Wastewater Operator Certification Program

urgent alert icon

Prepare for OpCert renewal email in mid-October

  • Update your email address if we do not have the current one on file.
  • Be sure your firewall will accept our emails.
  • You will not get a renewal if this is the end of your professional growth cycle and you haven’t met your growth.
  • Email opcert@ecy.wa.gov and let us know you’re not going to renew for 2022.

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 (CEU) 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


Frequently asked questions: coronavirus impacts to the OpCert Program (updated April 6, 2021)


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.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Awards

There are more than 300 wastewater treatment plants. In 2020, nearly 40% met every single standard and deadline for the whole year. 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.