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Drinking Water Rules

Current Rulemaking

Permanent rule amendments requiring an examination to be certified as the operator of a small water system.

The Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division (OHA) is proposing to permanently amend Oregon Administrative Rule 333-061-0228 related to the training and certification of individuals as small water system operators. DWS proposes an examination be required to earn this certification, beginning on August 1, 2022. The amendments are necessary to be consistent with federal guidelines and thereby preserve federal grant funding because federal guidelines require an examination before operator certification is granted.

Small water system certification is required at community and non-transient non-community public water systems serving 150 service connections or less, and that use only groundwater sources or where finished water is purchased from another public water system.  Visit the Small Water System Operator page for more information.

Specific amendments and proposed rule language are identified in the documents available below, which include:


Public Hearing & Comment Period
If you wish to comment on these proposed rule revisions, you may submit written comments or provide oral testimony as follows:

You may submit written comments before 5:00 p.m. on November 30, 2020 to:

OHA, Public Health Division
Brittany Hall, Administrative Rules Coordinator
800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 930
Portland, OR 97232

By facsimile to (971) 673-1299.

You can present oral testimony by teleconference during the following public hearing:
1-877-848-7030, access Code: 2030826 on November 17, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

If you have any questions or would like to request a paper copy of these documents, please contact Brad Daniels at 971-673-0405.


Previous Rulemaking
There are no previous rulemakings.



Oregon Revised Statue (ORS) Oregon Drinking Water Quality Act

Enacted in 1981, the statute (periodically amended) includes Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 448.119 to 448.285; 454.235; and 454.255. The purpose of the above act is (in part) to:
  • Ensure that all Oregonians have safe drinking water;
  • Provide a simple and effective regulatory program for drinking water systems; and
  • Provide a means to improve inadequate drinking water systems.

Current Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) for Drinking Water

ORS 448.131 authorizes Drinking Water Services (DWS) to adopt administrative rules to ensure safe drinking water. OAR Chapter 333 Division 061 is reserved for regulations regarding public water systems and was last amended on January 10, 2018.

A complete set of rules in PDf iconChapter 333, Division 061.

Specific portions of the rules are also available as PDF files below, ordered by section number (some of the files include more than one section of the rules):

OARs for Water System Operator Certification

The purpose of operator certification is to protect public health and public water systems in Oregon. DWS accomplishes this by reviewing the experience, education and credentials of persons responsible for the production, treatment and distribution of public drinking water and determining their compliance with an established standard of proficiency. The rules include application guidelines, general operator criteria and grade requirements; operator system classifications and fees are also covered. They are provided below as PDF files; some of the files include more than one section of the rules, in which case the content is ordered by section number.

OARs for Domestic Well Testing for Real Estate Transactions

Amended in 2009, ORS 448.271 requires property owners, when selling Oregon real estate that includes a domestic well, to test the water for arsenic, nitrate and total coliform bacteria. Domestic wells are those used for drinking and other household purposes. Test results must be reported within 90 days to the real estate buyer and DWS after the seller receives the test results. Rules are downloadable as PDFs below. Get more information about domestic well testing for real estate transactions.

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