Waterworks Operator Certification

What is the purpose of this certification?
Operators designated in charge by the water system, or operators in charge of an operating shift are required by the State of Washington to be certified. Not all operators are required to be certified. Other operators may apply for certification on their own. The Waterworks Operator Certification Program is administered by the Department of Health, Office of Drinking Water (DOH-ODW).
Who issues this certification?
Department of Health
What activities require this certification?
Operating a waterworks, or a portion of waterworks, including any treatment facilities or distribution systems.
How much will this certification cost?
Fees vary between $87 and $51 based on the level of exam(s) you are taking. Only one application fee is required if taking multiple exams and you will pay the fee based on the highest level exam you are applying for. A separate exam fee is paid to a third party provider (Applied Measurement Professionals - AMP) of $75 to $87 for each exam taken. For questions contact the Washington State Department of Health, Office of Drinking Water, Waterworks Operator Certification Program toll free at (800) 525-2536 extension 1 or (360) 236-3141.
Where can I get the application for this certification?
The application is called 'Waterworks Exam Packet' is online and can be accessed at https://doh.wa.gov/community-and-environment/drinking-water/regulation-and-compliance/waterworks-operator-certification.
Do I need to include anything with my application?
Include your fee, exam application, affidavit of employment, operator information sheet, and documentation of formal education (if applicable).
Is the decision on my certification dependent on anything besides the information in my application?
Verification of waterworks operating experience and rating of water treatment plant (if applicable).
How long will it take to review my application?
The submittal process allows the Waterworks Operator Certification Program 45 days to review the application.
Where do I submit my application?
Department of Health
Waterworks Operator Certification Program
PO Box 1099
Olympia, WA 98507-1099
How long is my certification valid?
All permits (certificates) are renewed annually on January 1.
What is the appeal process for the certification?
This does not apply.
Legal Authority:
Permit Timeliness Results

Permit Timeliness data collection is in response to a State Auditor’s Performance Audit and RCW 43.42A. Each regulatory agency developed a plan to improve permit clarity, predictability, and timeliness. Each agency considers the customers experience to ensure permit assistance is simple to use, easy to access, and designed in a customer-friendly manner. Agencies report progress to the Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA). ORIA prepares and distributes reports, with participation from the State Auditor’s Office and Results Washington. See latest report here: https://www.oria.wa.gov/ORIA-2020-PermitTimelinessProgressReport.pdf.

All permits submitted for reporting were entered into this Regulatory Handbook. Here are the results of the performance data:

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Process a Permit Application (Definition)
Average number of days from Receipt to Complete: 8
Maximum number of days from Receipt to Complete: 8

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Issue a Permit Decision (Definition)
Average number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 8
Maximum number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 8

(Summary results based on 942 submittals in 2023)

Department of Health
Office of Drinking Water
243 Israel Road SE, 2nd Floor
PO Box 47822
Olympia, WA 98504-7822
Telephone: (360) 236-3100
Toll Free: 1-800-521-0323
Fax: (360) 236-2253
Website: https://doh.wa.gov/
Triggering Questions:
  • Will you be responsible for the management or operation of a public water system or any part of such a system?
  • Are you working or trying to obtain a position with a water system that requires you to be certified, licensed, etc. by the State of Washington?
* Permit information last updated 10/26/2022