Social Media Icons DEQ Facebook DEQ Twitter DEQ Instagram DEQ LinkedIn

Operator Training

As part of a continuing effort to train wastewater treatment operators, the DEQ Operator Training program, independently and in co-operation with other organizations, develops and conducts specialized training for presentation throughout the State. Course locations, topics and frequency of presentation are determined based on the identified need and the availability of suitable training facilities and necessary resources. Complete descriptions of all training programs developed by the Operator Training Program are provided in the course catalog

Training Workshops

The Operator Training program offers workshops on a variety of topics. Program fees are $75.00 per day depending on course length and complexity. Workshops can include lectures, hands on activities such as simulations, laboratory exercises and site visits. Every effort is made to provide participants with hands on experience.

Process Control Training

Process control training is available for many of the more widely used treatment processes. Workshops generally range from 1-3 days in length and focus on information the operator “needs to know” to effectively operate the treatment process.

Decorative pic showing training class exercise

Currently, workshops are available on the following topics:  

  • Activated Sludge Process Control,
    • Part I - Observations and Process Control Tests
    • Part 2 - Process Control Calculations
    • Part 3 - Microscopic Examination 
    • Part 4 - Biological Nutrient Removal
  • Introduction to Biological Nutrient Removal
  • Wastewater Math 
  • Wastewater Licensure Review 
  • Permit Reporting 
  • Energy Optimization

Course Locations

Courses are typically presented using the facilities of the Department’s seven Regional Offices.  Programs are also scheduled for presentation at other locations (i.e. local treatment plants or municipal offices) when sufficient interest is identified and appropriate facilities can be found. If you have suggestions for a location or would like to volunteer your treatment plant to host an Operator Training workshop, please contact program staff to explore the possibilities.


Course Approvals 

Unless otherwise noted, all workshops offered by the Department’s Operator Training and Assistance program are approved by the State Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals and can be used as substitution for required operational experience where regulations permit.

Course Announcements

Course schedules are normally published twice a year (Winter/Spring and Summer/Fall). Current training program schedules can be viewed and downloaded from the Wastewater Assistance and Training homepage.


Workshop Development 

Workshops dealing with additional sampling and testing topics and/or advanced process control techniques are being considered. If you have any suggestions of topics for future training programs, contact program staff.


Wastewater License Examination Review

The Department’s Wastewater Works Operators Licensure Review programs provide the exam candidates with an opportunity to learn about technologies that were not present in the plant they work in and “polish” skills (laboratory testing or process control calculations) that may not have been part of their current job responsibilities. The programs are a co-operative effort between the Department and various water resource recovery facilites throughout the commonwealth. The programs consist of lecture and class exercises and are typically 3-4 days in length. Current training program schedules can be viewed and downloaded from the Wastewater Assistance and Training homepage.

Annual Virginia Tech Wastewater Operator Short School

The Annual Wastewater Operator Short School is presented each summer at the Skelton Conference Center on the Virginia Tech Campus in Blacksburg Virginia. The program is a cooperative effort involving the Virginia Tech Department’s of Continuing Education and Civil Engineering and the Departments Operator Training and Assistance Program. The short school is normally conducted in August and each offers participants four (4) levels of training ranging from introductory to advanced management considerations. The programs are instructed by experienced members of the profession recruited from the Department of Environmental Quality and from treatment systems throughout the state. The programs consist of lectures, exercises and demonstrations. Fees are established by the Continuing Education Department and include lodging, breakfast, lunch and break refreshments. For dates, costs, or additional information on the Annual Wastewater Operator Short School contact the Virginia Tech Continuing Education Department


Special Interest Workshops

From time to time, the Operator Training and Assistance program develops and presents workshops and seminars on topics of current interest to the plant operators and facility managers. These programs are normally short term (one day or less) and focus on a problem, new technology or a change in regulatory requirements. Recent programs include wastewater plant security, Energy Optimization and VPDES permit required recordkeeping and reporting. 

Partnering To Expand Training Availability

The Operator Training and Assistance Program is interested in partnering with other organizations and/or treatment facilities to develop and present wastewater treatment operator training workshops throughout the state. If you would be interested in exploring the possibilities for working together on development or presentation of training contact program staff.

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

Some resources on this website require Adobe Reader and Flash Player, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Excel. If you wish to receive this content in an accessible format pursuant to Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. ยง 794 (d)), please call 800-592-5482. In addition, this website includes hyperlinks to websites neither controlled nor sponsored by DEQ or the Commonwealth of Virginia. Links may open in a new window. If you wish to receive content from a website which is neither controlled nor sponsored by DEQ or the Commonwealth, please contact the host of that website directly.

Privacy Statement | Terms Of Use | WAI Compliance | Contact Us