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Healthy Communities

Drinking Water Operator Certification

Operator Certification 

The Water Operator Certification Program has been in operation, as a mandatory requirement for operators of public water systems, since 1957. Prior to 1957, a voluntary certification program existed. The purpose of certification of water operators is to help ensure that the citizens of Arkansas receive ample supplies of safe, potable water from any public water system. A person desiring to work as a water operator must pass a series of exams, and have a specified amount of experience. The amount of experience and the difficulty of the exams are based on the size of the community being served by the water system, and the type of treatment being provided. These categories are used to reflect the difficulty of operation as well as the potential consequences of improper action on the part of the operator.

A seven person Drinking Water Advisory & Operator Licensing Committee oversees the operation of the program. The committee members are made up of one engineer from the Department of Health, one consulting engineer who designs water system projects, one engineer who is active in teaching at a state university, and four Class A operators. Except for the Department of Health representative, each member serves a single term of seven years. Candidates for the committee are nominated by any of the various industry groups active in drinking water. All candidates are presented to the Board of Health, who determines which candidate is selected. 


Contact Address Phone Fax
Operator Certification

4815 West Markham, Slot 37
Little Rock, AR 72205-3867

501 661-2623  501 661-2032


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Public Health Accrediation Board
Arkansas Department of Health
© 2017 Arkansas Department of Health. All Rights Reserved.
4815 W. Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205-3867