Subsurface Wastewater Operator Training School

Due to COVID-19, the Raleigh Subsurface School has been rescheduled,
and the Mills River Subsurface School has been cancelled.

Raleigh: Rescheduled August 18-20, 2020

Mills River: August 18-20, 2020  Cancelled


We continue to work with local and state health officials, as well as NC State and NC A&T State Universities, to monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Please know that training schedule changes are intended to protect the health and safety of our community while striving to provide the resources and services you need.We will continue to closely monitor the situation and act consistently with local, state and national recommendations.



Kathryn Luxford

Joni Tanner

Proper operation and maintenance are key to assuring the longevity of onsite systems. This training school was developed to teach individuals how to provide quality service to owners of advanced onsite systems. Article 3 of 90A of the North Carolina General Statutes and the state wastewater rules require some wastewater treatment systems such as existing large subsurface disposal systems, newly permitted or repaired small onsite low pressure pipe (LPP) systems, drip irrigation systems, pressure-dosed sand filter systems, and peat biofilter systems to be operated by certified subsurface system operators. These requirements significantly increase the need for subsurface operator training and preparation for the examination for certification as a subsurface system operator.

Operator vs Installer/Inspector
The Subsurface Wastewater Operator School is an entirely separate certification program from the Onsite Wastewater Contractor (Installer/Inspector) certification. If you are unsure which certification you need, please contact us before registering.

Register for Raleigh:  Click Here to Register for August 18-20, 2020 


Day One
Registration – 7:45am-8:00am
Class Time – 8:00am-5:00pm

Classroom Instruction:

• Program Overview
• Laws, Rules, and Permits: OSWP Rules
• Certified Operator Rules
• Introduction to Wastewater and Subsurface Systems
• Safety
• Operator Responsibilities and Resources
• Site Assessment
• Primary Treatment:  O&M of Tanks
• O&M of Dosing Systems and Controls

Field Instruction:
(Will be held rain or shine. Please wear appropriate attire.)
• Primary Treatment:  O&M of Tanks
• O&M of Dosing Systems and Controls

Day Two

Classroom Instruction:

• Gravity and Pressure Manifold Systems O&M
• LPP Systems O&M
• Drip Distribution and Dispersal Systems O&M
• Math for Subsurface Operators

Field Instruction:
(Will be held rain or shine. Please wear appropriate attire.)
• O&M of Pressure Manifold and LPP
• O&M of Drip Distribution and Dispersal

Day Three

Classroom Instruction:

• Advanced Pretreatment: Media Filters and Disinfection
• Monitoring and Sampling
• Records, Reports, and Contracts

Field Instruction:
(Will be held rain or shine. Please wear appropriate attire.)
• O&M of Media Filters and Disinfection
• LPP Troubleshooting

Exam Information

Examinations for certification as a Subsurface Wastewater System Operator are administered by the staff of the Water Pollution Control System Operators Certification Commission (WPCSOCC) on a quarterly basis at five locations throughout North Carolina. Application for the certification examination is a separate process from registration for the training school and must be made directly to the WPCSOCC. Completion of the training school is a prerequisite for the certification examination. However, there are other eligibility requirements that must be met in order to sit for the examination. The examination application and fee must be submitted directly to the WPCSOCC 30 days prior to the desired examination date.

Application for Examination

For an application to become a certified Subsurface Wastewater System Operator or for further information concerning the examination, please check the WPCSOCC website, write, or call:


1618 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1618
(919) 807-6353

The first exam date following the April school is June 11, 2020. (Application deadline is May 12, 2020.)  The first exam date following the August school will be in December 2020. (Application deadline in November 2020).

Link to the Examination Application

 Registration Information

To register, click on the school dates below.

Raleigh: August 18-20, 2020

The registration fee includes course materials, refreshment breaks, lunch each day, and a certificate of attendance.

Fee: $475

Raleigh Classroom Address:

Booth Field Learning Lab
4000 Chi Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27603

Nearby Hotels:

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites
3741 Thistledown Dr.
Raleigh, NC

Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites
5630 Dillard Dr.
Cary, NC