Frequently Asked Questions About The Board of Certification of Operators of Drinking Water: License Renewals

Information about taking renewing your license.

Table of Contents

What information on training is required for license renewal?

Operators must obtain the required number of training hours (called training contact hours or TCHs) prior to renewing their licenses during the 2-year license cycle. As part of the application for license renewal, operators attest to obtaining them. The information presented below is intended to help operators understand what is required.

What is the timeline?

All licenses must be renewed by the end of every odd-numbered year (for example, December 31, 2023, followed by December 31, 2025, and so on).

What are the number of hours required?

Operators must acquire the number of TCHs matching their highest-grade license:











*- Applies to both Operator-in-Training and Full licenses

How do I receive TCHs?

Most operators receive TCHs through the completion of Board-approved courses. You can identify a Board-approved course by the Drinking Water Board course ID (DW-XX-XX) attached to the course. These IDs are provided to the course provider upon their approval by the Board.

Several organizations have blanket approval from the Board to provide approved trainings. These include the Massachusetts Water Works Association, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Massachusetts Rural Water Association, Western Massachusetts Waterworks, and the New England Water Works Association.

The Board may recognize TCHs provided by a federal agency (example: EPA), a state agency (example: MassDEP and MEMA) or other state’s drinking water certification program (example: NH, CT, CA) that were not submitted for Board approval. Operators should confirm with the Board if they are unsure if a course is Board-approved before they take the course.

The Board also allows operators to receive TCHs in several additional ways:

  • Passing a drinking water operator licensing exam = 7 TCHs. This is limited to one exam per renewal period.
  • Membership in American Water Works Association/New England Water Works Association or Massachusetts Water Works Association (1 TCH each annually per membership) or membership in other drinking water organizations recognized by the Board (0.5 TCH each annually per membership).  Memberships can count towards a maximum of 3 TCHs per renewal period.
  • Completing a first aid or CPR course conducted, co-sponsored, or sanctioned by a Board recognized organization (ex: Red Cross) = 3 TCHs per renewal period
  • Completing a drinking water-related training that issues continuing education units (CEUs). 1 CEU = 10 TCHs
  • Completing drinking water-related college courses for credit = 15 TCHs per 1 credit hour.
  • Completing drinking water-related college courses not for credit = 1 TCH per hour attended.
  • Teaching a drinking water-related course approved for TCHs = 2 TCHs per hour taught up to a maximum of 40% of TCHs needed for renewal. Credit given for teaching course once per renewal period.

What documentation is required?

Operators should keep in their records copies of certificates of completion or other documentation as it relates to the methods by which they obtained the necessary TCHs.  For memberships, a copy of the membership card, confirmation notification from the organization, or similar item will suffice. Documentation may be requested during an audit. It is good practice to retain training documentation for at least one prior renewal cycle

Will I be audited while renewing my license?

The Board occasionally conducts audits of operators renewing their licenses to confirm the required number of TCHs were obtained. The Board may also request this information at any point in time.

How do I find Board-approved trainings?

Board-approved trainings can be found in several ways:


Contact   for Frequently Asked Questions About The Board of Certification of Operators of Drinking Water: License Renewals


After filing an application online, please email your application number to the board at: Email Board of Certification of Operators of Drinking Water Supply Facilities at
To receive instructions on conducting common board transactions, email the address below. This is an unmonitored email address. Please do not send any documentation to this email address: Email Board of Certification of Operators of Drinking Water Supply Facilities at


(617) 727-0139


1000 Washington Street, Suite 710, Boston, MA 02118

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