Activities that led to the Environmental Operators Certification Programs (EOCP) began in BC in 1966 through the efforts of a few wastewater treatment plant operators, enlightened employers, and government representatives with a provincial mandate related to the certification of water and wastewater operators.
The objective of the EOCP is to ensure that public health and the environment are protected by those who are responsible for the operation and maintenance of water and wastewater facilities in BC.
They fulfill their function by ensuring an appropriate level of knowledge of operators and by testing their level of qualification to operate their system at the level it is classified.
- Knowledge is raised through a mandatory continuing education program covering all matters related to water treatment and distribution, wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal. Certification is issued to those members who meet prescribed standards which vary according to the level of certification.
- The level of knowledge and training required is defined by the type of facility run by the operator. Beginning in 1975, facilities in BC have been classified on a voluntary basis using standards adopted by the Association of Boards of Certification. Facility Classification is now mandatory for most medium and large facilities.
- Training of operators (by others) is delivered through courses provided by organisations such as the American Water Works Association (AWWA), Water Environment Federation (WEF), BCWWA, and others. Any new training course for operators is assessed by the EOCP. For courses that are approved by the EOCP, one Continued Education Unit (CEU) is credited per 10 hours of course. Operators need to complete a total of 45 CEU's to receive the equivalent of one year post-secondary study, while 90 and 180 CEU's are recognized as post-secondary education for Level III and IV certificates, respectively.
- The testing of levels of qualification is performed through certification exams at each level. Exams are offered in the following categories:
• Water Treatment (Level I through IV)
• Water Distribution (Level I through IV)
• Wastewater Collection (Level I through IV)
• Municipal Wastewater Treatment (Level I through IV)
• Industrial Wastewater Treatment (Level I through IV)
• Small Water System
• *Bulk Water Delivery
• Small Wastewater System (Mechanical, Lagoon)
• *Operator in Training (Water Treatment, Water Distribution, Wastewater Collection, Wastewater Treatment)
All certified operators (except those * above) are required to complete continuing education on a regular basis.
Exemplary service in water and wastewater operations is recognized by the BCWWA on recommendations by the EOCP through operator awards. In addition, all new operators and those operators who have upgraded their certification level are also acknowledged through the publication of their names on the EOCP website.
For more information on EOCP, please visit the website at http://www.eocp.org/.
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