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Drinking Water Treatment & Distribution System Operators

In 1971, laws and regulations governing the certification of potable water treatment facility operation were enacted. They establish the level at which water treatment facilities should be manned; the minimum qualifications for testing at each of the five grade levels; and criteria for the renewal and revocation of certificates. They apply to a program consisting of ~13,000 certified water treatment operators. In 1998, the US EPA released Guidelines for the Certification and Recertification of Operators of Community and Nontransient Noncommunity Public Water Systems. Based on these guidelines, state regulations governing the certification of potable water treatment operators were revised to include distribution operators at five grade levels, effective January 2001. For more, see the California Operator Certification Program Annual Report (2014)

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Exam Information

Operator Certification

Treatment Operators

Distribution System Operators

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Certified Water Treatment & Distribution Operators

Operator Certification Program Contacts

Additional Contact Information

The Drinking Water Treatment and Distribution System Operator Certification Program is located at 1001 I Street, 17th Floor, Sacramento, California, 95814. For general information or inquiries, please contact the Operator Certification Program at:

Office of Operator Certification
State Water Resources Control Board
P.O. Box 944212
Sacramento, CA 94244-2120
Attn: Drinking Water OCP
Telephone: (916) 449-5611
Fax: (916) 449-5654
Email: DWOpcertProgram@waterboards.ca.gov


(Updated 10/7/16)