The modern-day water operator is a multifaceted professional with an incredibly important job. Not only do they ensure safe drinking water, clean waste streams and proper system flow, but they also provide critical maintenance and repair services to keep the public environment healthy. With so much on their plate, it is difficult for these professionals to receive the recognition they truly deserve—which is why we created the Professional Operator (PO) program! It is an exciting way to recognize operators who want to go above and beyond in their profession and expertise and be recognized through an industry leading certification program. Through this program, we applaud those who demonstrate extraordinary efforts while upholding a code of conduct and dedication to their profession and communities.
As a society, we all rely on water operators—it is the dedication and expertise of these skilled professionals that helps us to live healthier lives and make our cities function better—now more than ever. The PO program provides essential recognition for those operators who have chosen to be certified as expert water and wastewater treatment operators through our rigorous standards-based testing and peer developed program.
The PO program was built by operators, for operators to meet and/or exceed all state and provincial certification program standards. It was developed to bring standardization to our water and wastewater operator certification community based upon the best practices of WPI members around the world. It requires education and experience similar to governmental jurisdictions and utilizes WPI’s services through the ABC Testing standardized exams for assessing operator competence. To date over 300 people have gone through the program, and more are applying every day.
Not only is the PO program great for recognizing operator proficiency, but it is also able to help existing programs or remote jurisdictions in certifying operators where no current governance or certification is available. It is also being explored by WPI’s members as a means of outsourcing their current certification administration so government agencies can focus on their core responsibilities of regulatory enforcement.
Water operators are essential to the safety and well-being of our communities. They are first responders in so many ways, from developing our communities to advancing medical technology, that we owe them a debt of gratitude for the essential role they play. With the PO program, their dedication is recognized and celebrated through a national standard that meets each state and provincial standard. Let us take a moment to recognize these professionals who have taken the extra steps in their professional development and become certified professional operators—they serve as an inspiration for other water operators and for everyone. As citizens, let us show our gratitude for their invaluable service by supporting Professional Operators across the country. Join them—become a Professional Operator today and make a difference in your community!