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Water Distribution System Operator Licensing


The Certification and Restoration Program has completed the initial licensing phase for water distribution system operators. Implementation of the new license began back on October 15, 2007, when examination, licensing and renewal requirements for water distribution system operators were established in Rule 62-602. Additionally, the date of May 1, 2011 was identified in Rule 62-699 as the beginning date when suppliers of water shall employ appropriately licensed operators to staff their water distribution systems.

During this lead-in period of just over 3 ½ years, we issued over 3,300 water distribution licenses and administered over 2,000 water distribution examinations. There were also two paths to licensure that a distribution applicant could take between October 15, 2007 and May 1, 2011.

One of those paths, as most operators liked to call it, was through “conversion” or “grandfathering”. This option allowed the us to recognize approved distribution training courses that were taken prior to October 15, 2007 that contained a Department approved end-of-course examination. If an applicant had taken one of these approved courses, and met all other requirements for licensure, they did not have to take the applicable state administered water distribution examination. Many operators and utilities benefitted from this process because the time and costs associated with obtaining a license was greatly reduced.

However, now that we are past the date of May 1, 2011, this “conversion” or “grandfathering” option is no longer available to distribution applicants.

This means that all individuals now wishing to obtain a water distribution license must begin the licensure process at either the Level 3 or 4 (depending on system) and meet all training, education and experience requirements associated with either licensure level and sit for the applicable state distribution examination.

Once the Level 3 license is obtained, an applicant will then be able to pursue higher levels of licensure. These requirements are outlined in the table below:

License Level * Education Training License Prerequisite DEP Exam Prerequisite Distribution Experience
3 High School Diploma
 or GED
Level 3 Course N/A Level 3 2080 hrs. (1 yr.)
2  High School Diploma
 or GED
Level 2 Course Level 3 Level 2 6240 hrs (3 yrs.)
1 High School Diploma
 or GED
Level 1 Course Level 2 Level 1 10,400 hrs (5 yrs.)

*Time spent working on wastewater collection systems does not count towards the required water distribution experience requirement.

In addition to the initial examination and licensing requirements, don’t forget about the need to complete your continuing education units (CEUs) after you’ve received your distribution license. All distribution licenses, regardless of level, expire on April 30th of every odd numbered year. As an example, the current license cycle will end on April 30, 2013. In order to renew your distribution license, each distribution licensee must complete .5 CEUs. This requirement of .5 CEUs is the same for all distribution license levels (1, 2, 3 & 4).

Need further assistance or information regarding the program?

Please feel free to call us at 850/245-7500
FAX us at 850/245-8410,
 or write to us at: Certification and Restoration Program
Division of Water Resource Management
2600 Blair Stone Road, MS 3506
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2400


Last updated: November 07, 2016

  2600 Blair Stone Road M.S. 3500   Tallahassee, Florida 32399   850-245-8336 (phone) / 850-245-8356 (fax) 
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