Wastewater Operator Certification Program

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) status update

As we respond to the coronavirus outbreak, we are committed to helping you maintain a safe and healthy workplace, provide vital services to your communities, and protect water quality. Below are the answers to some questions related to the Wastewater Operator Certification (OpCert) Program during this time.

If you have questions about your NPDES or State Waste Discharge Permit requirements please reach out to your assigned Ecology permit contact (permit manager or permit administrator).

Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) serve an essential function to protect public health and the environment, including Washington's rivers, lakes, streams, and Puget Sound. The certification of wastewater treatment plant operators helps make sure they are knowledgeable and that WWTPs are properly operated and maintained.

Electronic renewal notices for 2021

We need your email address

We're issuing 2021 renewal notices electronically this year and plan to send the notices by email in mid-October. To make sure you get your renewal notice, please update your email address.

Frequently asked questions: coronavirus impacts to the OpCert Program (updated July 1, 2020)



Emergency certificates


Professional growth

On-call emergency operator list

Operator communication

Drawing by James Davis

Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Certification Program Guidance

We adopted changes to chapter 173-230 WAC Certification of Operators of Wastewater Treatment Plants in 2019. This:

  • Established a fee schedule in rule as directed by the Legislature in 2018.
  • Included multiple changes, such as:
    • Providing for an Operator in Training and respective education and experience qualifications for Groups II-IV.
    • Acknowledging new technologies in wastewater treatment.
    • Creating stand-alone sections where more information and clarity were needed.
    • Clarifying rule language to codify existing program practice.

Find out more about the new fees and Operator in Training Group levels II-IV from our focus sheet.
To learn even more, visit the rulemaking webpage.