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Certified Operator Compliance Notice

Background and instructions for completing the Certified Operator Compliance Notice


A Massachusetts Public Water System may contract the services of a Massachusetts Drinking Water Operator for the purpose of fulfilling its statutory obligation under MGL Chapter 112 Section 87DDDD and 310 CMR 22.11B of the Massachusetts Drinking Water Regulations. To grant this exemption, the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) requires written approval of a staffing and comprehensive operations plan (310 CMR 22.11B 5(b)). This Compliance Notice (“Notice”) satisfies that requirement when it is completed, signed, and approved by all parties.

The duties and responsibilities for each category should act as a guideline for small-system owners to be used when they employ a contract operator.  A comprehensive list of recommended duties and frequencies is provided to give both the operator and the system owner a better understanding not only of what is expected, but what is required to operate a system to stay in compliance with the Massachusetts Drinking Water Regulations 310 CMR 22.00. Operators and owners of systems should use this Notice as a guideline in determining operational requirements of the system. Although the lists of duties are comprehensive, they do not necessarily include all duties required to maintain compliance with MassDEP and Federal regulations and guidelines.

The system intends to comply with the provisions of 310 CMR 22.11B by contracting with a Massachusetts Certified Drinking Water Operator. The system must ensure that the operator holds a full-status Massachusetts Drinking Water Operators Certification equal to or greater than the class of the system. The system recognizes its obligation and assumes the responsibility of notifying MassDEP within 24 hours of any change in operators. (System has 30 days to provide documentation for procuring a new operator.)

To insure proper operation, management, and maintenance of the system, the operator agrees to perform his/her duties as specified within this Notice in accordance with 310 CMR 22.00, Massachusetts Drinking Water Regulations and any other applicable policies and guidelines. The operator will be available on a regular and emergency basis as stated on this form. In certain cases, with MassDEP approval, the operator can supervise the system without being present on a daily basis provided that (1) between scheduled visits the operator has a person affiliated with the system acting under his/her direction, and (2) that this person can properly operate the system and detect operational malfunctions in the absence of the primary operator. 

The system and operator will notify all interested parties of the existence and responsibilities of this compliance notice.


Public Water Systems completing the Certified Operator Compliance Notice must fully complete the following documents:

a) The Certified Operator Compliance Notice (COCM) (See Additional Resources below)


b) the appropriate Certified Operator Duty (COD) form for their system type:

Form Name PWS Type Availability Treatment Operator Grade
Non-Community Year round None VSS
Non-Community Seasonal None VSS
Non-Community Seasonal Disinfection VSS
Non-Community Year round Disinfection VSS
Non-Community Year round Chemical VSS and 1T
Non-Community Seasonal Chemical VSS and 1T
Small Community n/a None VSS
Small Community n/a Disinfection VSS
Small Community n/a Chemical VSS and 1T

All forms must be completely filled out and returned to the MassDEP office where the system is located (see Additional Resources below).

Additional Resources for