Requirements to Renew a North Carolina Water Operator Certification

All told, the North Carolina Water Treatment Facility Operator (NCWTFO) Certification Board has developed a pretty streamlined process for water operator certification renewal. The deadline’s easy to remember, you don’t need a ton of training hours during each renewal, and the renewal fee is pretty affordable.

Still, though, it warrants your attention. If you miss key deadlines, you risk having to retake the exam. 

To avoid that headache, make sure you knock out your renewal to-dos by the end of each year. Your North Carolina drinking water operator renewal is due by December 31 annually — and that means completing these tasks. 

Step one: check your mail

Around mid-November, you should get a renewal notice letter from the Board — assuming they have your current address on file. Even if you don’t get that piece of mail, it’s still your responsibility to get your renewal in on time.

To ensure you’re getting that notice and other important mailings from the NCWTFO Certification Board, update your address any time you move. You can use this form or do it in the Certified Operator Portal

To use the portal, you’ll need to create an NCID account first. For a full walkthrough of setting up your portal login and using it, you can review this guide

Step two: get your professional growth hours (PGHs)

Each year, all North Carolina drinking water operators need to get six hours (such as the course package found here) of what the state calls professional growth hours (PGHs). For these hours to count, they need to come from a provider that’s been approved by the Board. They should have an approval letter and/or a course ID number from the NCWTFOCB to show their approval status.

Here’s the good news: you can get Board-approved PGHs on-demand and online

Step three: report your PGHs

Once you finish your PGHs, your provider should give you some sort of proof, like a certificate of completion. Send that into the Operator Certification office with your name and certification ID. Their address is:

1635 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC  27699-1635

The Board keeps an ongoing record of PGHs. Your certification won’t be eligible for renewal until they have documentation showing that you’ve got the six hours you need. 

If you’re curious, you can check how many PGHs the state has recorded for you on this regularly updated PDF

Step four: pay the renewal fee

Reminder: you’re supposed to get your renewal fee in by December 31. That said, the state gives you a little grace period. Your payment isn’t technically delinquent until February 1. 

If you renew on-time (before February 1), North Carolina drinking water operator renewal costs $30. On February 1 or after, it doubles to $60. 

If you’re mailing in a check, make it out to NCWTFO Certification Board. Alternatively, you can use the Board’s ePayment system. Enter your operator ID and it will pull up the amount you owe. Then, you’ll be able to pay it online with a card. 

Get six PGHs each year and send the Board 30 bucks. With those two to-dos checked off, you shouldn’t have any issues keeping your North Carolina water operator certification active.