Drinking Water System Classification and Operator Licensure in Idaho
DEQ, the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses (IBOL), and public drinking water system owners have different and distinct responsibilities regarding drinking water system classification and operator licensing.
- DEQ determines system classifications and ensures that all community and nontransient noncommunity public drinking water systems and all public surface water systems are supervised by an appropriately licensed responsible charge operator and licensed operating personnel.
- IBOL is an umbrella agency that contracts with the state’s professional and occupational licensing boards to ensure personnel are appropriately trained and licensed. In the case of drinking water, IBOL contracts with the Idaho Board of Drinking Water and Wastewater Professionals for these services. The board establishes requirements for operator licenses, determines education and continuing education requirements, sets fees, reviews applications, and issues licenses.
- System owners are responsible for reporting to DEQ on the current classification status every 5 years or anytime a substantive change or upgrade is made to the treatment or distribution system. The system's owner is responsible for ensuring that the responsible charge operator and substitute responsible charge operator have the appropriate level of licensing that is equal to or greater than the system's classification.
All community and nontransient noncommunity public drinking water systems and distribution facilities must be classified based on indicators of potential health risk including the treatment system's complexity, size, and source water or the distribution system's complexity and size. Learn more about system classification requirements and access a worksheet for calculating system classification.
Public drinking water system owners (except transient systems served by ground water) in Idaho are required to have a responsible charge operator and substitute responsible charge operator licensed at a type and class equal to or greater than the classification of the system. Learn how to meet the licensed operator requirement and access a database of contract operators for hire.
Interested in becoming a licensed drinking water operator? Access links to the IBOL website to learn more about operator training requirements, licensing requirements and fees, and to apply for an operator license.