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TN-HDT Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


1. Can I register for the Hydrologic Determination Course before I fill out an application to be considered for the Tennessee Qualified Hydrologic Professional?

Yes. First register for the course at http://tnhdt.org/reg.asp. Taking the course is a requirement to be a Tennessee Qualified Hydrologic Professional (QHP). You do not need to complete the application to complete the course.  However to be a certified QHP you must fill out the application and meet all the requirements stated therein. If you take the course and are not qualified you will be considered a QHP-In Training (QHP-IT).

2. What must I do to become a certified QHP or a QHP-IT?

Qualified Hydrologic Professional (QHP)

  • Fill out the application for the Tennessee Qualified Hydrologic Professional and submit it to Tennessee Water Resources Research Center.
  • Person holding bachelor’s degree in biology, geology, ecology, engineering or related sciences
  • Have at least five (5) years of relevant experience in making  hydrologic determinations that includes regular periodic fieldwork in biological or hydrologic assessments including one wet weather conveyance determination for each year of qualifying experience.
  • Successfully complete the 3-day Hydrologic Determination Course and pass exam (score 80 or better on exam)

Qualified Hydrologic Professional In Training (QHP-IT)

  • Fill out the application for the Tennessee Qualified Hydrologic Professional and submit it to Tennessee Water Resources Research Center.
  • Person holding a/about to complete a bachelor’s degree in biology geology, ecology, engineering or related sciences
  • Having less than five (5) years of relevant experience in making hydrologic determinations
  • Successfully complete the 3-day Hydrologic Determination Course and pass exam (score 80 or better on exam)

3. Do I register for a class first or fill out the application form first?

First you register for an available class and pay for the class. You can take the HDT class without filling out an application.

4. Am I certified after taking the HDT class?

No. You must fill out the application (http://tnhdt.org/PDF/TNQHP%20application%20form.pdf) and meet all the listed requirements to become a Qualified Hydrologic Professional.

5. What are the requirements to become a certified QHP?

Persons meeting the minimum qualifications set forth in Chapter 0400-40-17.01 and successfully completing the TN-HDT course and course exam will be certified as a Tennessee Qualified Hydrologic Professional (TN-QHP).

  1. Person holding bachelor’s degree in biology, geology, ecology, engineering or related sciences
  2. Have at least five (5) years of relevant experience in making hydrologic determinations that includes regular periodic fieldwork in biological or hydrologic assessments including one wet weather conveyance determination for each year of qualifying experience.

6. Who can conduct hydrologic determinations?

Hydrologic determinations may be conducted by persons who have successfully completed the training course (certified QHPs, or QHP-ITs); however, the "presumption of correctness" provision contained in Rule 0400-40-17 for a wet weather conveyance determination will only apply to reports submitted by fully certified QHPs who assert this provision in writing.

7. How much does it cost to take the Hydrologic Determination Course and to fill out the QHP application?

The cost is $600 to take the 3-day Hydrologic Determination Course. The cost to submit a QHP application is $50.

8. Once I have my QHP certification how often do I need to take a refresher course?

All certifications expire on December 31st three years after taking the 3-day course. So you need to take the HDT Refresher Course before your certification runs out in the third year to maintain your certification.

9. Who can conduct wet weather conveyance determinations? Are there exceptions to the policy of having hydrologic determinations conducted by a QHP?

Hydrologic determinations may be conducted by persons who have successfully completed the training course (certified QHPs, or QHP-ITs); however, the "presumption of correctness" provision contained in Rule 0400-40-17 for a wet weather conveyance determination will only apply to reports submitted by fully certified QHPs who assert this provision in writing. Currently it is the division’s policy to require submittal of a hydrologic determination report for review from a successfully trained individual (QHP or QHP-IT), when the determination of the jurisdictional status of water features on site must be established for permitting purposes. The exception to this policy is for activities associated with private farms or residences, in which case division personnel will perform this service for the individual upon request. Hydrological Determination reports should be submitted to the local TDEC Environmental Field Office for review.

10. What form do I use when conducting a hydrologic determination?

A QHP must complete a Hydrologic Determination Field Data Sheet when conducting a hydrologic determination.  See at: http://tnhdt.org/PDF/HD%20Field%20Data%20Sheet.pdf

11. How do I check to see my status of whether I am a certified QHP or QHP-IT?

For QHP go to the Certification List (http://tnhdt.org/certified.asp) and do a search by First Name, Last Name, Organization, City, or Expiration Date.

For QHP-IT go to the In Training List (http://tnhdt.org/inTraining.asp) and do a search by First Name, Last Name, Organization, City, or Expiration Date.

12. Why are hydrologic determinations currently necessary?

Permitting processes and regulated activities are tied to hydrologic status, including;

  • NPDES point source discharges
  • Aquatic Resource Alteration Permits (ARAPs)
  • CSW Buffer Zone requirements
  • MS4s and other local regulations/codes
For Tennessee Department of Environmental and Conservation (TDEC) regulations, major breakpoint of hydrologic status determinations involves "Stream" vs. "Wet Weather Conveyance" (WWC).