinery.

   Permitted average daily discharge flow—The permitted annual average daily discharge flow, as stated in the NPDES or Water Quality Management (WQM) permit.

   Person

     (i)   An individual, company, corporation, municipality, municipal authority, partnership, firm, association, trust, estate, public or private institution, or any agency of Federal or State government.

     (ii)   The term also includes the officers, directors, employees and agents of any partnership, firm, association, company, corporation, municipality, municipal authority, public or private institution or any agency of Federal or State government.

   Petition—A written request from the Department to the Board to take an action to modify, suspend, revoke or reinstate a certified operator’s certificate.

   Post-presentation credit—Contact hours for precertification or continuing education credit for a training course not previously approved by the Department. An operator may obtain post-presentation credit upon application to the Department.

   Process control decision—A decision that maintains or changes the water quality or quantity of a water system or wastewater system in a manner that may affect the public health or environment.

   Process control plan—A plan developed by an operator in responsible charge that outlines the facilities, methods, activities and treatment alternatives necessary to meet permit requirements and provide long term and reliable system operations.

   Professional engineer—An engineer registered under the Engineer, Land Surveyor and Geologist Registration Law (63 P. S. § §  148—158.2), who has been examined in civil, sanitary or environmental engineering and determined proficient.

   Psychometrics—The analytical methodology and design of tests to evaluate and measure psychological variables such as intelligence and aptitude.

   Public water system

     (i)   A system which provides water to the public for human consumption which has at least 15 service connections or regularly serves an average of at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year. The term includes collection, treatment, storage and distribution facilities under control of the operator of the system and used in connection with the system.

     (ii)   The term includes collection or pretreatment storage facilities not under control of the operator which are used in connection with the system.

     (iii)   The term also includes a system which provides water for bottling or bulk hauling for human consumption. Water for human consumption includes water that is used for drinking, bathing and showering, cooking, dishwashing or maintaining oral hygiene

   Recertification—The process by which an individual previously certified under the act, obtains a new certificate following expiration, suspension or revocation of the previous certificate.

   Renewal of certification—The process by which an individual extends for another period of time an existing, valid water system or wastewater system operator’s certificate under the act.

   SCADA—Supervisory control and data acquisition system—A specialized computer system designed to monitor and control many of the processes and operations for water and wastewater treatment. A SCADA system controls equipment based on predetermined criteria, monitors the status of treatment processes and equipment and initiates commands automatically based on conditions or thresholds defined by the available operator. The available operator can also initiate process control changes from a workstation connected to the SCADA system.

   Satellite collection system—A wastewater system consisting only of collection facilities with at least one pump station, which is designed to convey in excess of 2,000 gallons per day of untreated wastewater to a wastewater system owned by a different entity.

   Serving an average—The hydraulic design capacity of a water system.

   Single entity collection system—A wastewater system consisting only of collection facilities with at least one pump station which is designed to convey in excess of 2,000 gallons per day of untreated wastewater to a wastewater treatment system owned by the owner of the collection system.

   Slow sand filtration—For drinking water, a process for the purpose of substantial particulate removal by physical and biological mechanisms during the passage of raw water through a bed of sand at low velocity, generally less than 0.4 meter per hour.

   Subclassification—A number assigned by the Department to a water or wastewater system based upon the treatment process used by that system or the number assigned to an operator’s certificate based upon meeting the certification requirements for a specific treatment process.

   System—A water or wastewater system.

   Track—A combination of approved education and experience requirements necessary to qualify for operator certification.

   Training approval process guidelines—Department guidelines authorized by the act that set standards for training sponsors, courses, course content, training approval criteria and training provider approval criteria.

   Training provider—A person who designs or delivers any type of education or training activities, courses or programs.

   Training sponsor—A training provider approved by the Department to provide training to water and wastewater system operators in this Commonwealth in accordance with the Department’s training approval process guidelines.

   Treatment—The physical, chemical or biological process necessary to change, modify or maintain the chemical or biological nature of water.

   Treatment ponds and lagoons—A wastewater treatment technology that utilizes a pond, lagoon or wetlands with anaerobic or facultative biological processes for the treatment of wastewater and meets the following criteria:

     (i)   A design hydraulic detention time in the treatment process of 15 days or greater.

     (ii)   A biological treatment process that does not have any return activated sludge system.

     (iii)   A biological treatment process that is impacted by diurnal fluctuations as a result of photosynthesis.

   Trigger parameter—A set-point for a designated biological, chemical or physical parameter that requires a response by the operator in responsible charge.

   Ultraviolet disinfection—A water treatment process that inactivates pathogenic organisms using light with a wavelength range of 1,000 to 4,000 angstroms.

   Upgrade—The certification process an existing certified operator follows to increase the operator’s ability to make process control decisions at a system with a higher flow or additional treatment technologies.

   Wastewater—A substance that contains the waste products or excrement or other discharge from the bodies of human beings or animals and noxious or deleterious substances being harmful or inimical to the public health, or to animal or aquatic life, or to the use of water for domestic water supply or for recreation, or which constitutes pollution under The Clean Streams Law.

   Wastewater environmental laboratory supervisor—An individual having the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to supervise laboratory procedures and reporting of analytical data for an environmental laboratory operated by a wastewater or industrial waste system in accordance with industry, State and Federal standards.

   Wastewater system—A structure designed to collect, convey or treat wastewater and from which effluent in excess of 2,000 gallons per day is discharged into waters of this Commonwealth.

   Water system—A community water system or a nontransient noncommunity water system as those terms are defined in section 3 of the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act (35 P. S. §  721.3).

§ 302.102. Purpose.

 (a)  The purpose of this chapter is to protect the environment and the public’s health and safety by ensuring that certified operators with the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities make appropriate process control decisions during the operation of water and wastewater treatment systems, water distribution systems and wastewater collection systems.

 (b)  This chapter establishes the training, education, experience and examination standards necessary for operator certification.

 (c)  This chapter also establishes the administrative processes and procedures the Board will follow to implement the Board’s duties and responsibilities under the act.

§ 302.103. Scope.

 (a)  Owners and operators of the following public water systems shall comply with this chapter:

   (1)  Community water systems.

   (2)  Nontransient noncommunity water systems.

   (3)  Consecutive systems.

 (b)  Owners and operators of the following wastewater systems shall comply with this chapter:

   (1)  Wastewater systems.

   (2)  Collection systems with pump stations.

 (c)  Owners and operators of the following systems are exempt from the requirements of this chapter:

   (1)  A wastewater treatment system with a permitted average daily discharge flow of less than 2,000 gallons per day.

   (2)  A wastewater treatment system regulated under Chapter 73 (relating to standards for onlot sewage treatment facilities).

   (3)  An industrial wastewater system used to treat, recycle or impound industrial or agricultural wastes within the boundaries of the industrial or agricultural property.

   (4)  An industrial wastewater pretreatment system in which treated wastewater is released to a collection system of a wastewater treatment plant that is regulated by this chapter.

   (5)  An industrial wastewater treatment system that is an NPDES permitted point source discharge.

   (6)  A system designed to only collect and treat stormwater.

   (7)  Other systems that are exempted by the Department by rules and regulations, guidelines or policy.

 (d)  Operators of industrial wastewater treatment facilities may voluntarily obtain a wastewater system operator’s certificate consistent with this chapter.

§ 302.104. Certification requirements.

 (a)  A person may not make a process control decision at a water or wastewater system unless that person is Board-certified with a valid certificate with the appropriate class and subclassifications for the size and treatment technologies of a water or wastewater system and is designated by the owner as an available operator as defined in §  302.1202 (relating to duties of owners).

 (b)  To become certified by the Board, the applicant shall:

   (1)  Apply for certification in accordance with §  302.201 (relating to form of application).

   (2)  Pass the appropriate examinations as defined in §  302.702 (relating to examination requirements) or an equivalent examination as defined in §  302.304 (relating to issuance of a certificate through reciprocity).

   (3)  Meet minimum education requirements as defined in §  302.701 (relating to minimum education requirements).

   (4)  Meet the experience requirements as defined in §  302.703 (relating to experience requirements).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  302.302 (relating to issuance of certificate for certification or recertification); 25 Pa. Code §  302.304 (relating to issuance of certificate through reciprocity); 25 Pa. Code §  302.1002 (relating to certification classes and subclassifications of water system operators); 25 Pa. Code §  302.1003 (relating to certification classes and subclassifications of wastewater system operators); 25 Pa. Code §  302.1005 (relating to grandparented operators); and 25 Pa. Code §  302.1102 (relating to issuance of initial certification for a professional engineer).



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