Requirements to Renew a New Mexico Water Operator Certification

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Drinking Water Bureau probably isn’t on most peoples’ radar. But if you’re a water operator in the Land of Enchantment, you’ve most likely spent some time trying to familiarize yourself with their requirements. 

That’s especially important every few years when your certification goes up for renewal. As a sort of reverse birthday gift to you, the NMED requires your renewal in your birth month every three years. Renewing your water certification doesn’t have to be a big hassle but, because of the training credit requirement, it’s probably something you want to get a jump on a little early.

So your triennial birthday month doesn’t turn into a big headache, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about renewing your water operator certification with the NMED. 

Water operator renewal due dates

It might be a little easier if the state set a fixed renewal deadline that applied to all water operators — but they didn’t.

  • Each water operator’s renewal is due every three years on the last day of their birth month.
  • So if you were born in January, your renewal is due triennially on January 31. Or if you were born in June, you need to get your renewal completed by June 30 every three years.

If you’ve got a birthday in the early half of the month, renewal shouldn’t ruin your celebratory plans. But if your birthday’s anywhere near the month’s end, you’ll definitely want to start your renewal to-dos early so they don’t get in the way of your festivities.

Requirements for renewal

Really, renewing your New Mexico water operator certification comes down to doing two things:

Getting the required training credits

During each three-year renewal cycle, the NMED requires you to get a specific number of training credits. You get one credit by completing one hour of NMED-approved water operator training. How many hours you need depends on your certification. 

  • If you’re a water sampling tech 1 (WST1), you need five training credits per renewal cycle.
  • Water sampling tech 2s (WST2), you need 10 training credits every three years. 
  • If you have any other type of NMED-issued water certification, you’re required to get 30 hours of training credits per renewal cycle.

Fortunately, that doesn’t mean spending several days in some classroom. You can get your CE credits online here, and take them at your own pace. 

When you finish any number of hours, your training credit provider should issue you a certificate of completion. Scan it and email it to uocp.certification@state.nm.us to show them that you’re getting the credits required for renewal. 

Paying the renewal fee on time

Once you have the training credits you need, your certification becomes eligible for renewal. At that point, you just need to get in the renewal fee. Fees vary (but not by much) by certification level, so here’s a full list:

  • WST1: $25
  • WST2: $25
  • Small Water (SW): $20
  • Adv. Small Water (SWA): $20
  • Water Supply Level 1 (WS1): $25
  • Water Supply Level 2 (WS2): $25
  • Water Supply Level 3 (WS3): $30
  • Water Supply Level 4 (WS4): $30
  • Distribution Systems 1 (DS1): $25
  • Distribution Systems 2 (DS2): $25
  • Distribution Systems 3 (DS3): $30

You can either pay the fee online (here are some instructions) or mail it in to:

NMED – Utility Operator Certification Program

PO Box 5469

Santa Fe, NM 87502-5469

Just make sure you get your training credits knocked out and the fee paid by the end of your birth month every three years.