Wastewater Treatment Plant

Wastewater Operator Certification Program

Introduction

When wastewater treatment plants are properly operated, public health and the state's waters are protected. This certification program is working to help ensure that operators meet the established requirements and are competent to operate and maintain wastewater treatment plants.

Our growing population creates a greater need for wastewater treatment every day. If you're interested in protecting Washington's water and want to become certified, you've come to the right website.

Who to Contact for Assistance
For more information please contact Ecology's Wastewater Operator Certification Program:

Poppy Carre
Wastewater Operator Certification Program Coordinator
360-407-6449
or 1-800-633-6193 (toll free within the state)
360-407-6426 fax
Email: opcert@ecy.wa.gov

RaChelle Rodriguez
Operator Certification Assistant/Permit Administrator

360-407-6889
360-407-6426 fax
Email: opcert@ecy.wa.gov 


Email, fax, or mail all correspondence and professional growth documents to:
Email:
opcert@ecy.wa.gov
Fax: 360-407-6426
Mail: Department of Ecology
Wastewater Operator Certification
PO Box 47696
Olympia, WA 98504-7696

Mail all payments to:
Department of Ecology
Cashiering Section
PO Box 47611
Olympia, WA 98504-7611


Exam Deadlines: None - Computer-based exams are administered Monday through Friday, twice a day. There are no scheduled exam dates or application deadlines. Applicants can apply for the exam when they meet the qualifications.

Qualification Requirements for Operator Certification
There are five levels of wastewater certification in Washington - Operator in Training (OIT) - Group IV. Each level of certification has minimum education and experience requirements and requires the applicant to take and pass an exam. All require a high school diploma or GED, in addition:

OIT – requires 3 months of domestic wastewater treatment plant operating experience, 3 college credits or continuing education units (CEU) in something relevant to wastewater can be substituted for the operating experience.

Group I – requires 1 year of domestic wastewater treatment plant operating experience, there is no substitution for the operating experience. (When upgrading from the OIT level after 1 year of experience, you must apply to receive the upgrade).

Group II – requires 3 years of domestic wastewater treatment plant operating experience, up to half (one year six months) can be substituted with relevant experience or education.

Group III – requires 90 credits or CEUs relevant to wastewater and 4 years of domestic wastewater treatment plant operating experience with at least 2 years at a Class II or higher plant. Excess operating experience can be used to substitute for the education at a rate of 1 year of excess experience for the first year of education and 3 years of excess experience for the second year of education. Up to half (two years) of the operating experience can be substituted with relevant experience or excess education relevant to wastewater.

Group IV – requires 180 credits or CEUs in education that’s relevant to wastewater and 4 years of domestic wastewater treatment plant operating experience with at least 2 years at a Class III or higher plant. Excess operating experience can be used to substitute for the education at a rate of 1 year each of excess experience for the first two years of education and 3 years each of excess experience for the second two years of education. Up to half (two years) of the operating experience can be substituted with relevant experience or excess education relevant to wastewater as long as 2 years of operating experience is at a Class III or higher plant.

Last updated March 26, 2015

New item 2015 Renewal fees were due 12/31/2014. Revocation notices were mailed on March 16, 2015 to the last known address provided to Ecology. Operators not renewing by March 30, 2015 will be revoked. Note: WAC 173-230-100 Suspension and revocation of a certificate (1)

If your address has changed, update your information here: Address/Employer
Change

The current Professional Growth (PG) Period ends 12/31/2015: January 1, 2015 began the last year of this PG Period. You can view your current PG transcripts through SecureAccess Washington (SAW). If you haven’t created a SAW account, the registration instructions are on the Training & CEUs page. After each course, Email, mail or fax a copy of your certificate of completion or transcript. Be sure to provide your operator number.

New item Approved Course List: The 3 required continuing education units (CEU) needed to meet professional growth must be relevant to wastewater treatment, operation, and maintenance in accordance with the "ABC CEU Course Topic Guidelines for Wastewater Treatment Operators".

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