Requirements to Renew an Alabama Water Operator Certification

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) requires all water operators to complete a certain number of continuing education hours (CEHs) during each renewal cycle. But they don’t necessarily make it easy to find out how many hours you need. And that can be a problem since the late fee you could face if you don’t get your renewal submitted on time is a whopping $215. 

Fortunately, as an ADEM-approved CEH provider, we’re in the know and can help. Here’s your quickstart guide to renewing your Alabama water operator certification, including the continuing education hours you need. 

ADEM CEH requirements for water operators

During each three-year renewal period, you need to take a specific number of CEHs. ADEM may make that much clear on their website, but to figure out the specifics of the hours you need, you’d have to dive into the actual Division 10 regulation. It’s not light or fun reading, so we’ll hit the high points for you. 

If you have one water certificate, you need 24 CEHs (that you can get at this link here) during each renewal period. 

If you have both a water and a wastewater certificate, you need 15 CEHs for each certificate. That means you need 30 hours total.

Here’s the good news. You don’t need to show up to some seminar or classroom to get hours to count toward your renewal. You can get your Alabama water operator contact hours online and at your own pace to make them more convenient for you. 

If you take more hours than you need in any given renewal period, watch the total. Only 10 hours max can be carried over from one renewal cycle to the next. 

Once you finish any number of CEHs, make sure you hold onto any documentation you receive. You can get randomly audited by ADEM and, if you do, you’ll be required to furnish paperwork showing that you’ve complied with the CEH requirements that apply to your certification. 

Sending in your application

Getting your CEHs is the biggest to-do on your renewal checklist. But completing the hours you need doesn’t automatically renew your Alabama water operator certification (unfortunately). To do that, you need to complete and send in the renewal application, along with the required fee. 

You can’t wait until the last minute to get your renewal application into ADEM. They require you to submit your renewal documentation at least 30 days before your certification will expire. Let’s reiterate, you’ll have to pay the $200+ renewal fee if ADEM doesn’t get your renewal paperwork 30 days before your certification expires

Long story short, you want to get your renewal application in at least a month before your certificate expires. You have a couple of options here: 

Mail in the form

Here’s the operator renewal form PDF that you can fill out and print off, or vice versa. The address to send it to is in the header of the form. 

If you submit your renewal by mail, the fee is slightly higher than if you choose to send it in online. Include a check for $95 and put your operator number on your check.

Submit your renewal online

If you want to save $25, you can submit your renewal online. When you do so, you’ll be able to use your Mastercard or Visa to send in the $70 online renewal fee

All told, renewing your Alabama water operator status comes down to getting the CEHs you need and sending in your renewal at least 30 days before your certification expires.