On the one hand, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) does a pretty good job of keeping water operators informed about renewing their certification. They even have a webpage dedicated to the renewal requirements, much more than a lot of other states can say.
On the other hand, with operator-in-training (OIT) certification at play alongside full certifications, plus different certification grades and the distinction between distribution (D) and treatment (T) certificates, it can get confusing fast.
If you’re left wondering what, exactly, you need to do to renew your Nevada water operator certificate, we’re here to help. Here’s your brief but thorough guide to renewal.
Whether you’re an OIT or you’re fully certified, the NDEP requires you to get some continuing education hours before you’re eligible for renewal. The number of total contact hours (TCHs) you need hinges on a couple of things: your certification grade and the number/type of certifications you hold.
Let’s start with the basics:
If you only have one certification, this requirement is pretty simple. Whether you’re renewing a D2 OIT or a full T1, for example, you’d need seven hours. Your certification type doesn’t matter here, just your grade does.
That holds true if you have multiple certifications of the same type. In that case, you’re subject to the TCH requirement for your highest grade. So if you have a full D2 and a D3 OIT cert, you need 14 hours.
But if you have both a treatment and a distribution certification, it gets more complicated. In that case, you need to comply with the requirement for both distinct types of certs. If you’re renewing a T3 and a D4 certification, for example, you’d need 28 hours (see our package here), 14 for each cert.
If you’re mixing and matching, both regulations apply. In other words, you need to figure out the hours requirement for your highest grade in both certification types, then add them together. So if you had a full T1, a T2 OIT, and a full D3, you’d need 21 hours (seven for the Grade II treatment certification and 14 for the Grade III distribution cert).
Like we said, it can get complicated.
Fortunately, getting the hours can actually be a whole lot easier than figuring out how many you need. The NDEP has approved some education providers to offer water operator TCHs online and on-demand. That means you can work on them whenever you have free time from your phone, tablet, or computer.
One quick note: when you’re gathering up your hours, watch the number that focus on safety topics. You can only apply two-and-a-half hours max from that topic to your renewal requirement.
Once you get your TCHs done, you’re ready to submit your application. That means paying the renewal fee, which is $50 for each certification. Full T1 and T2 OIT operators would owe $100, for example, for the two certs. Full D1, D2 OIT, and T3 water operators would owe $150 for the three certs.
If you’re mailing in a check with your renewal form, make it out to the Bureau of Safe Drinking Water.
Alternatively, you can pay online here. Click the “Pay an Invoice or Recurring Fee” link, then choose “Safe Drinking Water, Operator Certification.” Put in your personal info (not your company’s). Make sure you send the receipt in with your renewal form.
Once you have the fee ready to mail in or paid online, you can send in the renewal application. Fill it out completely (mark N/A in any fields rather than leaving them blank). Then, you have three options:
NDEP Bureau of Safe Drinking Water
901 South Stewart Street, Suite 4001
Carson City, Nevada 89701
Keep a copy of your e-payment receipt and your TCH certificates of completion just in case. Get that all in before the expiration date at the end of the year, and you’ll have no issues keeping your certification(s) active.