WATER OPERATOR
HIRING AND
CONTRACTING GUIDE

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Office of Water (4606M)
EPA 810-B-19-001
September 2019

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Water Operator Hiring and Contracting Guide
Instructions for primacy agencies on customizing this document prior to distribution.
This document is a resource that can help public water system decision-makers hire or contract with a licensed/certified
water operator. The document is not ready to be distributed to public water systems in its current form. It is designed to
be customized by state drinking water programs and other primacy agencies prior to distribution. This will ensure that
any primacy agency-specific regulations, resources or materials are reflected in the document.
You should review the document for the fillable areas and replace them with information specific to your state. There
are also notes throughout the guide that provide additional direction and items for state personnel to consider when
customizing the guide. After customization is complete, the document will be ready to distribute to the public water
systems in your state. The document can be posted to a website, printed and/or distributed. A Microsoft Word version
of the Guide is also available.
Use this table to find the placeholders that should be replaced with primacy agency-specific information.
Section
Page Number
Number of
Placeholders
Placeholder
Operator Hiring and
Contracting Guide
Start Interactive
1 (Top of Document)
1
State logo
1 (What is a
licensed/certified
operator?)
2
Name of state drinking water agency and state
name
2 (How can a
licensed/certified
operator help?)
1
Name of state drinking water agency
2 (How do 1 get started?)
2
Name of state drinking water agency
2 (Name of State
Drinking Water Agency)
5
Contact information for state drinking water
program staff (name of state drinking water
agency, phone number(s), email address,
mailing address, and website)
Water System Decision-
Maker and Water
System Operator
Responsibilities
6(Footnote)
2
Name of state drinking water agency
Operator Interview Tool
11 (Question 2)
4
Web link to system classification information,
contact information for state drinking water
program staff, and weblinkto database of
current operators
18 (Question 18)
1
State regulations or recommendations for
emergency response time
Topics for the Written
25 (Top of the Page)
1
Name of state drinking water agency
Agreement with the



Operator-Developing



Terms of Employment



or a Contract




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Section
Page Number
Number of
Placeholders
Placeholder
Potential Operator
32 (Water System
2
State requirement of free chlorine/total
Duties
Operations and Water
Quality Assurance)

chlorine residual and state requirement for the
fluoride level

35 (Emergency/Security)
1
Required timeframe to respond to emergencies
Additional State
36 (Need help finding
7
Web link to the state website or contact
Contacts and Resources
information on water
system issues?)

information to access more information

36 (Need help finding
1
Documents that may be useful for small

information on water

systems (e.g., forms used to update

system issues?)

information on the operator in responsible
charge)
In the section "Water System Decision-Maker and Water System Operator Responsibilities," quick navigation buttons are
located above the table that can be used to quickly access the sections of the multi-page table by clicking on a button.

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WATER
OPERATOR
HIRING AND
CONTRACTING
GUIDE
Add state logo
Purpose of this Document
Communities depend on drinking water and
wastewater operators every day for safe water. This
document is a resource that can help public water
system decision-makers hire or contract with a
licensed/certified water operator. Understanding how
to select an operator (either a permanent employee
or a contractor) and what to expect from that
operator can help you ensure that your public water
system complies with all state and federal regulations
and delivers safe drinking water to your customers.
This document offers suggestions on how to find the
right operator for your system, helps you to
communicate with your operator about water system
responsibilities and assists with your documentation
of expectations for operating the water system.
Examples of public water systems that may find this
resource useful include:
Small towns
Rural water districts
Manufactured home communities
Homeowners' associations
Small, privately-owned water systems
This document includes the following information:
1.	How a licensed/certified operator can help ensure the provision of safe drinking water
2.	A table of roles and responsibilities of decision-makers and operators that can help you understand what to
expect of your operator
3.	An interview tool to help you ask the right questions when interviewing potential operators
4.	A list of possible topics to include in a written agreement with your operator
5.	A list of suggested operator duties that can be included in a written agreement with your operator
What is a public water system?
A public water system provides water for drinking or other
purposes (e.g., washing hands, bathing, cooking) to 25 or more
persons daily at least 60 days out of the year, or has 15 or
more service connections. A public water system can be
publicly owned by municipalities, towns or counties or
privately owned, such as by homeowners' associations or
manufactured home communities.
Am I a decision-maker?
You are a public water system decision-maker if you make
financial or management-related decisions for a public water
system. These decision-makers can include water system board
members, water system owners, water system managers,
elected officials, or other municipal officials. Other examples
may include homeowners' associations board members and
those who own or operate manufactured home communities.
What is a licensed/certified operator?
A licensed/certified operator is an individual who is licensed or
certified by	to
operate and maintain a public water system in I	I.
A licensed/certified operator can help you operate your water
system and maintain compliance with drinking water
regulations.

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How can a licensed/certified operator help?
Public water system decision-makers are responsible for ensuring that their customers
receive safe drinking water that complies with state and federal regulations. These
regulations include those that pertain to:
1.	Water quality sampling
2.	Reporting and recordkeeping
3.	Employing properly licensed/certified operators
4.	Design, construction and operation of water systems
5.	Emergency situations
While hiring a licensed/certified operator will not eliminate a public water system
decision-maker's legal responsibilities, a licensed/certified operator can help decision-
makers meet legal requirements and ensure that the public water system delivers safe
drinking water.
Most public water systems are legally required to have a licensed/certified operator to
operate the system. You may also be required to submit paperwork designating an
operator in direct responsible charge of your water
system. Contact
to learn what level of licensure or certification is
required for an operator working at your public water
system and ask how to designate an operator in
direct responsible charge of your system.
What is an operator in direct responsible charge?
An operator in direct responsible charge is the licensed/
certified operator at a public water system that has the
authority to make operational decisions that affect water
quality or quantity.
How do I get started?
The first stop for information is the
State drinking water agency
The state agency can provide advice specific to
your public water system, including requirements
regarding licensed/certified operators. Please note
there may be multiple agencies or departments that
your public water system will need to interact with,
but your first stop should be
State drinking water agency
Name of State Drinking
Water Agency
Phone:
(555) 555-5555 - Normal Business Hours

(555) 555-5555 - After Hours Emergencies
Email:
name@emailaddress.com
Mail:
Street Name

City, State, Zip Code
Website:
www.site.com
Table of Contents
Water System Decision-Maker and Water System Operator Responsibilities 	3
Operator Interview Tool 	11
List of Topics for the Written Agreement with the Operator 	25
List of Potential Operator Duties 	29
Additional State Contacts and Resources 	36
Job Listing Form 	37

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Water System Decision-Maker and Water System
Operator Responsibilities
Delivering safe drinking water to customers is a team effort between the licensed/certified operator and the decision-
maker. Clear communication about each person's responsibilities can help ensure this is achieved. The table below
outlines typical responsibilities and best practices of the water system decision-maker and the water system operator.
You can use this table to facilitate a conversation between you and your operator to ensure that all aspects of managing
and operating your public water system are addressed. You should document the decisions that you make regarding
responsibilities and revisit them from time to time to make adjustments or improvements. Note that while some tasks
may be interchangeable or shared, others will usually be performed by one person or the other. It should also be noted
that delegating specific tasks does not relieve the operator of operational responsibilities, nor does it relieve the
decision-maker of legal responsibilities.
If you are using this document in an electronic format, the buttons below can be used to navigate to a specific section.
Personnel
Education
Regulation
Maintenance
Reports and
Records
Planning
Operations
Other
Emergency
Water System Decision-Maker Responsibil ities and Water System
Operator Responsibilities
Water System
Decision-Maker
Responsibilities
Water System
Operator
Responsibilities
PERSONNEL
Summary: Decision-makers should ensure that there
are enough qualified staff for proper operation of the
public water system.
Summary: Water system operators should communicate with
the decision-maker about staff needed to complete particular
tasks.
Employ appropriate/qualified staff (e.g., a
licensed/certified operator):
	Understand licensing/certification requirements.
	Ensure the operator has appropriate experience and
licensing/certification credentials for the type of
public water system.
Recommend appropriate staffing levels to decision-maker.

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Water System
Decision-Maker
Responsibilities
Water System
Operator
Responsibilities
Ensure appropriate staffing levels and appropriate
onsite presence and/or offsite availability.

Conduct performance evaluations and an exit interview
with the operator. Develop procedures for handling
terminated employees.
Maintain centrally-located and easily-accessible system
information in order to
	Increase organization and coordination among operators;
	Assist in personnel transition; and
	Ensure the decision-maker has access to current information.
For more information visit EPA's Small Public Water Svstem
Knowledge Retention Tool.
Ensure staff training needs are met and provide
opportunities for operators and others to attend
training.
Train and supervise other water system support staff in the
performance of daily activities, if applicable.
CONTINUING EDUCATION/PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Summary: Decision-makers should stay informed
about best management practices and regulatory
information in order to effectively manage their public
water systems. This can occur through regular
communication with state and local officials.
Summary: Water system operators should stay informed about
the latest operational and regulatory information in order to
maintain their licenses/certifications, operate the public water
system more effectively and ensure water system compliance.
This can occur through regular communication with state and
local officials.
Stay updated about changes in drinking water
regulations and safety regulations.
Maintain required professional license/certification (ensure
continuing education units [CEUs] are met).
Increase knowledge about the best practices for
managing a public water system.
Stay updated about changes in drinking water treatment
processes, public water system best practices, drinking water
regulations and safety regulations.
WRITTEN PLANS, REPORTS AND RECORDKEEPING
Summary: Decision-makers oversee the development,
maintenance and submission of required reports and
plans to the regulatory agency. They also ensure copies
of sampling results, inspections and any public
notifications for the public water system are kept for
the appropriate timeframes.
Summary: Water system operators develop, update and keep
plans and reports of public water system activities. They also
assist in other administrative recordkeeping.

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Water System
Decision-Maker
Responsibilities
Water System
Operator
Responsibilities
Submit any required forms to the regulating agency
designating a licensed/certified operator as the operator
in responsible charge for the public water system.
Provide information to develop forms designating a
licensed/certified operator in responsible charge.
Verify submission of monthly operational reports which
capture a variety of information to highlight overall
production, water quality (turbidity, pH), chemical
usage, operators involved, etc.
Develop and submit monthly operational reports for operational
process integrity, as applicable.
Work with the operator to develop Consumer
Confidence Report (CCR) and other public notifications.
Ensure delivery of the CCR and public notifications.
Compile data and help to prepare information for CCRs and
public notifications.
Ensure the development and maintenance of a
customer complaint log and responses to customer
complaints.
Develop and maintain a customer complaint log and be
responsive/identify when/how complaints were addressed.
Ensure the development of monitoring plans and that
they are approved by the regulatory agency. Verify
monitoring plans are updated appropriately.
Develop and maintain monitoring plans.
Ensure the development of water system schematics
and verify the schematics are updated appropriately.
Develop water system schematics.
Ensure copies of sanitary survey/inspections are kept.
Oversee the documentation of any follow-up that was
required from inspections and document the time
period it took to address and complete the required
follow-up to sanitary surveys/inspections.

Maintain and update public water system profile
information and keep the regulatory agency informed
and updated about items such as:
	Population served.
	Service connections.
	Water sources.
	Treatment processes.
	Legal contacts.
	Mailing and physical addresses.
	History of operators in direct responsible charge.
Provide information to the decision-maker in order for him/her
to maintain updated public water system profile information
(e.g., new service connections, sources, treatment operations,
etc.).
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Water System
Decision-Maker
Responsibilities
Water System
Operator
Responsibilities
WATER SYSTEM PLANNING
Summary: Decision-makers address planning needs
related to capital improvements, future maintenance,
asset management and contingency plans.
Summary: Water system operators provide input to the
decision-maker to address planning needs related to capital
improvements, future maintenance, asset management and
contingency plans.
Develop a budget and provide adequate funding to
properly construct, operate and maintain the public
water system and to maintain the delivery of a safe
supply of water using information provided by the
operator. Review annually.
Provide input and data to the decision-maker to develop a
budget for the public water system. Collect and provide
information necessary for budget development to ensure the
delivery of a safe and adequate supply of drinking water.
Develop and maintain an Asset Management Plan1 using
information provided by the operator. For more
information visit EPA's Asset Management Resources
for State and Small Drinking Water Systems.
Collect and provide information necessary for the decision-
maker to develop and maintain an Asset Management Plan.1
Ensure the operator develops and maintains an
Operations and Maintenance Plan/Manual.2
Develop, update and implement the Operations and
Maintenance Plan/Manual.2
Ensure the operator develops and maintains a schedule
of required sampling and a regulatory agency sanitary
survey/inspection schedule.
Develop and maintain a schedule of required sampling and a
regulatory agency sanitary survey/inspection schedule.
Obtain any necessary operation and construction
approvals and permits and provide copies to the
operator.
Confirm that any necessary operation and construction
approvals and permits have been obtained prior to the start of
construction/operation and prior to making any changes in
operations. Collect and provide information necessary for
permits.
1	Asset management is the practice of managing infrastructure capital assets (e.g., pumps, other equipment and buildings) to
minimize the total cost of owning and operating them, while delivering the service level customers desire. An asset management
plan serves as a tool to record all of a system's asset management practices and strategies. Contact State drinking water agency
for more information on asset management.
2	An Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Manual contains a discussion of a public water system's components and other information
explaining how a public water system is to be operated and maintained on a daily basis to ensure the provision of safe drinking
water and compliance with regulations. Contact State drinking water agency	for more information on O&M manuals.
	 6 

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Water System
Decision-Maker
Responsibilities
Water System
Operator
Responsibilities
Request regular reports on subjects such as
modifications, repairs and maintenance that have been
conducted and/or about the short-, mid- and long-term
schedule for these activities, and appropriately
communicate the status of these activities with
operator.
Ensure decision-maker is fully informed about modifications,
repairs and maintenance.
Obtain additional supply of water or implement drought
contingency plans when there is a shortage, emergency,
and/or issue with source water quality.
Provide options to decision-maker about alternative sources of
water to assist the decision-maker in obtaining additional supply
of water when there is a shortage and/or issue with source
water quality. (This can include providing options to drill a new
well, purchasing water from another public water system,
proposing water conservation strategies, etc.).

Carry out duties to bring new water source online, if necessary.
WATER SYSTEM OPERATIONS AND WATER QUALITY ASSURANCE
Summary: Decision-makers should be knowledgeable
about the fundamental aspects of water system
operations and what is needed to maintain day-to-day
operational and process integrity of the public water
system to deliver a safe and adequate supply of water.
They should also be aware of all sample results and
take appropriate follow-up actions, as necessary.
Summary: Water system operators should be knowledgeable
about all operational aspects of the water system and maintain
day-to-day operational and process integrity of the public
water system to deliver a safe and adequate supply of water.
Operators should implement practices to ensure water quality,
including using a certified laboratory to analyze samples and
taking appropriate actions in response to sample results, as
necessary.
Verify that the operator has performed operational
monitoring requirements.
Analyze operational data to determine changes and
improvements for more efficient operation.
Ensure that appropriate testing equipment and
materials are available to maintain operational and
process integrity of the public water system.
Conduct sampling:
	Conduct operational and process integrity sampling.
	Conduct compliance sampling at approved locations and
frequencies. Be responsible for the setting, measurement and
recording of all chemical additions:
-	Creating and mixing chemical solutions.
-	Adding chemicals as necessary.
-	Ordering chemicals.
-	Calculating disinfection and disinfectant levels.
-	Maintaining and calibrating testing equipment and other
water treatment instruments.
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Water System
Decision-Maker
Responsibilities
Water System
Operator
Responsibilities
Ensure the use of a certified laboratory. Verify collection
and reporting of sample results to state agency.
Collect samples and ensure that all samples are analyzed by a
certified laboratory for the appropriate contaminant(s) and
delivered to the laboratory to allow sufficient time for testing.
Report or verify reporting to state agency.
Verify that water quality/quantity problems are
investigated and corrective measures are taken, as
needed.
Investigate water quality/quantity problems and take corrective
measures, as needed.
REGULATORY RESPONSIBILITIES
Summary: Decision-makers should ensure that the
water system is in compliance with all federal and
state requirements. They should regularly
communicate with the operator to ensure compliance
with public water system requirements.
Summary: Water system operators should maintain
communication with the decision-maker and regulatory agency
to ensure compliance with all public water system
requirements.
Ensure that the regulatory agency is notified within
regulatory specified timeframes (e.g., boil order issued,
maximum contaminant level [MCL] exceeded,
emergency).
Notify the regulatory agency within regulatory specified
timeframes (e.g., boil order issued, MCL exceeded, emergency).
Ensure sampling and follow-up are conducted when
necessary (e.g., public notification, emergency
disinfection).
Conduct additional sampling and follow-up when necessary (e.g.,
public notification, emergency disinfection).
Attend all inspections/sanitary surveys conducted by the
regulatory agency.
Attend all inspections/sanitary surveys conducted by the
regulatory agency. Provide any existing information that will
enable the regulatory agency to conduct a sanitary survey.
Promptly report deficiencies to the decision-maker.
Ensure that any required follow-up is conducted by the
operator after the regulatory agency performs a sanitary
survey/inspection.
Correct deficiencies and address areas of concern within
regulatory timeframes after the regulatory agency performs a
sanitary survey/inspection.
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Water System
Decision-Maker
Responsibilities
Water System
Operator
Responsibilities
WATER SYSTEM MAINTENANCE
Summary: Decision-makers should ensure that repairs
and improvements are performed properly and in a
timely manner. This includes communicating with the
operator or maintenance workers to schedule regular
maintenance of the system.
Summary: Water system operators oversee operation and
maintenance to maintain the safety and reliability of water
service by ensuring that repairs and improvements are
performed properly and in a timely manner. They also notify
the decision-maker or responsible person about any repair and
improvement needs and inform the decision-maker about the
timeline for repairs and improvements.
Ensure the public water system's infrastructure is in
good working order.
Perform or direct preventative routine maintenance including,
but not limited to, treatment facilities, distribution systems,
storage tanks, booster stations, pumps and pump stations.
	Conduct routine inspections, correct deficiencies and address
areas of concern for the public water system.
	Conduct routine visual inspections and follow-up of the
system's source(s), source water protection area, storage
tanks and chemical feed systems.
	Ensure the accuracy of water meters and other flow
measuring devices, including maintaining and testing
customer meters on a regular basis.
	Exercise all hydrants and valves on a regular basis.
	Clean, flush, disinfect and test the distribution system and
storage tanks, as needed.
	Disinfect ground water wells, as needed.
For more information visit EPA's Preventative Maintenance
Tasks.
Ensure that appropriate equipment and materials are Oversee and monitor all repairs performed on the public water
available for routine maintenance of the public water system:
system.	 Maintain spare parts inventories.
	Secure labor and ordering materials for correcting any
maintenance or operational problems.
	Repair broken mains or equipment quickly and efficiently to
restore the normal level of service.
	Replace mains or equipment involved with treatment or
distribution, as needed.
	Ensure storage tanks, well pumps and well pads are in good
working order.
Oversee wellhead protection, watershed protection and other
activities associated with chemical monitoring waivers, as
applicable.
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Water System
Decision-Maker
Responsibilities
Water System
Operator
Responsibilities
Ensure the development and implementation of a cross-
connection control program.
Be responsible for protecting the distribution system against
cross-connection contamination.
EMERGENCY/SECURITY
Summary: Decision-makers should work closely with
the operator to prepare for and respond to
emergencies in the short-term and support returning
the system to normal operating status. They should
also ensure that the facility is secure from vandalism.
Summary: Operators should work closely with the decision-
maker to prepare for and respond to emergencies in the short-
term and support returning the system to normal operating
status. They should also conduct activities to help ensure that
the facility is secure from vandalism.
Be fully informed about any emergencies.
Ensure decision-maker and regulatory agency are fully informed
about any emergencies.
Ensure emergency maintenance is conducted and, if
necessary, implement the Emergency Response Plan.
Conduct emergency maintenance and implement the Emergency
Response Plan.
After an emergency event, support short-, mid- and long-term strategies to return the public water system to normal
operating status. Work with federal, state or local agencies until the problem is resolved and normal operation resumes.
Work with operator to create and update the
Emergency Plan and Emergency Communications Plan,
including a list of emergency contacts.
Work with decision-maker to create and update Emergency Plan
and Emergency Communications Plan, including a list of
emergency contacts.
Practice implementing the Emergency Plan.
Ensure facility is secure and invest in any necessary
upgrades (e.g., fences around system facilities, closed-
circuit television). Ensure that proper security practices
are followed.
Practice proper security procedures, such as storing chemicals in
locked areas and using proper safety equipment.
ADMINISTRATIVE/OTHER
Summary: Decision-makers should perform other
duties to keep relevant stakeholders informed about
the public water system and provide a safe working
environment for the operator and other staff.
Summary: Operators should support decision-makers in
keeping relevant stakeholders informed about the public water
system and providing a safe working environment.
Regularly attend scheduled Water Board meetings.
Regularly attend scheduled Water Board meetings.
Provide a safe working environment.
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Operator interview Tool
It is important to make sure that the operator you hire is a good match for your public water system, and that he/she
has the knowledge and ability to ensure that safe drinking water is provided to your customers. The Operator Interview
Tool can help you as you interview and select an operator for your public water system. It can be used when you are
interested in hiring an operator as a permanent employee or on a contract basis. It includes a list of recommended
interview questions, as well as Yes/No checkboxes and spaces to write answers during the interview. You should review
the Tool prior to performing the interview to ensure that you have a complete understanding of the questions. Beneath
some questions is information that explains the intent of the question and can help guide your interview. Additionally,
questions specific to operators hired on a permanent basis are denoted by "This question applies to permanent
operators only," and questions specific to operators hired on a contractual basis are denoted by "This question applies
to contract operators only."
Part I - Operator License/Certification
1. Does the candidate possess the required level of licensure/certification for your system? For which
class arid subclass is the candidate licensed/certified? When does the license/certification expire?
~ Yes	* The potential operator must possess the required level of licensure/certification for your particular water system
I-	class and should have experience operating similar types of treatment processes and distribution systems.
Class and subclass of license/certification:
Expiration date of license/certification:
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
2. Did the candidate provide you with a photocopy of his/her current license/certification?
~ Yes	" The candidate should provide you with a photocopy of his/her current license/certification. If you have questions
II	regarding the level or type (treatment, distribution or both) of license/certification required for your particular
system, go to the Insert state website with system classification information	to view the current system
classifications, or contact your drinking water program staff at Insert state contact information
 If you are unsure whether an operator's license/certification is current, go to
Insert state website with database of operators	for a list of current licenses/certifications,
or contact your drinking water program staff at Insert state contact information
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
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3. Does the candidate intend to obtain a higher level of licensure/certification?
~ Yes	" These questions apply to permanent operators only. The public water system would be concerned with the long-
~	term goals of a permanent operator, but likely not the long-terms goals of a contract operator.
No
	This could be useful information if you are planning to expand your system or add new treatment processes that
could potentially require a higher level of licensure/certification. Discuss with the operator whether you plan to
defray the cost of any education and/or exams needed to achieve a higher level of licensure/certification.
	You should also discuss with the candidate whether you plan to defray the cost of continuing education units
needed to renew the operator's current license/certification.
Does the candidate meet any of the qualifications for a higher license/certification?
~ Yes ~ No
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
Part II - Operator Experience
4. Does the candidate have experience operating your type and size of system (treatment
components)?
~ Yes	" An operator may possess the correct level of licensure/certification, but not possess experience compatible with
	.	your particular type of system. For instance, the operator may be experienced with ground water systems but not
|	| No	surface water systems, or vice versa.
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
12

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5. Has the candidate received the required safety and security training?
~ Yes ~ No
Will the candidate ensure that safety and security are priorities? How?
~ Yes ~ No
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
6. How many years of operating experience does the candidate possess?
Number of years:
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
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7. What systems has the candidate worked for previously? Does the candidate have references?
 Ask for references, including contact information. Verify all references.
Systems Previously Worked For
Contact Information
Reference?
a.
a.
Q^Yes No
b.
b.
I^Yes No
c.
c.
Q^Yes No
d.
d.
|^Yes No
Previous work restrictions:
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
8. Has the candidate ever:
a.	Installed a meter?	~ Yes	~ No
b.	Disconnected a delinquent customer?	~ Yes	~ No
c.	Installed a chlorinator?	~ Yes	~ No
d.	Prepared a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR)?	~ Yes	~ No
e.	Been in attendance for a sanitary survey?	~ Yes	~ No
f.	Developed an Emergency Response Plan?	~ Yes	~ No
g.	Developed a preventive maintenance plan?	~ Yes	~ No
h.	Provided public notification?	~ Yes	~ No
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
14

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9. Does the candidate know how to locate a suspected leak?
~ Yes ~ No
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
10. Does the candidate know how to locate an illegal connection?
~ Yes ~ No
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
11. Ask the candidate to describe the requirements of the Revised Total Coliform Rule.
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No

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12. Ask the candidate to describe the requirements of the Surface Water Treatment Rules and/or
Ground Water Rule, as applicable based on the public water system's source water type(s).
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
13. Ask the candidate to describe the process for putting a main back into service after a loss of
pressure.
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
14. Ask the candidate to explain when there is a need to chlorinate and the process and equipment
used, if applicable based on whether the public water system uses disinfection.
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
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15. Ask the candidate what type of reporting he/she believes is required for this system.
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
Part III - Availability
16. Which other system(s) does the candidate currently work for and are there any work restrictions?
 Ask for the names, locations and compliance status of all systems currently employing the candidate.
System Name
Location
Compliance Status






Work restrictions:
How much time does the candidate spend at the other water systems per week?
Hours per week:
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
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17. How often will the operator visit the water system?
Number of hours per visit:
 These questions apply to contract operators only. Permanent operators
would be at the water system as the decision-maker dictates.
Number of visits per week:

Will the visits be the same day each week or on random days?
~ Same day each week ~ Random days
Is there a backup operator that can manage the system in his/her absence?
~ Yes ~ No
How does the candidate address weekends, holidays, vacations and illnesses?
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
18. How quickly will the candidate be able to respond to an emergency?
Estimated response time to be physically
present in an emergency:
	This question applies to contract operators only. Permanent operators
would be at the water system as the decision-maker dictates.
	Insert state regulations or recommendations for how quickly a contract
operator must respond to an emergency.
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
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Part IV - Tasks Performed
19. What specifically will be checked and recorded during each visit?
	This question applies to contract operators only. Permanent operators would be at the water system as the public water system
dictates.
	See the list of "Potential Operator Duties" which identifies possible duties to discuss with the candidate.
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
20. Is the candidate familiar with the particular water system's design and operations and maintenance
(O&M) requirements?
~ Yes ~ No
Can the candidate conduct repairs and routine maintenance as needed (including equipment
calibration)?
~ Yes ~ No
Will the candidate provide the necessary testing equipment and reagents, or must the water system
provide the equipment?
~	Candidate
~	Water system
This question applies to contract operators only. The water system will provide all necessary
equipment for use by permanent operators.
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
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21. Does the candidate have a standard O&M strategy for each system he/she operates?
~ Yes ~ No
Can the candidate provide an example of an operational log sheet that he/she has completed for a
similar system?
~	Yes
~	No
This question applies to contract operators only. A public water system will likely have a form or log the
permanent operator would use. Contract operators may be asked to develop one for the water system.
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
22. Provide the candidate with a copy of the water system permit. Is he/she familiar with the state
permit conditions and regulatory requirements for this system type and size?
~ Yes ~ No
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
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23. Can the candidate perform minor repairs, required operational testing and basic system
troubleshooting?
~	Yes
~	No
 It is desirable for the operator to be capable of performing operational
testing and routine mechanical and electrical maintenance. This may
provide cost savings versus hiring additional commercial services for
testing and maintenance. However, commercial services and/or
consulting engineering services may be required for maintenance that
is more complex or for operating problems.
Is the candidate willing to perform this
work as part of the written agreement?
~	Yes
~	No
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
24. Discuss the minimum duties (both required and expected duties) to be completed by the candidate.
	A list of the duties which, at a minimum, must be completed and the frequency each duty must be performed should be included in
the written agreement.
	See the list of "Potential Operator Duties" which identifies possible duties to discuss with the candidate.
	Duties that are not required, but may be needed or expected to be done to carry out required duties, are typically system-specific and
could include weed and trash removal to maintain access to a well house, storage tank or surface water system intake; vector control
in a well house or electrical room to prevent destruction of electrical wiring; or insulating pressure tanks.
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
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Part V - Other Qualifications and Information
25. Does the candidate carry adequate liability insurance?
~	Yes
~	No
	These questions apply to contract operators only.
	This helps protect the owner from potential lawsuits in case the
contractor or a contractor's employee is injured.
	The owner may want to ask the contract operator to have the
insurance company name the utility as an additional insured party.
Does the insurance cover personal injury and claims for bodily injury, death or personal property
damage that may arise from the operation of the system?
~ Yes ~ No
If yes, how much coverage and with which insurance company?
Coverage Amount:
Insurance Company Name:
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
26. Does the candidate have a tax identification number?
~	Yes
~	No
 This question applies to contract operators only.
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
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27. Does the candidate have a valid driver's license?
~ Yes ~ No
Does the candidate have a license appropriate to the vehicle that they will use for the job?
~ Yes ~ No
Are there any license restrictions?
~ Yes ~ No
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
28. What is the candidate's fee and what does it include?
Fee:
Activities
included:
 These questions apply to contract operators only.
Is time charged for travel or only for time spent on site?
~ Time for travel and on site ~ Time on site
Is there an additional charge for after-hours or emergency visits?
~ Yes ~ No
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
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29. Is the candidate part of a group (company), or is he/she an independent operator?
| | Group (company):
I | Independent
 This question applies to contract operators only.
Notes:
Does he/she meet qualifications? ~ Yes ~ No
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Topics for the Written Agreement with the Operator -
Developing Terms of Employment or a Contract
It is important for decision-makers to clearly document the expectations of the operator in the form of a written
agreement, such as a contract or terms of employment. This applies to both permanent employees and contract
operators. This helps ensure that all legal responsibilities are met and reduces the possibility for miscommunication
about water system responsibilities. Using the information in this section along with the list of "Potential Operator
Duties" can help you develop a written agreement with an operator.
The written agreement should place the operator in direct responsible charge of all matters pertaining to the water
system and should cover more than routine sampling. (An operator in direct responsible charge is the licensed/certified
operator at the public water system who has the authority to make operational decisions that affect water quality or
quantity. This can be a permanent employee or a contract operator. Contact	State drinking water agency
to learn how to designate an operator in responsible charge for your system.) The operator in direct responsible charge
does not necessarily have to perform every day-to-day operating task, and he/she can have other people work under
his/her supervision. However, please note that while some tasks can be delegated, the responsibility that comes with
being the operator in direct responsible charge cannot be delegated. You should also note that designating an operator
in direct responsible charge of your system does not transfer any of your legal responsibilities as a decision-maker for
the public water system.
Once you have made the decision to hire or contract with an operator, you may want to consider including the following
topics in a written agreement. Note that some topics may not be applicable to your situation. Some topics are applicable
only to operators hired on a permanent basis and are denoted by [Permanent Operator]. Some topics are applicable only
to operators hired on a contractual basis and are denoted by [Contract Operator],
Topics for Written Agreement with the Operator
PARTIES INVOLVED
Name and address of operator.
Licenses/certifications held by operator.
Public water system name and address.
DESCRIPTION OF THE WATER SYSTEM
A brief description of the public water system. Indicate the number of service connections, the type of treatment present,
information about the water source, etc.
PURPOSE OF THE WRITTEN AGREEMENT/CONTRACT
This is the reason why the written agreement/contract is needed. The purpose statement can include goals, such as
delivering safe drinking water to customers, protecting public health and complying with state and federal requirements.
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Topics for Written Agreement with the Operator
Scope of work for the written agreement/contract.
CONTRACT DURATION
[Contract Operator] The effective starting date and the effective termination date of the contract.
[Contract Operator] Provisions to renew the contract.
[Contract Operator] This contract should have an agreement of termination (by either party) by advanced, written notice of
a specified number of days. It should also outline some conditions for termination, such as falsification of records by the
operator or enforcement action by the licensing/certification agency.
COMPENSATION
Compensation covers how much the operator will be paid for his/her services.
[Contract Operator] This may include a detailed fee structure for the contract. Depending on how the contract is structured,
be aware that there may be additional fees for certain situations, such as emergency call services.
[Permanent Operator] This may include a salary and terms of employment for the operator. Depending on how the
agreement is structured, the operator may be entitled to overtime pay or other compensation.
[Contract Operator] Specify a payment method. Consider things such as who will make the payments and whether or not
the contractor will submit monthly invoices.
Compensation can also cover health benefits, worker's compensation and disability benefits, leave benefits (e.g., vacation,
medical, holiday, personal leave and paid paternity or maternity leave) and other benefits offered by the public water
system under the terms of the agreement.
OPERATOR TIME
[Contract Operator] The owner/decision-maker and operator should jointly designate the number of routine visits and the
minimum number of hours spent per day, per week or per month at the public water system.
[Permanent Operator] The agreement should explain expectations for the operator's work hours, such as the minimum
number of hours spent per day, per week or per month at the public water system.
[Contract Operator] The owner/decision-maker and operator should also jointly determine the maximum acceptable
response time when responding to an emergency or to troubleshoot operational problems. The acceptable response time
may vary depending on the treatment components and distribution system of the particular water system, remoteness of
system and the nature and severity of the problem. [Note that your state agency may have regulatory requirements
pertaining to emergency response time and operator availability.]
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Topics for Written Agreement with the Operator
OPERATOR DUTIES
Duties and the frequency that each duty is to be performed by the operator.
Information included in the list of "Potential Operator Duties" can help you develop this section of the written agreement.
[Contract Operator] The owner/decision-maker and operator should jointly designate the extent to which the operator will
provide the necessary testing, maintenance equipment, treatment supplies, and reagents.
OPERATOR RESPONSIBILITIES
As the designated operator in responsible charge, the operator is responsible for maintaining a valid license/certification
that is equal to or greater than the classification of the public water system being served.
The written agreement should include a statement such as: "[Name] will be in direct responsible charge of all operations
and maintenance of the public water system."
The operator should take continuing education training courses on topics relevant to the facility (e.g., based on distribution
or treatment characteristics).
The operator should annually provide a photocopy of his/her renewed operator's license/certification to the
owner/decision-maker of the public water system.
[Contract Operator] The operator should also send a copy upon renewal of the contract.
[Contract Operator] The operator is also responsible for providing a licensed/certified substitute operator during those
times when the system is in operation and he/she is not available or is inaccessible. The substitute operator should also
provide the owner/decision-maker with a current photocopy of his/her license/certification.
The operator is responsible for maintaining adequate records to document that all agreement provisions are being met and
to assure that the agreed upon duties are performed. This can include a log that will document tasks accomplished. These
records will be kept at the system and available to the owner/decision-maker at all times.
The operator is responsible for having telephone numbers, email addresses or other relevant means of communication on
behalf of the owner/decision-maker.
The operator is responsible for informing the owner/decision-maker of any duties performed by a subcontractor at the site.
They should be given prior approval by the owner/decision-maker.
The operator is responsible for providing a safe working environment.
OWNER/DECISION-MAKER RESPONSIBILITIES
The responsibility that will be retained by the owner/decision-maker must be clearly documented.
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Topics for Written Agreement with the Operator
[Permanent Operator] Whether the owner/decision-maker will cover the cost of continuing education units to renew the
operator's license/certification.
The owner/decision-maker should also retain copies of the agreement and routinely review operations to assure the
operator is performing all of the required duties.
The owner/decision-maker will provide a list of routine operational checks to be made by the operator. The
owner/decision-maker will notify the operator of any unplanned operational problems, repairs or modifications that arise in
the operator's absence.
[Contract Operator] The owner/decision-maker and contract operator shall jointly determine a maximum response time
within which the owner/decision-maker will notify the contract operator after the owner/decision-maker or a water system
user experiences or recognizes an operational problem or emergency.
[Permanent Operator] The owner/decision-maker is responsible for providing the resources required for routine operation
and maintenance, repairs, and necessary capital improvements.
[Contract Operator] The owner/decision-maker and contract operator shall jointly determine the extent to which the
operator will provide the resources required for routine operation and maintenance, repairs, and necessary capital
improvements and the extent to which the owner/decision-maker will provide such resources.
The owner/decision-maker is responsible for having telephone numbers, email addresses or other relevant means of
communication on behalf of both the designated operator in responsible charge and any substitute operators.
The owner/decision-maker is responsible for providing a safe working environment.
INSURANCE
[Contract Operator] Specify whether the contract operator will provide comprehensive general liability insurance to cover
bodily injury and property damage resulting from negligent performance of the service covered in the contract. The
owner/decision-maker is responsible to provide a safe working environment and should have his/her own insurance.
[Contract Operator] The contract operator should provide a copy of proof of insurance to the owner/decision-maker.
SIGNATURES OF ALL PARTIES INVOLVED
The agreement must be signed by all parties, including the owner/decision-maker and the operator.
[Contract Operator] In cases where the contractor is a firm or company, an official of the firm or company employing the
operator must also sign the agreement.
All participants should retain a copy of the final written agreement signed by all parties.
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Potential Operator Duties
It is important for decision-makers to clearly document an operator's duties in the form of a written agreement, such as
a contract or terms of employment. This applies to both permanent employees and contract operators. Having a written
agreement helps to ensure that ail legal responsibilities are met and reduces the possibility for miscommunication about
water system responsibilities.
The following list of potential operator duties can be used to help you develop a written agreement with an operator.
Not all of the potential duties listed below will apply to your system. You should review and modify this list to ensure
that the operator duties are specific to your system. The list can be used together with the "Topics for the Written
Agreement with the Operator" to help you develop a written agreement.
In order to help you determine which duties apply to your system, some duties are denoted as "applicable to ground
water systems only," "applicable to surface water systems only" or "not applicable to systems that only purchase water
and do not treat water."
Personnel
~	Recommend appropriate staffing levels to the public water system decision-maker, according to the water
system's standard operating procedures (SOPs) as well as observations of system operations and personnel.
~	Train and supervise other public water system personnel in the performance of daily activities, such as:
-	General public water system operations and maintenance (Q&M) procedures
-	Sampling
-	Safety
-	Emergency response
-	Reporting and recordkeeping
Continuing Education/Professional Development
~	Maintain all valid operator licensure/certification while the agreement is in effect (treatment, distribution,
wastewater, safety, etc.).
~	Attend training programs/continuing education programs needed for licensure/certification renewal.
~	Oversee licensure/certification and training status for public water system staff and other contract operations
staff under direct supervision.
~	Stay abreast of changes to EPA or state drinking water regulations and guidance/best practices.
~	Hold and attend regular safety meetings for field and office staff, where appropriate. Ensure staff are properly
licensed/certified for the public water system's safety procedures (CPR, competent person, confined space entry,
lock-out/tag-out, etc.).
~	Obtain any other necessary training/education as a result of (for example):
-	Equipment upgrades at the public water system
-	Changes in treatment processes at the public water system [riot applicable to systems that only purchase
water and do not treat water]
-	New regulations (e.g., related to drinking water or safety)
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Written Plans, Reports and Recordkeeping
~	Prepare and submit monthly operational reports and records for operational process integrity.
~	Develop and/or maintain operational, maintenance and administrative records of all public water system
activities according to state requirements, such as:
-	Water quality sampling plans
-	Water quality sampling reports
-	Consumer Confidence Reports (CCRs) and public notifications
-	Backflow prevention device records (location, owner, test results, etc.), if applicable
-	Water use efficiency reports, if applicable
-	Monthly master meter readings of source water quantity [not applicable to systems that only purchase water
and do not treat water] and treated water quantity entering the distribution system
-	A distribution system map
~	Record results of inspections and sanitary surveys, including for example:
-	Completing any required state forms
-	Noting deficiencies/hazards that have the potential to jeopardize the sanitary integrity or reliability of the
public water system
-	Recommending appropriate corrective action
~	Ensure all required state reporting forms and reports are completed properly and submitted in a timely manner.
~	Answer customer complaints on water quality/quantity issues and develop and maintain a complaint log book.
~	Develop or modify water system schematics and as-built drawings, as necessary.
~	Supervise public water system personnel, including:
-	Providing direction for personnel to follow when the operator is not present
-	Reviewing the actions of personnel between scheduled state inspections
-	Approving work orders generated for field operators
~	Maintain system information and records in centrally-located and easily-accessible system/format. For more
information visit EPA's Knowledge Retention Tool.
~	Provide information to the owner/decision-maker in order for him/her to complete forms designating a
licensed/certified operator in responsible charge.
~	Provide information to the decision-maker for him/her to maintain updated public water system profile
information (e.g., new service connections, sources, treatment operations, etc.).
Water System Planning
~	Collect and provide public water system owner/decision-maker with information on developing a budget for the
public water system, for example:
-	Providing an estimate of likely capital expenditures needed during the period of service
-	Collecting field data on the condition and operational status of infrastructure assets
-	Identifying needed asset repair or rehabilitation projects, as well as new capital infrastructure projects,
during the period of service
~	Develop and maintain a schedule of required sampling and a regulatory agency sanitary survey/inspection
schedule.
~	Review the regulatory monitoring/sampling schedule and determine cost of sample collection, sampling station
maintenance/repair and laboratory analysis of water samples.
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~	Develop and maintain public water system plans, such as:
-	A distribution system map (or mapping program) showing pump stations, finished water storage reservoirs,
pressure reducing valves (PRVs), pipe (date installed, diameter and material) locations, valve locations
(especially pressure zone breaks), blow-offs and sampling station locations
-	A cross-connection control program
-	An asset management plan or other infrastructure replacement tracking program
-	An operation and maintenance budget plan
-	An emergency response plan
-	A safety program plan
-	A wellhead protection plan [applicable to ground water systems only]
-	A source water protection program plan [applicable to surface water systems only]
-	Water quality sampling plans
-	SOPs
~	Collect and provide information for necessary permits. Confirm that required approvals and permits have been
obtained, including:
-	Construction permits (prior to the start of construction)
-	Operating permits (prior to start of operation)
~	Manage capital improvement projects, including managing construction contractor work and contract execution.
-	Coordinate prioritization of capital improvement projects with owner/decision-maker
~	Develop and maintain a public water system standard O&M manual with up-to-date state regulations, best
practices/guidelines and other pertinent documents or correspondence.
~	Ensure that the public water system owner/decision-maker is fully informed of modifications and repairs and
maintenance.
~	Identify potential solutions in case of a water shortage, such as:
-	Alternative water sources (e.g., new or standby emergency well) [not applicable to systems that only
purchase water and do not treat water]
-	Purchasing water from other public water system
-	Water restriction and conservation strategies (for both consumers and the public water system)
~	Carry out duties to bring new water sources online [not applicable to systems that only purchase water and do
not treat water]:
-	Including following any state requirements for monitoring of new sources
Water System Operations and Water Quality Assurance
~	Analyze operational data to determine changes and improvements to the public water system for more efficient
operation.
~	Recommend changes to SOPs or treatment [not applicable to systems that only purchase water and do not treat
water] processes.
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~	Perform or oversee routine operational sampling, as well as repeat and confirmation sampling if triggered by
routine sampling results, in accordance with state requirements or guidance, such as analyses for:
-	Total coliform/f. coli
-	Nitrite/nitrate [not applicable to systems that only purchase water and do not treat water]
-	Lead and copper [corrosion control treatment not applicable to systems that only purchase water and do not
treat water]
-	Arsenic [not applicable to systems that only purchase water and do not treat water]
-	Chlorine (if disinfecting, public water system must maintain a free chlorine/total chlorine residual of
insert state requirements	j
-	Fluoride (public water systems must maintain a fluoride level of insert state requirements	)
[not applicable to systems that only purchase water and do not treat water]
-	Turbidity and/or particle count data [applicable to surface water systems only]
-	Alkalinity
-	Hardness
-	Iron and manganese
-	Water treatment plant residuals [not applicable to systems that only purchase water and do not treat water]
~	Maintain a list of process control tests to be performed and prepare a monthly process control operational
report.
~	Monitor water turnover in finished water treatment [not applicable to systems that only purchase water and do
not treat water] and storage tanks.
~	Perform or oversee critical, routine or periodic functions, such as:
-	Ordering and mixing chemicals [not applicable to systems that only purchase water and do not treat water]
-	Calibrating monitoring and pumping equipment
-	Maintaining and calibrating testing water treatment plant equipment and instruments
-	Adjusting chemical dosage [not applicable to systems that only purchase water and do not treat water]
-	Exercise and locate distribution system valves
-	Water main leak detection
-	Calculating disinfection and disinfectant levels
~	Oversee customer connection activities, such as:
-	Performing routine customer meter reading
-	Completing customer shut-offs/turn-ons (e.g., for nonpayment, customer vacancies, new connections)
-	Identifying and addressing illegal connections
-	Water main locate tasks for utility location requests
~	Collect water quality samples in accordance with state requirements or guidance, including:
-	Collection of routine samples per the public water system sampling plan
-	Collection of repeat or confirmation samples if triggered by routine sampling results
~	Confirm that appropriate sample chain of custody procedures are followed.
~	Ensure that samples are analyzed by a state certified laboratory and within required timeframes.
~	Respond to customer water quality and quantity (low water pressure) complaints.
~	Promptly report any deficiencies to the decision-maker and take corrective action, as needed.
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~	Make note of any activities that may impact water quantity or quality of the public water system operation,
such as:
-	Potential sources of contamination (e.g., increased activities or new structures) within a delineated wellhead
[applicable to ground water systems only] or source water protection zone [applicable to surface water
systems only]
-	Low well water yield affecting ground water sources [applicable to ground water systems only] or drought
conditions affecting surface water sources [applicable to surface water systems only]
-	Security breaches of the water system (e.g., intruder alarms triggered at the water treatment plant [not
applicable to systems that only purchase water and do not treat water] or storage tanks)
Regulatory Responsibilities
~	Report to EPA or state as necessary within the required timeframes, such as:
-	When a boil water order is issued
-	When a maximum contaminant level (MCL), maximum residual disinfectant level (MRDL) or lead or copper
action level is exceeded
-	When a treatment technique requirement is not met
-	When an emergency occurs
~	Be present for all EPA and state inspections and sanitary surveys.
-	Provide available information that will enable the regulatory agency to conduct a sanitary survey
~	Carry out follow-up activities to address issues identified within the required timeframe, such as:
-	Conducting additional sampling if triggered by routine sample results
-	Performing public notification
-	Conducting emergency disinfection
-	Correcting identified significant deficiencies or sanitary defects
Water System Maintenance
~	Conduct routine inspections, correct deficiencies and address areas of concern for the public water system.
~	Perform or oversee ongoing and preventative maintenance activities in the distribution system, such as:
-	Repairing or replacing broken/non-functioning hydrants and valves that do not close properly or have broken
stems
-	Maintaining cathodic protection equipment installed for transmission and distribution system pipe
-	Painting and resurfacing interior and exterior of finished water storage facilities
-	Replacing water mains where condition of the main is poor or the diameter of the pipe creates flow
restrictions
-	Protecting the distribution system against cross-connection contamination
-	Ensuring the accuracy of water meters and other flow measuring devices, including maintaining and testing
customer meters on a regular basis
-	Exercising all hydrants and valves on a regular basis
-	Cleaning, flushing, disinfecting and testing the distribution system and storage tanks, as needed
-	Repairing broken mains or equipment quickly and efficiently to restore the normal level of service
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~	Perform or oversee ongoing and preventative maintenance activities related to pumps and pump stations,
such as:
-	Regularly lubricating pumps and motors
-	Observing pump motors routinely to detect unusual noises, vibrations or excessive heat
-	Inspecting, adjusting and cleaning pump seals, packing glands and any mechanical seals when necessary
~	Perform or oversee ongoing and preventative maintenance activities related to treatment facilities [not
applicable to systems that only purchase water and do not treat water], such as:
-	Cleaning and resurfacing filter bays and filter vessels
-	Removing sludge from sedimentation basins
-	Cleaning sediment from clearwells
-	Cleaning chlorine injection points
-	Cleaning and dewatering the backwash retention pond(s) and removing and drying the sludge (water
treatment plant residuals)
-	Disinfect ground water wells [applicable to ground water systems only]
~	Monitor activity within the wellhead protection zone [applicable to ground water systems only] and/or source
water protection zone [applicable to surface water systems only], if applicable.
~	Oversee and monitor repairs performed on the public water system, including:
-	Maintaining an adequate spare parts inventory (pipe, valves, hydrants, pipe restraints, small metering pumps,
water meters, small meter and valve vaults with lids, etc.) and a list of supplier contact information
-	Securing labor and materials for correcting any maintenance or operational problems
-	Ensuring storage tanks and well pumps and pads [applicable to ground water systems only] are in good
working order
~	Confirm that basic site work and housekeeping/maintenance activities are performed, such as:
-	Keeping interior floors free of mud, debris, trash, etc.
-	Maintaining and mowing grass around water system facilities, or securing a third party to perform this
function
-	Properly storing equipment, tools and other materials
~	Conduct periodic on-site inspections according to state requirements, including routine visual inspections and
minor repairs of:
-	Water sources and intakes [applicable to surface water systems only]
-	Well pits and well heads [applicable to ground water systems only]
-	Pumps
-	Finished water storage tanks
-	Chemical feed equipment [not applicable to systems that only purchase water and do not treat water]
Emergency /Security
~	Maintain, update (if necessary) and implement an emergency response plan.
-	Update the list of emergency contacts for the public water system, as necessary
~	Maintaining emergency service contracts for after-hours water main repair, pump repair and finished water
storage cleaning and repair.
~	Be available for participation in table-top testing of the emergency response plan.
~	After an emergency event, support short-, mid- and long-term strategies to return the public water system to
normal operating status.
-	Participate in activation of an incident command center and emergency activation center, as necessary
-	Ensure that the decision-maker and regulatory agency are fully informed about any emergencies
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~	Be available during all operating shifts for emergency situations, including:
-	Responding to actual emergencies within the timeframe required by the state
-	Working with federal, state and/or local agencies until the emergency is resolved and the public water
system returns to normal operation
-	If unable to respond within the required timeframe, providing for an alternate licensed/certified operator to
respond to the actual emergency
~	Ensure the use of proper security procedures, such as:
-	Storing chemicals in locked areas with proper safety equipment [not applicable to systems that only purchase
water and do not treat water]
-	Performing periodic security inspections
-	Ensuring that security equipment (e.g., fences, closed-circuit TV systems, intrusion alarms through
supervisory control and data acquisition [SCADA] systems) is in good working condition
Administrative/Other
~	Maintain a safe working environment.
~	Work in coordination with customer service, engineering, water quality and finance departments of the public
water system.
~	Provide required notices to the owner/decision-maker and state, such as providing notice prior to terminating a
contract.
~	Discuss state correspondence with the decision-maker and maintain a filing system for correspondence.
~	Attend public water system board meetings, if applicable, to report on work completed on the system, as well as
short-term and long-term system needs.
~	Respond to information requests from local officials, such as requests regarding the location of distribution
mains.
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Additional State Contacts and Resources
Need help finding information on water system issues?
Operator Licensing/Certification
Operator Training and Technical Assistance
Drinking Water Division - Regulatory information, water
quality reporting
Capacity Development Program - Asset management,
long-range planning, setting rates, access to
infrastructure funding, water loss, energy efficiency,
water system partnerships
Consumer Confidence Reports (CCRs)
Public Notification
State Revolving Loan Fund - Infrastructure funding
Emergency Response
Insert State Website/Contact Information
Insert State Website/Contact Information
Insert State Website/Contact Information
Insert State Website/Contact Information
Insert State Website/Contact Information
Insert State Website/Contact Information
Insert State Website/Contact Information
Insert State Website/Contact Information
[Note for states: States may add any documents to this section that may be useful for small systems. For example, states
may choose to add forms used to update operator in responsible charge information to this section.]
On the next page is a form to support the development of available job listings. Fill in the necessary information for
posting a job listing to a job board site or any other platform.

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Date of Posting:
Employer:
Job Title:
Job Description:
Salary/Benefits:
Qualifications:
To Apply:
Submit (all that are checked):
~ cover letter ~ resume ~ application form
Submit by:
Submit to:
For Further Information:

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