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).
Each drinking water subsystem and wastewater facility is classified using the corresponding point systems as outlined in Ontario Regulation 128/04 and Ontario Regulation 129/04.
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: