Water Operators

Owners of all public water systems must place the direct supervision of their water system, including each treatment facility and/or distribution system, under the responsible charge of an operator holding a valid certification equal to or greater than the classification of the treatment facility and/or distribution system.  All operating personnel making process control/system integrity decisions about water quality or quantity that affect public health must be certified.  A designated certified operator must be available each operating shift.




A person seeking CNMI certification must complete the CNMI Water Operator Certification form and submit it to DEQ.  DEQ Will certify an applicant that has met the examination, experience, and education requirements; or that has a certification in good standing from any US State, territory, or possession. 


All certificates are valid for three years, (including the year the certificate is issue).  For example, if applicant passes the examination or request for renewal on NOVEMBER 02, 2014 then his/her certification will expire on NOVEMBER 02, 2016.  OR, if applicant passes the examination or request for renewal on DECEMBER 31, 2013 then DEQ will still count 2014 as one year giving the certificate expiration on DECEMBER 31, 2014.




CNMI-DEQ uses an online examination through Association of Boards of Certification (ABC).  Water operators and potential water operators need to fill-out an application and submit to DEQ with applicable fee, education background (diploma, degree, transcript), and employment verification.


Application is $15.00 while testing fee is $45.00.  [$15.00 + $45.00 = $60.00]


However, if applicant plans to take 2 examinations, i.e. Water Treatment 1 and Water Distribution 1, applicant could only pay for 1 application fee and 2 examination fee.  [$15.00 + ($45.00 X 2) = $105.00]


If applicant fails the examination, the applicant may not retake the same examination until 90 days.