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Since the early 1970s, operator training staff has provided assistance to treatment plants throughout the state. The objective of this activity is to return facilities to compliance with state and federal laws and regulations as quickly and economically as possible.

Decorative example of training exercise

Assistance can be a single visit to address a problem before it becomes a major issue or it can involve:

  • A multi-day in-depth review of all aspects of the plant operation and management
  • Preparation of a detailed report outlining the facilities deficiencies
  • Development of a corrective action plan
  • Multiple visits to provide assistance to the staff in correcting the identified operations, maintenance, management and/or sampling and testing problems

 Each effort is tailored to the individual plant and is designed to provide the assistance and information necessary to correct identified problems. It is also dynamic and can be adjusted to address new or unanticipated problems throughout the project.

Decorative example of assistance visit

To ensure facility administrators and decision makers are aware of the activities and required actions, program staff are available to meet with them to review activities and explain recommendations throughout the project. Upon completion of the project a comprehensive report documenting actions taken and any recommendations for further action is prepared and distributed.


While any treatment plant can request assistance, the Operator Training and Assistance Program targets those facilities that do not have the technical expertise or staff resources to address the compliance issues internally and, due to financial limitations, can not obtain assistance from commercial sources. The most frequent recipient are the small publicly owned treatment plants (design capacity of less than 5 million gallons per day), whose construction was paid for using public funds. In those cases where more facilities request assistance than staff resources can accommodate, priority is given to the facilities whose non-compliance is having the most significant impact.

Program Costs

DEQ does not charge for this service. The plant may incur some increased costs to correct identified deficiencies, to implement appropriate process control sampling and testing activities and initiate essential preventive maintenance activities. Whenever possible these items will be identified in the comprehensive performance evaluation report and training and assistance plan.


Facility owners and administrative managers must support and approve the proposed on-site activities. Facilities operated/managed by a contractor are not eligible to participate in the program.

Applying For Assistance

To apply for assistance, download the Assistance & Training Program application and mail or email it to:

Operator Training and Assistance Program
Office of Water Compliance
Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
FAX: 804.698.4032

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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