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Operator in Training (OIT) Program

Program Goal

The goal of the Operator in Training (OIT) Program is to prepare individuals for a career as plant operators in the Wastewater Treatment/Water Reclamation Industry. The OIT Program will assist individuals with becoming well trained, certified Grade I Wastewater Treatment/Water Reclamation Plant Operators who are qualified by virtue of academic education and practical experience to perform their duties in a professional, safe, and permit compliant manner.

Program Overview

Where the Training Takes Place

The City of Riverside owns and operates the Riverside Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP). The WQCP has the capacity to treat 40 million gallons of wastewater per day (MGD). The facility incorporates preliminary screening and grit removal, primary treatment, the activated sludge treatment process, flow equalization, tertiary filtration, chlorination, de-chlorination, production of Reclaimed Water for offsite use on golf courses and other landscape irrigation needs, anaerobic sludge digestion, bio-solids dewatering, and co-generation using digester gas as a fuel supply. The City is currently in the construction phase of major improvements to the facility and expansion of treatment capacity from 40 MGD to 52 MGD. This includes installation of cutting edge Membrane Bio-Reactor Technology which will allow substantial improvements in the quality of the water which is produced by the plant. OITs will be trained to operate all of the equipment and process units at the plant under the direct supervision of qualified operators. The variety of existing and future treatment units at the RWQCP offers any prospective Operator in Training (OIT) the opportunity to establish a solid foundation of experience that covers most of the practices which are in common use in the wastewater treatment/water reclamation industry today.

Requirements for Entry and Continuance in the OIT Program

There are two sets of requirements for entry to and continuance in the Operator in Training Program. The first set of requirements is stipulated by the California Water Resources Control Board, Office of Operator Certification. The Office of Operator Certification requires that each person working as an OIT be issued an OIT Certificate. The second set of requirements is stipulated by the Management of the Riverside Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP).

  1. Requirements for the Issuance of Operator in Training Certificates as stipulated by the California Water Resources Control Board, Office of Operator Certification:
    • The OIT candidate will be required to submit an application and an application fee for the OIT Certificate to the California Water Resources Control Board, Office of Operator Certification. The application must be signed by the Chief Plant Operator at the RWQCP. Once issued, the OIT Certificate will only apply to work experience gained at the RWQCP. The certificate cannot be used to work at any other facility.
    • Operator in Training Certificates at the Grade I level are valid for up to two years. At the discretion of the Office Of Operator Certification, the certificate may be renewed for an additional two years if the OIT successfully completes the Grade I examination before the first two year term expires. If the OIT does not successfully complete the Grade I examination before the first two year term expires, the Grade I Operator in Training Certificate cannot be renewed.
    • The OIT must have six education points at the time that he or she submits the application for the OIT Certificate. Education points are awarded by the Office of Operator Certification based upon academic credit earned by taking appropriate college courses. Education points are not awarded on a one to one basis for college credit earned. Please see the Office of Operator Certification web site for more details on how education points are awarded. The Office Of Operator Certification Web Site is as follows:
    • The OIT must accumulate 2,080 hours of work experience before his/her Grade I OIT Certificate expires.
    • Upon completion of the 2,080 hours of work experience and passing the Grade I exam, the OIT will be eligible to become a certified Grade I Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator.
  2. Requirements for Entry to and Continuance in the Operator in Training Program as stipulated by Riverside Water Quality Control Plant Management:
    • The OIT candidate must apply to become a Municipal Volunteer with the City of Riverside by visiting the Job Application Section of the City of Riverside’s Web Site. The OIT candidate must specify a desire to work at the Riverside Water Quality Control Plant on the application.
    • OIT candidates will be selected for appointment to the available OIT positions from the list of Municipal Volunteers as the result of a competitive process. This process will include a review of education and work experience as stated on the applications. Candidates who do not have the six education point required by the Office of Operator Certification cannot be considered. After the applications have been reviewed, the candidates deemed most suitable will be invited for an oral interview. The final selection will be based on the results of the interview along with successful completion of a background check (i.e. Live Scan) as required and conducted by the City of Riverside Human Resources Department.
    • In order to meet the 2,080 hour requirement established by the Office of Operator Certification, all OITs will be required to volunteer a minimum of 20 hours per week. At 20 hours per week, an OIT will accumulate 2,080 hours in two years.
    • Once accepted into the program, an OIT’s work performance and progress will be evaluated on a regular basis. Continuance in the OIT Program will be contingent upon receiving satisfactory performance evaluations and making satisfactory progress through the training program.

Apply for the Riverside OIT Program

  1. To sign up for the OIT program, please visit the City Jobs site HERE.
  2. Select the Municipal Volunteer Application or click HERE.
  3. Click the Apply link at the top right corner of the announcement.
    • If you are a new applicant, you need to register for an account.
    • If you have an existing account, please enter your username and password.
  4. For Question 11 on the volunteer application, please select Public Works as the department you wish to work for.
  5. For Question 12 on the volunteer application, please type "RWQCP" in the text box.
  6. Save and proceed with all steps of the application prior to certifying and submitting application.

Quick Links
Sewer Rates & Fees
2019 Sewer Master Plan
Other Wastewater Resources
General Information
Riverside Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP)
5950 Acorn Street
Riverside, CA 92504

Phone: (951) 826-5311
The 311 Call Center is open during normal business hours to assist you.

After Hours Phone: (951) 351-6140
In case of an emergency or sanitary sewer overflow, please contact the RWQCP after hours number for immediate assistance.

Admin Hours:
Hours: M-F 7:30 am-4:30 pm  
Closed on Weekends and Major Holidays
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