Industry's first water, wastewater operator certification program standards released

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ANKENY, IOWA, Jan. 15, 2014 -- A new document has been released that that introduces the water industry's first comprehensive, uniform standards for water and wastewater operator certification programs.

Published by the Association of Boards of Certification (ABC), the Model Standards of Operator Certification address a significant industry need for consistency among the management of state public water and wastewater systems. Although a majority of states recognize the importance of certifying the professionals who manage these systems, each state has different criteria.

These voluntary certification standards will increase the credibility and value of water and wastewater operators' credentials; improve efficiency in hiring by providing employers more certainty in professional qualification of personnel; and promote public confidence in the safety of municipal water and the environment.

"ABC's goal in developing these standards was not to judge the quality of any one program but to enhance the integrity of all programs," said Paul D. Bishop, chief executive officer of ABC. "The worldwide lack of comprehensive and uniform certification standards compounds the infrastructure, workforce and environmental challenges confronting the future of water and wastewater management."

ABC's Model Standards will address this substantial industry challenge and give uniformity to the process of certifying water professionals across the nation and the world. Further, the publication reflects expert consensus from a variety of stakeholders including operators, certification program administrators, regulators, and trainers on specifications for water and wastewater operator certification programs.

"ABC is hopeful that the introduction and adoption of the Model Standards will inspire stakeholders to envision, value and realize a sustainable water future," said Bishop.

About the Association of Boards of Certification

Founded in 1972, the Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) is an international association dedicated to advancing the quality and integrity of environmental certification programs. ABC is a member-driven organization leading the water industry through the development of model standards and professionalization of the industry workforce. For more information, visit


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