Wastewater Operator Certification Program

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.

Wastewater Operator Professional Growth Cycle and Renewals

Operators commonly meet their professional growth by earning 3.0 continuing education units (CEUs) each professional growth cycle. Operators earn these CEUs by attending approved training courses. Operators must document their CEUs and submit it to the OpCert Program as they receive it. This ensures that they stay current on their requirements. Operators must meet their professional growth for the current cycle before renewing for 2022.

Wastewater Operator Certification Program Fee Schedule

We made no changes from the draft fee schedule published on March 31, 2021, and the fees will remain at the levels listed below.

Fee Schedule for Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023

Category Fiscal Year 2022

July 1, 2021- June 30, 2022

Fiscal Year 2023

July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023

Group I and Group I OIT Applications $50 $50

Groups II - IV and
Groups II - IV OIT

$67 $67
Renewals $98


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.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Awards

In 2021, nearly 40% of the more than 300 wastewater treatment plants in Washington qualified as top-performers. Plants are evaluated on permit conditions such as regularly meeting numeric effluent limits, for conducting monitoring, and for reporting data as required. We recognize these facilities through our award program. Many operators proudly display their award plaques to demonstrate their excellence and continued commitment to keeping Washington's lakes, rivers, and streams clean.