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Grandfather Clause:
Wastewater Operator Certification Program

You must have applied for initial certification under this program before 12/31/94 to be considered eligible for a grandfather certificate.

You can obtain a grandfather certificate which is valid only at the wastewater works at which you are employed if you meet the following criteria:

You are a chief operator or person having direct responsible charge. Grandfather certificates are issued only to operators who are required to be certified by law, not to everyone who isn’t currently certified.


You have worked at that wastewater works for at least ten years prior to March 16, 1991. A grandfather certificate only certifies you at the wastewater works where you were employed on and before March 16, 1991. If you change jobs, you will no longer be certified.


You demonstrate to the Certification Council that you are capable of operating that wastewater works by sending them a copy of your employment history and references.


  • If your wastewater works adds a new process (for example, chlorination or primary clarifiers) your grandfather certificate may no longer be valid.
  • A grandfather certificate is valid for three years, and renewal does require accrual of Continuing Education Units (CEUs), submittal of a renewal application, and payment of the renewal fee.
  • If the grandfather certificate is not renewed prior to the expiration date, the wastewater works may be considered to be out of compliance. The operator would then be required to pass the appropriate certification examination to become a certified operator.

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