Welcome to the State of California 

Drinking Water Treatment & Distribution System Operators

Last Update: August 11, 2014

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 (2012) (PDF)Opens a new browser window..

Scroll to the bottom of this page for information about certification, the application and exam process, and continuing education and training.

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On July 1, 2014 the Drinking Water Program moved from CDPH to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). Find out more at http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/drinkingwater/index.shtml.  This transfer includes the Drinking Water Treatment & Distribution System Operator Certification Program --  for information on how this transfer may affect the program, please review the Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)Opens in New Window..

Exam Changes

Due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, sites for both Distribution and Treatment exams have been limited to the following locations: Fresno, Los Angeles, Redding, Sacramento, San Jose, San Bernardino, San Diego and Vallejo.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. 

Distribution Exams Results

Water Distribution Exams (Word)Opens a new browser window.

Treatment Exams Results

Water Treatment Exams (Word)Opens a new browser window.

Certified Water Treatment Operators

Treatment Operators A-L (PDF)Opens a new browser window.

Treatment Operators M-Z (PDF)Opens a new browser window.

Certified Water Distribution Operators

Distribution Operators A-L (PDF)Opens a new browser window.

Change of Address

Change of Address Form (PDF)Opens a new browser window. 

Operator Certification Program Contacts

 Water Treatment - Exam and Certification Requirements:

 Bonnie Sutherland

 (916) 449-5629


 Water Distribution - Exam and Certifcation Requirements:

 Karen Hinrichs

 (916) 449-5628


 Certificate Renewal - Continuing Education:

 Steve Bogart

 (916) 449-5615; Fax (916) 445-8496


 Issuance of New T1, T2 or D1, D2 Certificates:

 Chris Walker

 (916) 449-5610



 Amy Chiang

 (916) 449-5618


 Operator Mailing Lists:

 Amy Chiang

 (916) 449-5618


 Reciprocity Information:

 Jon Strutzel

 (916) 445-8497



 To appeal a decision, please contact:

 Alice Webber, Manager  (916) 449-5642  Alice.Webber@waterboards.ca.gov

Additional Contact Information

The Operator Certification Program is located at 1616 Capitol Avenue, Suite 74.250, Sacramento, California, 95814. For general information or inquiries, please contact the Operator Certification Program at:

Operator Certification Program (OpCert)
Drinking Water Program
State Water Resources Control Board
P.O. Box 997377, MS 7417
Sacramento, CA 95899-7377

Telephone: (916) 449-5611

Fax: (916) 449-5654

Follow these links for additional information:

Last modified on: 8/11/2014 7:39 AM