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GLOSSARY

A

ACTIVATED SLUDGE
Wastewater treatment by aeration of suspended organisms followed by clarification, including extended aeration, Intermittent Cycle Extended Aeration System (ICEAS), and other similar processes. A sequencing batch reactor with the purpose of providing this form of treatment would be rated under this category.

ADSORPTION
The gathering of a gas, liquid, or dissolved substance on the surface or interface zone of another material.

AERATION
The process of adding air to water. Air can be added to water by passing air through water or passing water through air.

AIR STRIPPING
A treatment process used to remove dissolved gases and volatile substances from water. Large volumes of air are bubbled through the water being treated to remove (strip out) the dissolved gases and volatile substances.

ALTERNATE PATH
A means to certification other than going through the standard process and meeting the standard process. Meeting the standard eligibility requirements through an alternate path is an option only under special circumstances.

APPLICANT
An individual who has applied for PO certification or recertification.

APPLIED MEASUREMENT PROFESSIONALS (AMP)
An approved examination administrator of PO certification examinations.

APPROVED TOPICS LIST (ATL)
A list of approved subject matter that governs continuing education acceptance for C2EP recertification.

ASSESSMENT
An examination or test.

ASSOCIATION OF BOARDS OF CERTIFICATION (ABC)
C2EP parent organization. An association dedicated to advancing the quality and integrity of environmental certification programs.

B

BIOLOGICAL OR CHEMICAL/BIOLOGICAL ADVANCED WASTE TREATMENT
The advanced treatment of wastewater for nutrient removal including nitrification, denitrification, or phosphorous removal utilizing biological or chemical processes or a combination. If the facility is designed to nitrify based solely on detention time in an extended aeration system, only the points for nitrification by designed extended aeration should be given.

C

CANDIDATE
An applicant who has applied for PO certification by examination and has been approved to sit for the examination.

CERTIFICANT
An individual who has been awarded PO Certification.

CERTIFICATION
An attestation of an individual’s qualification to do something.

CERTIFICATION COMMISSION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROFESSIONALS (C2EP)
The Certification Commission for Environmental Professionals; an organization committed to protecting public health and the environment through certification and professional designation of water industry operators. An organization created by ABC to administer voluntary certification programs on behalf of ABC.

CERTIFICATION SCHEME
The specific certification requirements related to specified categories of persons to which the same particular standards and rules, and the same procedures apply. The criteria and processes that all applicants and candidates must meet and follow to obtain certification.

CERTIFICATION SCOPE
The purpose of a certification that defines the profession served and the body of knowledge that is assessed.

CHEMICAL ADDITION
The addition of a chemical to wastewater at an application point for the purposes of adjusting pH or alkalinity, improving solids removal, dechlorinating, removing odors, providing nutrients, or otherwise enhancing treatment, excluding chlorination for disinfection of effluent and the addition of enzymes or any process included in the Tertiary Chemical/Physical Processes. The capability to add a chemical at different application points for the same purpose should be rated as one application; the capability to add a chemical(s) to dual units should be rated as one application; and the capability to add a chemical at different application points for different purposes should be rated as separate applications.

CHEMICAL/PHYSICAL ADVANCED TREATMENT FOLLOWING SECONDARY
The use of chemical or physical advanced treatment processes following (or in conjunction with) a secondary treatment process. This would include processes such as carbon adsorption, air stripping, chemical coagulation and precipitation, etc.

CHEMICAL/PHYSICAL ADVANCED TREATMENT WITHOUT SECONDARY
The use of chemical or physical advanced treatment processes without the use of a secondary treatment process. This would include processes such as carbon adsorption, air stripping, chemical coagulation and precipitation, etc.

CHLORAMINATION
The application of chlorine and ammonia to water to form chloramines for the purpose of disinfection.

CLASS
The level or grade of certification (Class I, II, III, or IV) or system/facility of operation.

CLEAN WATER ACT (CWA)
The primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution.

CODE OF CONDUCT
The set of rules and principles PO applicants, candidates, and certificants hold themselves to. Agreement to the Professional Operator Code of Conduct is a requirement to hold PO certification.

CONTACT HOUR
An organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction.

CONTINUING EDUCATION
Technical learning activities oriented towards a particular profession, undertaken by individuals to further advance their knowledge of the field.

CORE COMPETENCY
The essential tasks and capabilities that were identified through the JTA process.

D

DIAGNOSTIC REPORT
A document that details a candidate’s performance within different areas of an examination.

DIATOMACEOUS EARTH
A fine, siliceous (made of silica) "earth" composed mainly of the skeletal remains of diatoms.

DIRECT FILTRATION
A method of treating water which consists of the addition of coagulant chemicals, flash mixing, coagulation, minimal flocculation, and filtration. The flocculation facilities may be omitted, but the physical-chemical reactions will occur to some extent. The sedimentation process is omitted.

DIRECTLY RELATED EDUCATION
Post-secondary education in water/wastewater technology, chemistry, microbiology, math, engineering, or similar curriculum essential to system/facility operation of the type of certification being sought.

DIRECTLY RELATED EXPERIENCE
Hands-on operation or direct responsible charge operation of a system/facility or major segment of a system/facility of the type of certification being sought.

DIRECT RESPONSIBLE CHARGE (DRC)
Where shift operation is required, accountability for and performance of active, daily on-site operation of an operating shift, or of a major segment of the facility/system. Where shift operation is not required, accountability for and performance of active, daily on-site operation of the facility/system, or of a major segment of the facility/system.

E

ELECTRODIALYSIS
The selective separation of dissolved solids on the basis of electrical charge, by diffusion through a semipermeable membrane across which an electrical potential is imposed.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA)
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or sometimes USEPA) is an agency of the US federal government which was created for the purpose of protecting human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress.

EXAMINATION
An assessment or test. Sometimes shortened as “exam”.

EXAMINATION SPECIFICATIONS
A detailed document including the Test Description and the Test Blueprint that outlines the structure for the test forms. ABC’s Need-to-Know Criteria are widely adopted test specifications.

F

FACILITY
The combination of processes and equipment for the purpose of treating water or wastewater.

FIELD TESTING
An exam development process during which draft test items are administered to examinees and the results are used to inform Item Analysis and predict how well the items will perform.

FIXED-FILM REACTOR
Biofiltration by trickling filters or rotating biological contactors followed by secondary clarification.

H

HANDS-ON
Actual operation of a system/facility. Knowledge gathered from daily operating experience of a system/facility and not merely from textbook study.

I

IMHOFF TANKS (OR SIMILAR)
Imhoff tanks, septic tanks, spirogester, clarigester, or other single unit for combined sedimentation and digestion.

INDIVIDUAL MASTERY
A diagnostic report that identifies a candidate’s performance within each core competency of the NTK.

J

JOB TASK ANALYSIS (JTA)
A study conducted to identify the critical knowledge, skills, and abilities that a professional in the field ought to possess. A JTA provides a link between the exam content and the competencies necessary to perform the job.

L

LAND APPLICATION OF BIOSOLIDS BY CONTRACTOR
The land application or beneficial reuse of biosolids by a contractor outside of the control of the operator in direct responsible charge of the wastewater treatment facility.

LAND TREATMENT AND DISPOSAL (SURFACE OR SUBSURFACE)
The ultimate treatment and disposal of the effluent onto the surface of the ground by rapid infiltration or rotary distributor or by spray irrigation. Subsurface treatment and disposal would be accomplished by infiltration gallery, injection, or gravity or pressurized drain field.

LICENSE
Formal permission from a governmental or other constituted authority to do something. The result of licensure.

LICENSURE
The granting of licenses.

M

MANDATORY CERTIFICATION
Certification (licensure) required in order to perform certain tasks, mandated by a governmental entity.

MECHANICAL DEWATERING
The removal of water from sludge by any of the following processes and including the addition of polymers in any of the following: vacuum filtration; frame, belt, or plate filter presses; centrifuge; or dissolved air flotation.

MECHANICAL POST-AERATION
The introduction of air into the effluent by mechanical means such as diffused or mechanical aeration. Cascade aeration would not be assigned points.

MEDIA FILTRATION
The advanced treatment of wastewater for removal of solids by sand or other media or mixed media filtration.

N

NEED-TO-KNOW (NTK)
A document published by ABC or 
C2EP that describes the core competencies of a certification as identified during the JTA process. This document also lists exam specifications as well as reference material that may be used to prepare for an exam. Sometimes abbreviated as “NTK".

O

OPERATING EXPERIENCE
Direct responsible charge experience while holding a valid certification or performing hands-on operation of the system/facility.

OPERATING PERSONNEL
Those individuals performing the day-to-day duties relating to the adjustment and control of system/facility processes.

P

PLANT POINT RATING SYSTEM (PPRS)
ABC’s Plant Point Rating System – a tool used to rate or classify water treatment, water distribution, wastewater collection, and wastewater treatment facilities and systems.

PROFESSIONAL OPERATOR (PO)
An individual certified by 
C2EP in water treatment, water distribution, wastewater collection, or wastewater treatment operation.

PSYCHOMETRICS
The branch of psychology that deals with the design, administration, and interpretation of quantitative tests for the measurement of psychological variables such as job related knowledge, skills, and abilities. Also called psychometry.

PSYCHOMETRICIAN
An individual skilled in psychometrics.

PUBLIC WATER SYSTEM
A system for the provision to the public of water for human consumption through pipes or other constructed conveyances, if such system has at least 15 service connections or regularly serves at least 25 individuals.

R

RECERTIFICATION
The periodic process to maintain a certification, typically, the submittal of documentation of continuing education earned during the certification cycle.

RELATED EXPERIENCE
Experience given credit on an application for 
C2EP certification that was gained in a related field that doesn’t completely align with the scope of certification being applied for.

RELIABILITY
The overall consistency of a measurement; an exam’s ability to produce consistent scores or pass/fail results.

REVERSE OSMOSIS
The application of pressure to a concentrated solution which causes the passage of a liquid from the concentrated solution to a weaker solution across a semipermeable membrane. The membrane allows the passage of the water (solvent) but not the dissolved solids (solutes).

S

SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT (SDWA)
The principal federal law in the United States intended to ensure safe drinking water for the public.

SCADA SYSTEM
The Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition system is a computer-monitored alarm, response, control and data acquisition system used by drinking water facilities to monitor their operations.

SMALL WASTEWATER SYSTEM (SWWS)
A wastewater system serving fewer than 500 persons except if rated as a Class I or higher system or facility.

SOLIDS COMPOSTING
The biological decomposition process producing carbon dioxide, water, and heat. Typical methods are windrow, forced air-static pile, and mechanical.

SOLIDS STABILIZATION
The processes to oxidize or reduce the organic matter in the sludge to a more stable form. These processes reduce pathogens or reduce the volatile organic chemicals and thereby reduce the potential for odor. These processes would include lime (or similar) treatment and thermal conditioning. Other stabilization processes such as aerobic or anaerobic digestion and composting are listed individually.

STABILIZATION
Processes that convert organic materials to a form that resists change. Organic material is stabilized by bacteria which convert the material to gases and other relatively inert substances. Stabilized organic material generally will not give off obnoxious odors.

STANDARDIZED EXAM
An exam developed, maintained, and administered in a psychometrically sound manner, and widely accepted and used across an industry.

STUDY GUIDE
A resource to aid in studying for a certification examination.

SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT (SME)
An individual with abundant knowledge and experience with water/wastewater operations and/or certification.

SYSTEM
The various components involved in transmitting water from a treatment facility to a point of use, or components used to transmit wastewater from a point of origin to a treatment facility.

T

TEST
An examination or an assessment.

TYPE
The certification discipline or scope (water treatment, water distribution, wastewater collection, or wastewater treatment operation).

V

VALIDITY
The extent to which a test measures what it claims to and corresponds accurately to the real world.

VERY SMALL WATER SYSTEM (VSWS)
A water system serving fewer than 500 persons except if rated as a Class I or higher system.

VOLUNTARY CERTIFICATION
Certification not mandated by a governmental entity or needed to work in a particular profession, but pursued by individuals.

W

WATER TREATMENT (WT)
The aspect of water environment operations concerned with the treatment facilities that receive water from the environment and treat it to water quality standards for consumption and use.

WASTEWATER COLLECTION (Coll)
The aspect of water environment operations concerned with the transmission systems that collect used water and associated waste and transmit them to treatment facilities.

WATER DISTRIBUTION (Dist)
The aspect of water environment operations concerned with the transmission systems that transport the treated water to residential, commercial, or industrial consumers.

WASTEWATER TREATMENT (WWT)
The aspect of water environment operations concerned with the facilities that treat the wastewater received from the collection systems to water quality standards, and return the polished water back to the environment.

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C2EP is committed to protecting public health and the environment through certification and professional designation of water industry professionals.
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