Update on the AWTO Certification Program and Upcoming Webinar

Dear CA and NV Water Professionals,

After three years of significant effort, the California-Nevada Section of the American Water Works Association (CA-NV AWWA) and the California Water and Environment Association (CWEA) are prepared to launch the Advanced Water Treatment Operator Certification™ Program (AWTO™ Certification Program) and will begin offering certification exams for drinking water and wastewater treatment operators in California and Nevada by May 2019.

I would like to invite you to participate in a one-hour webinar Overview of the AWTO Certification Program on Thursday, March 14th at 11:00am. You can learn about:

  • The value and benefits of obtaining AWTO Certification for the operators and their agencies
    Toby Roy, Chair, AWTO Certification Committee and Fernando Gonzalez, LA Sanitation
  • AWTO 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 – 11:50-Noon
    Facilitated by Steven Garner, CA-NV AWWA

Thursday, March 14 11:00am to Noon
Webinar registration link >

The webinar will be recorded.

The webinar is appropriate for agency leaders, plant managers and water/wastewater operators. If possible, please plan to gather as a group in a conference room to view the webinar. We have only 100 log-ins available for the webinar.

AWTO Program Update

CA-NV AWWA and CWEA entered into two Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) on 12/15/17 and 11/29/18. Volunteers, staff and psychometric consultants collaboratively developed the new voluntary certification program.   The goals of the program are to:
Certify Advanced Water Treatment Operators to ensure they provide clean water and protect public health
Provide an advanced level certification program requested by water and wastewater agencies and State regulators
Maximize the safe use of water supplies in California and Nevada.
CA-NV AWWA and CWEA are completing an AWTO Candidate Handbook, which will be available by spring 2019.

Thank you to the AWTO program supporters

Development of a voluntary certification program is possible thanks to the strong interest and support from water and wastewater professionals, including:

  • Industry Supporters: California Urban Water Agencies (CUWA), American Water Works Associations (AWWA), Water Environment Federation (WEF), Water Research Foundation (WRF) and WateReuse California.
  • Water and Wastewater Agencies: Several water and wastewater agencies are providing funding (shown below) and their staff are participating in the development of the program.
  • AWTO Committee and Subject Matter Experts:  A committee of over 90 people worked diligently to provide direction for the program.  Subject matter experts volunteered their time to provide input on the job analysis, the knowledge, skills and abilities required of a qualified AWT Operator, and to develop exam content.
  • California State Water Resources Control Board Staff:  The CA State Water Board has an interest in the development of the certification program. CA Water Board staff provide input to ensure the program is compatible with the State’s interests in protecting public health.

Details on registering for the grade 3 AWTO exam are not ready yet but will be posted soon. We’ll send another message as soon as those details are posted.

I look forward to discussing the new AWTO certification with you during the March 14th webinar.


Toby Roy

Chair, AWTO Certification Committee
(Retired) San Diego County Water Authority

Thank you to the AWTO Program Supporters