Renewing an Idaho Water Operator License

If you’re trying to figure out how to renew your Idaho water operator license, you’ve probably come across some confusing information. In fact, trying to figure out how to renew your license might feel like it requires you to learn a whole new language. 

If you’re wondering what 0.6 CEUs means or, more simply, how to get your renewal in on time, we can help. Here’s everything you need to know to keep your Idaho water operator license active. 

Idaho water operator renewal 101

Unfortunately for you, renewing your water operator license is a yearly to-do. While plenty of other states let their water operators renew biennially or even triannually, you need to do it annually. Check your license for your expiration date.

Then, mark your calendar for about a month beforehand. Before you can renew, you need to take some steps. Starting a little early will give you ample time to get everything done before your license expires. 

Specifically, you need to do three things to renew your Idaho water operator license:

  1. Complete the required continuing education (CE)
  2. Submit the renewal application
  3. Pay the renewal fee

The biggest task on that list is definitely the first one, so let’s take a closer look.

CE requirements for Idaho water operators

State Rule 500.01 requires that all licensed water operators — Class I through IV distribution operators, collection operators, treatment operators, lab operators, and operators in general — complete 0.6 CEUs annually. 

What does that mean, exactly? CEU is short for continuing education unit, and one unit equals 10 hours. In other words, you need to get six CE hours a year. 

That’s true for Idaho water operators with the exception of two cases. If you’re a backflow assembly tester, you need to complete an eight-hour refresher course every two years. Or if you have a drinking water and a wastewater license, you need 12 hours, six for the water license and six for the wastewater license. 

Now, back to most water operator licensees. Your CE hours need to be focused on the work you do. To ensure any hours you take will count toward the renewal requirement, you might want to double-check that the education provider you’re considering has approval from the state. As an example, you can see our letter from the Idaho Department of Occupational and Professional Licenses (DOPL) at the bottom of this page. 

The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to take a day off work to get your 0.6 CEUs. You can take them online with courses like the ones offered here to chip away at them whenever you have time from any location that works for you. 

Once you finish your hours, hang onto the certificate of completion you get. The DOPL can audit you and you’ll need that paperwork to prove that you’re in compliance. 

Submitting your renewal 

The DOPL encourages you to renew your water operator license online. But if that doesn’t work for you, you can call (208) 577-2627 or email renewal@dopl.idaho.gov and ask them to mail you a paper renewal form.

However you choose to renew, you need to pay the renewal fee at the same time. For the vast majority of license types, that fee is $30.