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Certificate: Wastewater Basic Operations Course

North Country will offer the 90-hour Basic Operations course this September on the Saranac Lake campus, after Labor Day. The course will be presented in 14 modules by both wastewater operator experts and wastewater engineers and will incorporate in-person presentations, laboratory training, and supportive elements on our learning platform, currently Blackboard. The classes will be in-person with some virtual opportunities.

An extensive supportive math element is included as part of the training, to help the students understand the formulas needed to run a wastewater facility.

The cost of the program will be $975 dollars, not including books. Visits to local wastewater treatment facilities are also part of the course. 

All classes will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m.


  • Introduction to wastewater treatment
  • Preliminary and primary wastewater treatment
  • Secondary wastewater treatment process part 1
  • Secondary wastewater treatment part 2
  • Advanced wastewater treatment part 1 suspended growth
  • Advanced wastewater treatment part 2 activated sludge
  • Advanced wastewater treatment part 3
  • Disinfection and effluent disposal
  • Solids management
  • Equipment and support systems
  • Monitoring and regulation requirements
  • Lab procedures and computer applications
  • Management and supervision of plant operations 
  • Next steps, preparing for the ABC exam and beyond


Students who successfully finish the Basic Operation course will satisfy a prerequisite to take the ABC exam, and depending upon their experience and education level, will be able to begin their journey to become a certified wastewater operator.

There are many openings for wastewater operators at the local, regional and national level. The average starting salary in New York State for wastewater operators is in the range of $52,000 annually.

For more information, please contact Selina LeMay-Klippel at