AWTO® Certification

Advanced Water Treatment Operators

Drinking water treatment, wastewater treatment or water reuse operators working at facilities using advanced water treatment technologies and related control processes may be interested in earning the new, voluntary AWT Operator (AWTO®) Certification.

AWT Operators protect public health by ensuring a supply of safe and high-quality drinking water from advanced water reuse facilities.

The minimum qualifications to apply for the exam are:

  • AWT3™ – Currently hold a Grade 3 certification for Wastewater Treatment Operator or Water Treatment Operator in California or Nevada
  • AWT4™ – pass the Grade 3 exam and 2 years of experience with one or more AWT processes
  • AWT5™ – pass the Grade 4 exam and 3 years of experience ( 2 years experience with one AWT process and 1 additional year with a least 2 AWT processes)

Be sure to download the AWTO Candidate Handbook and read it carefully to learn more about preparing, applying and taking the exam. A publications confidentiality agreement is required to download AWTO materials.

AWTO Certification Grade Levels

There are currently three AWTO grade levels and a typical career ladder:

  • AWT1™ - not in use by the program right now
  • AWT2™ - not in use by the program right now
  • AWT3 - Journey level
  • AWT4 - Advanced Journey level or Lead
  • AWT5 - Supervisor or Manager

We offer a voluntary certification for water professionals that is in addition to your California or Nevada Water Treatment or Wastewater Treatment Operator certification.

Advanced Water Treatment Process

AWT Technology is utilized in the treatment of water that is required to meet regulatory quality standards. This technology will incorporate a multiple barrier approach to water purification including disinfection, physical separation and other advanced technologies.

Advanced technologies include:

  • Membrane Filtration
  • Membrane Desalination
  • Biological Filtration
  • Adsorption/Exchange
  • Finished Water Chemical Stabilization
  • Iron and Manganese Removal
  • Advanced Oxidation
  • Disinfection
  • Membrane Bioreactors (MBR)

Example AWTO Exam Topics

These are a few basic examples of the competencies necessary to become certified:

  • Advanced Treated Water Management
  • Advanced Water Treatment Processes
  • Advanced Water Treatment Support Processes
  • Controls and Monitoring
  • Laboratory
  • Operations and Maintenance
  • Regulations and Reporting
  • Safety

AWTO Certification Program

The program was developed by water professionals, for water professionals. The program is jointly administered by CA-NV AWWA and CWEA.

Professional certification is different than a training or educational program. Training programs offer a certificate of attendance when an individual completes the coursework, but they do not generally award a credential or require ongoing recertification.

The AWTO certification program was developed using a nationally recognized process to define the roles and responsibilities for water treatment. Individuals who meet the eligibility requirements and pass the exam are granted use of the AWTO credential.