Enter Today: Advanced Water Treatment Operator Photo Contest

If you hold an AWTO® certification – you’re eligible to enter our photo contest. Share your achievement of becoming AWTO certified.

Enter and upload photos >

  1. We need images of certified AWT Operators at their treatment plant to help promote the program nationwide
  2. Submit up to three photos
  3. Types of photos we’re looking for
    1. Bonus points for photos of you at your treatment facility (or a group of operators)
    2. Photos of your advanced treatment facility
    3. Photos of advanced treatment technology at your facility
  4. Well lit, good composition, in focus and high resolution photos
  5. Selfies are okay, for best composition we recommend asking someone else to take the photos.
  6. Photos submitted for this competition will be featured in AWTO promotional items (please see important criteria below)
  7. Sample images shown here

Prizes

    1. Grand prize – $100 Amazon gift card
    2. Honorary mentions – 5 photos

Timeline

  • Competition begins: November 3, 2021
  • Competition closes: 11:59 p.m., January 31, 2022

Criteria

  1. Submit up to three photos
  2. The photographs can be taken by anyone.
  3. Please let us know the name of the certified AWT Operator.
  4. Three photos and one entry per certified AWT Operator.
  5. The prize is a $100 Amazon gift card that will be digitally issued to the selected winner
  6. Only upload photos you or your organization own the copyright, please do not upload images that are copyrighted by someone else.
  7. Important note on photos submitted to CA-NV AWWA and CWEA: You’re granting permission to CWEA, CA-NV AWWA, our volunteer leaders and employees the irrevocable and unrestricted right to reproduce photographs for any lawful purpose including magazine publications, websites, signage, events, promotions, photo illustrations, and/or historical archives in any manner or in any medium selected by CWEA and CA-NV AWWA. You release CWEA, CA-NV AWWA and its representatives from liability for any violation or claims relating to the photos you are submitting.
  8. The AWTO Outreach work group will select one winning image and five images as honorable mentions.
  9. The decisions of the judges are final, CWEA and CA-NV AWWA reserve the right to change the rules as needed.
  10. Non-AWTO certified individuals, the AWTO Outreach work group, competition judges, CWEA and CA-NV AWWA employees,  and vendors are not eligible to enter this competition.
  11. Need more information? Please contact Alec Mackie, Director of Marketing and Communications, CWEA, 510.382.7800 x114
  12. CWEA and CA-NV AWWA are not responsible for technology failures, or other inability of entrants to enter due to technical malfunction. CWEA is not responsible for lost, late or misdirected mail or for printing errors.

California Water Associations Comment on Draft DPR Regulations

On June 24th, WateReuse California submitted comments on the Water Board’s draft Direct Potable Reuse regulations. The coalition letter included ACWA, CUWA, CA-NV Section of AWWA and CASA. WRCA developed these comments after holding a webcast and panel discussion in April to review the draft regulations and solicit comments.

A DPR Working Group was formed that assisted in the development of the final letter. In 2017 WRCA and California Coastkeepers Alliance co-sponsored AB 574 (Quirk), which requires the Water Board to develop DPR regulations by 2023.

Note: The State Water Board requested stakeholder feedback on the Addendum. The public comment period closed on June 25th.

From the comment letter…

Raw Water Augmentation (RWA) and Treated Water Augmentation (TWA)

  • DDW should consider a framework that balances the treatment, monitoring, and/or operational requirements to account for RWA benefits. This framework could draw off of the “toolbox” approach used in the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule that provides flexibility to take advantage of the site-specific elements that are available to a project.
  • We recommend that DDW develop criteria to identify the conditions that trigger revalidation studies and not make this a blanket requirement for all RWA water treatment plants. Requiring such studies of all surface water treatment plants seeking pathogen credit places an additional, high burden on RWA and may drive project sponsors to actively exclude their use. Greater clarity on the crediting of other barriers—such as small reservoirs and blending—would further help the industry consider and leverage the benefits of RWA.

Pathogen Control

  • We request that DDW work with the new DPR Expert Panel to identify the multiple layers of conservatism in the pathogen requirements and define the appropriate levels to achieve DDW’s daily risk goal for both RWA and TWA.

Chemical Control

  • We believe it would provide greater flexibility if DDW defined the performance requirements that they are seeking rather than requiring specific design criteria—e.g., ozone to TOC ratio or empty bed contact times (§64669.50(c)). For example, the IPR regulations require that advanced oxidation achieve 0.5-log reduction of 1,4-dioxane (a performance requirement) without specifying the technology
    (e.g., UV or ozone) or their required doses. A similar performance-based requirement for chemical control would make it easier to assess the equivalence of alternative options. We support performance requirements, such as the 1-log reduction of formaldehyde (§64669.50(c)), and ask DDW to specify any other requirements that would define equivalence for robust chemical control.
  • We suggest that DDW consider eliminating the 0.1 ppm TOC trigger while maintaining the remaining three triggers at their existing levels. project. Rather than reviewing the disparate results of quantitative risk assessments from multiple projects, the State Water
    Board may be better served by enlisting their Recycled Water CEC Expert Panel to provide guidance on chemical monitoring for DPR projects.
  • Rather than reviewing the disparate results of quantitative risk assessments from multiple projects, the State Water Board may be better served by enlisting their Recycled Water CEC Expert Panel to provide guidance on chemical monitoring for DPR projects.
  • We also oppose the requirement for online monitoring of the sewershed (§64669.40(d)(1)).

Technical, Managerial and Financial Capacity

  • Given that water treatment plant operators have successfully protected public health using existing staffing and certifications, the presence of a new source water should not trigger the need for additional AWT5 certifications and 24/7 staffing requirements. These
    onerous operational requirements will further disincentivize RWA in spite of the additional public health protection it can provide. We recommend that the requirement for onsite staffing at all facilities be re-evaluated, particularly at the drinking water and wastewater
    treatment plant where we do not believe 24/7 onsite staffing is necessary.

Conclusion

  • We appreciate the time, energy, and thoughtful consideration that was spent by DDW in preparing these draft regulations. We believe they will provide critical regulatory certainty for DPR projects in California. We ask that you consider the modifications above, which we believe will further improve these draft regulations.

CA-NV AWWA, CWEA Finalize Advanced Water Treatment Operator Certification Program

After four years of work, the Advanced Water Treatment Operator™ (AWTO®) certification program is now complete and launched by the California-Nevada Section of the American Water Works Association (CA-NV AWWA) and the California Water Environment Association (CWEA). The exam for the highest-grade level, known as AWT5™, launched on July 15th, completing the planned roll-out of exams on-budget and on a fast-tracked schedule.

AWTO certification allows water and wastewater operators to demonstrate their advanced knowledge and qualify for new career opportunities at high-tech water reuse facilities. As California and Nevada expand water reuse, AWT operators are expected to be in high demand.

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Update on AWTO Exam Testing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Advanced Water Treatment Operator™ (AWTO®) certification computer-based delivery options are limited during shelter-in-place orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professional testing centers operated by PSI are located throughout CA, NV and elsewhere. They are preparing to reopen as local and state jurisdictions permit.

The safety and disinfection processes are being updated.

You will find the latest information on PSI testing service here >

AWTO Exam Applications are Welcome

We are still accepting AWTO exam applications. We are not processing applications until we get the okay to do so by PSI.

Once approved you have one year to take the exam before your application expires. Any necessary adjustments due to COVID-19 will be announced here.

Learn more and apply here >

COVID-19 Water/Wastewater Resources

Intro to Advanced Water Treatment, March 31-April 2

Three-Day Workshop at CWEA’s 2020 Annual Conference
You can register just for this workshop, includes lunch each day.

Register on-line on MyCWEA.org >

Register with a PDF form >

More info on the CWEA AC20 website >

CWEA Annual Conference
Reno Convention Center & Atlantis Hotel Casino Spa

Tuesday March 31st to Thursday April 2nd

CA-NV AWWA or CWEA Member: $450 Early Bird 2/14/20, $550 Saver, $620 Full Rate
Non Member: $642 Early Bird 2/14/20, $742 Saver, $812 Full Rate

Workshop includes buffet lunch each day, Tuesday Icebreaker Reception, and Exhibit Hall on Wednesday and Thursday. This three-day workshop will introduce advanced water treatment and the processes associated with this type of wastewater reuse. It will outline and explain the technologies associated with advanced water treatment and explain the critical control points associated with the technologies.

  • TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 8:50 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 8:50 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The workshop will include hands-on activities associated with the treatment trains and group discussions concerning the technologies involved with treating wastewater to drinking water quality. Everyone is welcome.

Speaker

Dr. John Rowe, California State University Sacramento

  • Process Engineer, Office of Water Programs, California State University, Sacramento, 2017–present
  • Professor of Water Resources, Coastal Pines Technical College, Waycross, Georgia, 2000-2013
  • Professor of Water Resources, Florida Gateway College, Lake City, Florida, 2000-2013
  • Project Manager for CH2M Hill and OMI
  • Project Manager for Water Treatment Operations, Live Oak, Florida
  • Project Manager for Wastewater Treatment Operations, Live Oak, Florida
  • Public Works Director for CH2M Hill project in Live Oak, Florida

Who should attend

  • Experienced water treatment and wastewater operators who want to increase their knowledge and/or apply for AWTO™ certification (to apply for AWT3™ certification, candidates must hold a grade 3 or higher water treatment or wastewater operator certification)
  • Journey level and early-career water treatment and wastewater operators who want to work at an Advanced Water Treatment Facility (AWTF)
  • Engineers who would like to learn more about advanced technology
  • Operations managers
  • Project managers

AWTO Operator Certification

This course can support your preparation for Advanced Water Treatment Operator™ certification. Attending a class is only one part of exam preparation. For details on the AWTO certification and the KSAs you’ll need to know. Be sure to download the AWTO candidate handbook.

CWEA AC20 Workshop: 3-Day Introduction to Advanced Water Treatment

CWEA’s AC20 Registration opens on January 7, 2020
Click here to sign-up for an email alert when registration opens.

CWEA or CA-NV AWWA Member: $450 Early Bird, $550 Saver, $620 Full Rate
Non Member: $642 Early Bird, $742 Saver, $812 Full Rate

Workshop includes buffet lunch each day, Tuesday Icebreaker Reception, and Exhibit Hall on Wednesday and Thursday. This three-day workshop will introduce advanced water treatment and the processes associated with this type of wastewater reuse. It will outline and explain the technologies associated with advanced water treatment and explain the critical control points associated with the technologies.

Reno-Sparks Convention Center and Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, Reno, NV

  • TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 8:50 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 8:50 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The workshop will include hands-on activities associated with the treatment trains and group discussions concerning the technologies involved with treating wastewater to drinking water quality. Everyone is welcome.

Speaker

Dr. John Rowe, California State University Sacramento

  • Process Engineer, Office of Water Programs, California State University, Sacramento, 2017–present
  • Professor of Water Resources, Coastal Pines Technical College, Waycross, Georgia, 2000-2013
  • Professor of Water Resources, Florida Gateway College, Lake City, Florida, 2000-2013
  • Project Manager for CH2M Hill and OMI
  • Project Manager for Water Treatment Operations, Live Oak, Florida
  • Project Manager for Wastewater Treatment Operations, Live Oak, Florida
  • Public Works Director for CH2M Hill project in Live Oak, Florida

Who should attend

  • Experienced water treatment and wastewater operators who want to increase their knowledge and/or apply for AWTO™ certification (to apply for AWT3™ certification, candidates must hold a grade 3 or higher water treatment or wastewater operator certification)
  • Journey level and early-career water treatment and wastewater operators who want to work at an Advanced Water Treatment Facility (AWTF)
  • Engineers who would like to learn more about advanced technology
  • Operations managers
  • Project managers

AWTO Operator Certification

This course can support your preparation for Advanced Water Treatment Operator™ certification. Attending a class is only one part of exam preparation. For details on the AWTO certification and the KSAs you’ll need to know, please visit AWTOperator.org.

Be sure to download the AWTO candidate handbook.

Jan 30th Lunch Meeting in El Segundo: Ready to Become a Certified AWT Operator?

FREE EVENT & LUNCH
West Basin MWD​
Edward C Little Water Education Center​
1935 S. Hughes Way in El Segundo

Event flyer

Email to register

Come to this informative hour-long discussion about AWT Operator (AWTO™) Certification. ​

The value and benefits of obtaining AWTO Certification for operators and their agencies ​
Fernando Gonzalez, LA Sanitation & Environment​

The Steps to Becoming AWTO Certified​
Alec Mackie, CWEA​

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 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 AWT3™ exam are to hold a Grade 3 certification as a Wastewater Treatment Operator or Drinking Water Treatment Operator.​

Parking is free

About the Edward C. Little WRF​

The Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility (ECLWRF) is the largest water recycling facility of its kind in the United States and was recognized by the National Water Research Institute in 2002 as one of only six national centers for water treatment technologies. ​
The ECLWRF is the only treatment facility in the country that produces five different qualities of “designer” or custom-made recycled water that meet the unique needs of West Basin’s municipal, commercial and industrial customers.​
The facility produces approximately 40 million gallons of useable water every day, conserving enough drinking water to meet the needs of 80,000 households for a year

Dec 9th Lunch Meeting in Pacifica: Ready to Become a Certified AWTO?

DATE/TIME
December 9
11:30 am – 1:00 pm

LOCATION
City of Pacifica
2212 Beach Blvd
Pacifica, CA 94044-3054

EVENT FLYER

REGISTER VIA E-MAIL 

Come to this informative hour-long discussion about advanced water treatment technologies and the new AWT Operator Certification program from CA-NV AWWA and CWEA. Learn about the advanced technologies for water reuse. Presenters include:

Darrell Andrews, Chief Stationary Engineer at San Francisco PUC headquarters on the Living Machine
Phil Scott, GM for West Bay Sanitary District on designing their new Recycled Water Treatment Plant
Alec Mackie on the new Advanced Water Treatment Operator certification program
Please RSVP by Nov. 25th to: Irene Carrasco City of Pacifica carrascoi@ci.pacifica.ca.us

Sign up for email updates at: www.awtoperator.org

Drinking water treatment, wastewater treatment or water reuse operators working at facilities using advanced water treatment technologies may be interested in earning the new, voluntary AWTO Certification. AWT Operators protect public health by ensuring a supply of safe and high-quality drinking water.

The minimum qualifications to apply for AWT3™ exam are to hold a Grade 3 certification as a Wastewater Treatment Operator or Drinking Water Treatment Operator.

MEETING THE NEED: Developing Certification for Advanced Water Treatment Operators

The following has been reformatted and republished with permission from September 2019 Journal AWWA (Vol. 111, No. 9). Copyright AWWA 2019. All rights reserved. The original article may be accessed on the Journal AWWA website at https://awwa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/15518833

By Steven Garner
Certification Manager
CA-NV AWWA

Key Takeaways

The California–Nevada Section of AWWA and California Water Environment Association sought a new industry certification for operators working with advanced water treatment (AWT) processes.

A diverse set of stakeholders and experts added their perspectives on the development of the new certification.

The AWTO Grade 3 exam was released in July 2019.

Water has been reused since ancient times, primarily resulting from upstream users discharging their waste into rivers, lakes, and other water bodies. Over time, nonpotable reuse gained popularity to meet irrigation and industrial demands. So, while overall reuse is not new, intentional potable reuse (i.e., treating wastewater historically released into the environment so that it meets drinking water standards) is still a relatively novel approach to water supply for almost all utilities.

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Learn More about AWTO at Upcoming Events

Upcoming Presentations

  • Oct 21st – San Diego – Advanced Water Treatment Operator 1-Day Workshop, CA-NV AWWA Fall Conference learn more

Request a Presentation

To request an AWTO speaker please contact: Alec Mackie, CWEA, 510.382.7800 x114

Past Presentations

Event, Speaker, date

  • WateReuse CA 2019, Erin Mackey, 3/20/2018
  • AWWA Conference, Gordon Williams, 6/15/2018
  • GES of CWEA, Larry Parlin, 11/15/2018
  • ABC Innovation in Certification, Steven Garner, 1/10/19
  • WateReuse CA 2019, Erin Mackey, 3/18/2019
  • CA-NV AWWA Conference, Peter Brooks and Steven Garner, 3/25/2019
  • MWD, Heather Collins, 3/29/2019
  • WateReuse LA , Toby Roy, 4/9/2019
  • CWEA Annual Conference, Norah Duffy, 4/11/19
  • City of Modesto Dr. John Rowe, 4/15/2019
  • Desal Conference, Gordon Williams, 4/15/2019
  • ACWA Spring Conference, Steven Garner   5/8/2019
  • SoCal CA-NV AWWA, Jack Bebe , 5/15/2019
  • SARBS of CWEA, Chibby Alloway, 5/15/2019
  • WateReuse Central Coast, Chris Martin, 5/23/2019
  • SWMOA Conference, Yan Zhang and Alec Mackie, 6/24/2019
  • Monterey Bay AWTO training workshop, 7/10/19
  • July 28-30 – Flagstaff – WateReuse AZ – AWTO program update with Erin Mackey
  • August 6-8 – Las Vegas – TriState Seminar – AWTO info table (in the sessions area)
  • August 21 – Orange – CA-NV Water Education Symposium
  • Sept 9 – San Diego – WateReuse Conference – AWTO Certification update with Erin Mackey

Advanced Water Treatment Operator Workshop, 9/30-10/2, Chino

Objectives:

Following this workshop, learners will be able to:

  • Outline the skills and knowledge that operators of advanced water treatment systems are required to have
  • Describe the reasons for implementing advanced water treatment systems
  • Describe the treatment processes that are associated with advanced water treatment
  • Describe the critical control points associated with advanced water treatment systems

Registration

Visit the CA-NV AWWA website to learn more and to register

Member $325 / Non-member $425

21 contact hours.

Location: Inland Empire Utilities Agency, 6075 Kimball Avenue
Chino, CA

Date/time: September 30 -October 2
8:00 am – 4:00 pm

 

Agenda:

Day 1
Introduction to advanced water treatment
Overview of skills and knowledge required of operators of advanced water treatment facilities
Treatment trains used for advanced water treatment
Advanced water treatment processes:Membrane filtration
Ozone
UV light
Advanced oxidation
Biological filtration/oxidation
Activated carbon

Day 2
Learning strategies as they relate to engaging advanced water treatment information.
Ancillary processes associated with advanced water treatment

Corrosion control
Manganese and iron removal
Critical control points
Regulator considerations
Critical control points and monitoring criteria
Pathogens removal
Trace organics and inorganics
Nitrogen removal
Total dissolved solids considerations

Day 3
Disinfection byproducts
Free chlorine disinfection
Ozone disinfection
Control systems
Critical control points
Multiple barrier approach to treatment and public health

This class is 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.
Earn up to 21 contact hours.
Instructor: Gina Dorrington

Due to our commitment to instructors, other students and materials, the following refund policy applies:
Requests for refunds must be made in writing and are subject to the following conditions: Full refund of fee paid (minus $50.00 handling fee) will be issued for cancellations received more than 15 days prior to class start date.  All fees are non-refundable thereafter.
Requests for transfers must be made in writing and are subject to the following conditions: Transfers are based on availability.  No transfer requests will be authorized if they are not received more than 15 days prior to class start date.
A 100% refund or credit of your registration fee will be issued if a class is cancelled by the Section.

Free Webinar, July 10th: AWTO™ Certification Orientation Webinar

We’re holding the AWT Operator Certification webinar once again.

The Future of Water is Here.
Get ready. Get AWTO™ certified!

Wednesday, July 10th
Noon to 1:00pm

Register for the webinar here

You will learn about:

  • AWTO Program Background
    Gordon Williams, EBMUD and AWTO Committee
  • AWTO Exam Sign-up Process
    Alec Mackie, CWEA
  • Audience Q&A
    Facilitated by Steven Garner, Certification Manager, CA-NV AWWA

We are now accepting applications for the AWT3™ certification exam. Click here to learn about the application process

We are now accepting applications for the AWT3 Certification Exam

The AWT Operator™ Certification program is kicking off and we’re ready to start taking applications for the exam.

Remember, to apply for the AWT3 exam you must current hold a Grade 3, California or Nevada issued operator certification (drinking water treatment operator or wastewater treatment operator).

Follow the steps on the Apply page.

The first step is to download the AWTO™ Candidate Handbook.

The future of water is starting now.
Get AWTO certified.

Good luck!

AWTO Program Development Timeline

AWT Operator Program

Tasks Completed
✔ AWTO™ Certification Committee formed
✔ Group of Subject Matter Experts identified and interviewed
✔ Job analysis completed
✔ KSAs finished for grades 3-5
✔ Minimum qualifications developed for grades 3-5
✔ Market research/forecasts written
✔ Business plan/budgets outlined
✔ CA-NV AWWA & CWEA Memorandum of Agreement signed
✔ Selected Dainis and Company as our exam development consultant
✔ Interview Subject Matter Experts (SME)
✔ Engage SMEs with item writing (exam questions)
✔ Creation of SME extraction document of all interviews
✔ Review Items
✔ Rate items based upon minimally competent operator answering correctly
✔ Determine passing score
✔ Create exam form (AWT3™)
✔ Create exam form (AWT4™)
✔ Create exam form (AWT5™)
✔ Develop candidate handbook
✔ Sign contract with computerized based testing provider

Tasks Ahead

⦾ Deliver first exams summer 2019

To stay up-to-date with each milestone, please sign up for the AWTO e-mail list >

Webinar: Announcing the Advanced Water Treatment Operator Certification Program

The Advanced Water Treatment Operator Joint Committee held a program overview webinar on Thursday March 14th. Topics included:

  • Welcome
    Toby Roy, Chair, AWTO Committee
    (retired) San Diego County Water Authority
  • The value and benefits of obtaining AWTO Certification for the operators and their agencies
    Fernando Gonzalez, LA Sanitation
  • AWTO Program Development Background
    Yan Zhang, Long Beach Water Dept.

    • Information on the development of the AWTO Grades 3-5 certification program
    • The minimum qualifications for operators to take the exams and become certified
  • Exam process
    Alec Mackie, CWEA

    • Resources for learning about the treatment processes and range of knowledge included in the certification program
    • The process for applying and taking the exam
  • Audience Q&A with speakers
    Facilitated by Steven Garner, CA-NV AWWA

Presenters:

  • Toby Roy, retired, San Diego County Water Authority
  • Fernando Gonzalez, Plan Manager, Terminal Island WRP, LA Sanitation, City of Los Angeles
  • Yan Zhang, Senior Civil Engineer, Long Beach Water Department
  • Steven Garner, Certification Manager, CA-NV AWWA
  • Alec Mackie, Director of Communications, CWEA