Municipal residential drinking water subsystems and wastewater facilities are required to be classified from Class 1 to 4 depending on their complexity. These classes determine the certification requirements for individuals operating those systems (e.g. a Class 4 water treatment plant requires at least one designated operator who has been certified as a Class 4 Water Treatment operator).
The owner or authorized representative of the subsystem or facility must apply to the Ontario Water Wastewater Certification Office (OWWCO) to have their system classified. The ministry then issues classification certificates, which must be posted at the subsystem or facility at all times.
If you are the owner or operating authority of a limited or small water system, or if your system is located entirely on federal lands, your system may be classified differently.
- Limited/Small Systems – if your business provides drinking water to the public and is not supplied from a municipal drinking water system, you may be the owner or operator of a limited or small drinking water system. Limited or small systems such as those found at campgrounds or mobile parks are not classified from Class 1 to 4. If you are uncertain if the system you own or operate is considered a limited or small system, contact the OWWCO office for assistance. For more information on limited system, please visit the Small Systems section of this website.
- Federally Regulated Drinking Water Subsystems and Wastewater Facilities – that are on First Nation lands, armed forces bases, or in prisons do not require certificates or licences of classification under O. Reg. 128/04 or O. Reg. 129/04; however, they may be notionally classified. While notional classifications are not formal classifications, they identify the type of subsystem or facility the ministry considers the system comparable to. Contact OWWCO for more details.
Experience gained as a certified operator in a system under a notional classification may be used towards obtaining a higher level operator certificate or licence.
System owners with staffing needs can search on the Operator Workforce Matching Portal for operator(s) by certificate type, availability, and location to find an operator who is available for employment.
Follow these links for more information:
Classification forms are used to apply for the classification of a new drinking water subsystem or wastewater facility, or to re-classify an existing subsystem/facility that has undergone infrastructure changes and thus warrants review.
In order to apply for a classification certificate, you must:
- Complete the appropriate application in full. A separate application must be submitted for each drinking water subsystem or wastewater facility you wish to have reviewed (see Forms and Guidance list below for help completing the forms),
- Submit copies of all the required supporting documentation such as the Certificate of Approval and a one page schematic depicting processes; and,
- Include payment with each completed application. Payment can be made by Visa MasterCard, cheque, or money order. If paying by cheque or money order, it must be payable to the Minister of Finance. Note that NO fee is required for the notional classification of a subsystem or facility that is federally regulated.
Classification applications may take up to 30 days to process on receipt of a COMPLETE application and full payment of fees. Incomplete applications may be returned.
Submit your application with all supporting documentation to:
Ontario Water Wastewater Certification Office
295 The West Mall, Suite 302
Etobicoke, ON M9C 4Z4
Fax: (416) 231-2107
|FORMS AND GUIDANCE||DESCRIPTION|
|Form 2134E – Municipal Residential Drinking Water Subsystem and Wastewater Facility Classification||For the classification of municipal water treatment subsystems.|
|Certification of Drinking-Water System Operators and Water Quality Analysts (O. Reg. 128/04) (SDWA)||See Schedule 1 for details on the point classification system for drinking water subsystems.|
|Licensing of Sewage Works Operators (O. Reg. 129/04) (OWRA)||See Schedule 1 for details on the classification point system for wastewater facilities.|
If a drinking water subsystem or wastewater facility has already been classified by the Ministry and alterations have been made to it, for example, changes to certain treatment processes, alterations to the system size, changes to system controls etc., it is advisable to contact OWWCO to determine if those changes warrant a reclassification of the subsystem or facility. It is important to ensure that a subsystem or facility is properly classified as this could have implications to the certificate requirements for the operators working in these systems. For example, if alterations result in a classification change from a Class I to a Class II subsystem, the system owner would need to ensure that they continue to meet the certification (e.g. ORO) and training requirements (i.e. Director approved CEUs and on-the-job training hours) for the system. Depending on the type of alterations, a reclassification may not be required, but OWWCO can help make that determination to help ensure regulatory compliance is maintained.