Wastewater Treatment Facility Ratings Fact Sheet
This guidance document is advisory in nature but is binding on an agency until amended by such agency. A guidance document does not include internal procedural documents that only affect the internal operations of the agency and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties or include confidential information or rules and regulations made in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. If you believe that this guidance document imposes additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, you may request a review of the document.

Form #:  10-022
Guidance Documents
Revised: 11/28/16


All wastewater treatment facilities must be operated by operators certified at the classification level of the wastewater treatment facility. New wastewater treatment facilities or wastewater treatment facilities reclassified due to an upgrade must have properly certified operator(s) prior to initiation of operation. Commercial or compatible industrial wastewater treatment facilities that treat wastewater biologically are classified using the municipal rating system. Non-compatible industrial wastewater facilities whose wastewater is treated chemically/physically are classified using the industrial point rating system.

Municipal/Commercial Wastewater Treatment Facility

The Department will classify each municipal or commercial wastewater treatment facility as a Class L, Class I, Class II, Class III, or Class IV wastewater treatment facility based upon complexity of treatment, population equivalent served, downstream water course conditions, and potential health hazards in accordance with the point rating system established in Appendix A - Municipal/Commercial Wastewater Treatment Plant Point Rating System Wastewater Treatment Plant Point Rating System (Non-Industrial/Municipal).
  • Class L - Lagoon wastewater treatment facilities that are awarded 15 points or less in accordance with the point rating system are classified as Class L and are required to have a certified Direct Responsible Charge (DRC) operator at the Class L level or higher.
  • Class I - Wastewater Treatment Facilities awarded 30 points or less, and are not classified as Class L, are classified as a Class I wastewater treatment facility. Each Class I wastewater treatment facility is required to have a certified DRC operator at the Class I level or higher.
  • Class II - Wastewater treatment facilities that are awarded 31 points or more, but less than 56, are classified as a Class II wastewater treatment facility. Each Class II wastewater facility must have a DRC operator certified at least to the Class II level and an assistant operator certified at the Class I level or higher.
  • Class III - Wastewater treatment facilities awarded 56 points or more, but less than 76, are classified as a Class III wastewater treatment facility. Each Class III wastewater treatment facility is required to have a DRC operator certified at least at the Class III level and an assistant operator certified at the Class II level or higher.
  • Class IV - Wastewater treatment facilities which are awarded 76 points or more are classified as a Class IV wastewater treatment facility. Each Class IV wastewater treatment facility is required at a minimum to have the DRC operator in overall charge of the entire wastewater treatment facility and the shift supervisors serving as DRC operators certified at the Class IV level. All operators in charge of processes or making process control decisions must be certified at a level based on their delegated level of responsibility as determined by the DRC operator.
Compatible Industrial Facility

Each compatible Industrial wastewater treatment facility (biological wastewater treatment) is classified by the NDEQ as a Class I, II, III, IV, or exempt facility based upon complexity of treatment, downstream water course conditions, and potential health hazards in accordance with the point rating system established in Appendix A Municipal/Commercial Wastewater Treatment Plant Point Rating System.
  • Class I - Compatible Industrial facilities which are awarded 16 points or more, but less than 31 points, are classified as a Class I compatible Industrial facility. Each Class I compatible Industrial facility must have a DRC operator certified at the Class I level or higher.
  • Class II - Compatible Industrial facilities awarded 31 points or more, but less than 56 points, are classified as a Class II compatible Industrial facility. Each Class II compatible Industrial facility is required to have a DRC operator certified at least at the Class II level and an assistant operator certified at the Class I level or higher.
  • Class III - Compatible Industrial facilities that are awarded 56 points or more, but less than 76 points are classified as Class III compatible Industrial facilities. Each Class III compatible Industrial facility is required to have a DRC operator certified at least at the Class III level and an assistant operator certified at the Class II level or higher. All other personnel defined as operators must be certified at levels commensurate with their responsibility as determined by the DRC operator.
  • Class IV - Compatible Industrial facilities awarded 76 points or more are classified as Class IV compatible Industrial facilities. Each Class IV wastewater treatment facility is required at a minimum to have the DRC operator in overall charge of the entire wastewater treatment facility and the shift supervisors serving as DRC operators certified at the Class IV level. All operators in charge of processes or making process control decisions must be certified at a level based on their delegated level of responsibility as determined by the DRC operator.
Non-compatible Industrial Facility

The Department will classify each non-compatible Industrial wastewater treatment facility (chemical/physical treatment not similar to typical domestic wastewater treatment) as an Industrial I, Industrial II, Industrial III, or Industrial IV or exempt facility based upon complexity of treatment, downstream water course conditions, and potential health hazards in accordance with the point rating system established in Appendix B Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant Point Rating System.
  • Industrial I - Non-compatible Industrial facilities that are awarded 5 points or more, but less than 31 points, are classified as an Industrial I non-compatible Industrial facility. Each Industrial I non-compatible Industrial facility is required to have a DRC operator certified at the Industrial I level or higher.
  • Industrial II - Non-compatible Industrial facilities awarded 31 points or more, but less than 56 points, are classified as an Industrial II non-compatible Industrial facility. Each Industrial II non-compatible Industrial facility must have a DRC operator certified at least at the Industrial II level and an assistant operator certified at the Industrial I level or higher.
  • Industrial III - Non-compatible Industrial facilities awarded 56 points or more, but less than 76 points, are classified as Industrial III non-compatible Industrial facilities. Each Industrial III non-compatible Industrial facility is required to have a DRC operator certified at least at the Industrial III level and an assistant operator certified at the Industrial II level or higher. All other personnel defined as operators must be certified at levels commensurate with their responsibility as determined by the DRC operator.
  • Industrial IV - Non-compatible Industrial facilities awarded 76 points or more are classified as Industrial IV non-compatible Industrial facilities. Each Industrial IV non-compatible Industrial facility is required at a minimum to have the DRC operator in overall charge of the entire wastewater treatment facility and the shift supervisors serving as DRC operators certified at the Industrial IV level. All operators in charge of processes or making process control decisions will be certified at a level based on their delegated level of responsibility as determined by the DRC operator in overall charge of the entire wastewater treatment facility.
Related pages and URL addresses on this web site:

Wastewater Treatment Facility Operator Training and Certification Program (main page):
http://deq.ne.gov/WasteWat.nsf/Pages/WTFOCT
Title 197:
http://deq.ne.gov/RuleAndR.nsf/Pages/197-TOC
Title 197 – Appendix A:
http://deq.ne.gov/RuleAndR.nsf/Pages/197-App-A
Title 197 – Appendix B:
http://deq.ne.gov/RuleAndR.nsf/Pages/197-App-B
The URL of this fact sheet:
http://deq.ne.gov/Publica.nsf/pages/10-022