Reciprocity Information for Water and Wastewater Operators
The State Board for Certification of Water and Wastewater Systems Operators may issue a Pennsylvania certification to an applicant holding a valid water and/or wastewater operator certification from another state, territory, the District of Columbia, or Board-approved registry.
The following are considered a Board-approved registry:
- The Association of Boards of Certification Registry.
- Discharge papers documenting water or wastewater system operation from the United States Military or United States Coast Guard.
An applicant for reciprocity shall be granted a certificate based upon meeting the experience requirement working at the highest comparable Pennsylvania class system. (Note: Up to 50 percent experience credit for bioperable status.) Applicants for reciprocity must meet the experience requirements for Track I as seen below. No credit for completion of an advanced education program will be provided to candidates for certification through reciprocity.
Class Definitions and Experience Requirements
- Class A >5 MGD – must have worked at a Class A plant for 4 or more years
- Class B >1 MGD but < 5 MGD – must have worked at a Class B or higher plant for at least 3 years
- Class C >100,000 GPD but < 1 MGD – must have worked at a Class C or higher plant for at least 2 years
- Class D < 100,000 – must have worked at a Class D or higher plant for at least 1 year
- Class E – Must have worked at a distribution or collections system for at least 1 year
Technology subclassifications shall be granted for all appropriate technologies operated for a year or more, regardless of system size. An applicant for reciprocity must demonstrate he or she has a minimum of one year’s experience operating that specific technology.
An operator who lives and works in Pennsylvania can apply for reciprocity as long as they have a valid certificate from another state or from ABC. An operator cannot apply for reciprocity if the out of state license is expired.
If an operator previously held a Pennsylvania license that was revoked, suspended, or denied/expired due to insufficient continuing education, that operator cannot apply for reciprocity in Pennsylvania. Revocation or suspension of an operator's license is a formal action taken by the board after DEP petitions them. The conditions for when, or if, an operator can apply for re-certification will be defined within the board's formal action.
If an operator obtained a license through reciprocity and had their license denied/inactivated due to lack of continuing education and wants to become recertified, they must pass the appropriate exams and reapply to obtain a license in Pennsylvania. Click on the exam schedule
to register for an exam.
To apply for reciprocity, go to the web page "Operator Certification Documents & Forms
" and click on the link "Application for Certification through Reciprocity to Operate Water or Wastewater Systems." You may also obtain an application by contacting 717-787-5236.
Once issued a reciprocity license, operators must adhere to the continuing education requirement of their class license. Operators should only take DEP Approved training. Information on DEP-approved training can be found on DEP's EarthWise Academy
See chart for continuing education requirements:
||Training Hours Required
First 3−Yr Cycle
|Training Hours Required |
Subsequent 3−Yr Cycles