Illinois Water Operator Certification Renewal

For a lot of people, summer means it’s time to kick back and relax. But if you’re a certified drinking water operator in Illinois, that might not necessarily be the case for you. That’s because in July every three years, you need to do specific things to complete your certificate renewal with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA).

When, exactly, you need to renew depends on the year in which your certificate was initially issued. At that point, a clock starts ticking:

  • Every three years on July 1, your renewal is due.

You don’t want to have to deal with the fallout (read: late fee) that comes with missing the state’s deadline, so make sure you complete these Illinois drinking water operator certificate renewal to-dos in time. 


First up, keep an eye on your mail

About four months before your certificate will expire, the IEPA should send you a renewal application in the mail. Make sure you hold onto it when you receive it. 


Secondly, mark your calendar

Because the summer can get busy, give yourself a little reminder that you need to start on your drinking water operator certificate renewal. If your renewal is due on the upcoming July 1, you might want to set an alert to go off on June 1, for example.

The heads-up can come in handy because all operators need to complete at least a couple of days’ worth of drinking water-related training before they’ll be eligible for renewal.


Third, complete your training hours

The IEPA requires all drinking water operators to complete a specific number of continuing education (CE) training hours to qualify for renewal. The hours you need depend on your certification class. 

Your hours need to come from an education provider with approval from the state. To make it easier to get those training hours completed, they’ve approved certain education providers to offer those drinking water operator training hours online


Fourth, submit your renewal application

Now, it’s time to dig out that renewal application you got in the mail months ago. Fill it out and mail it in with the $10 renewal fee before the July 1 deadline. 

Along with the renewal form, send in proof that you’ve completed the required training hours. You can do so online by following this guide, or you can print off the last page of that guide, fill it out, and mail it in with your renewal application. 


Finally, save your paperwork

The state requires you to keep the records of your training hours for at least six years after completion. Your completion record should show:

  • The IEPA course identification number
  • The name of the training provider
  • The course instructor
  • The date you took the course
  • The location (online is okay)
  • The total training hours

The IEPA can audit you randomly at any time, so file your training hours certificates of completion in a safe and reliable place. 

Keep an eye on your calendar and your mail and you shouldn’t have any issues keeping your certificate active.