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PREPARING FOR THE PO WASTEWATER TREATMENT EXAMINATION
All PO certification examinations consist of 100 scored and 10 unscored best-of-four-choice questions. The examinations are only offered in English. Examination questions are job-related; they are not designed to simply test the recall of isolated facts, but to test the application of the knowledge and abilities needed to successfully operate wastewater treatment systems. Exam preparation materials appropriate for operators preparing for a PO Wastewater Treatment certification exam are detailed below.

NEED-TO-KNOW CRITERIA

The Wastewater Treatment Operator Need-to-Know Criteria describe the core competencies covered on PO Wastewater Treatment certification exams and lists exam specifications as well as reference material that should be used to prepare for the exams. Utilize the Wastewater Treatment Operator Need-to-Know Criteria to identify the exam’s content areas as well as the level of comprehension needed for each content area. The matrix provided in the Wastewater Treatment Operator Need-to-Know Criteria can be used to get a general impression of the examination, and with closer inspection, can help examinees identify specific topics for further study.

FORMULA/CONVERSION TABLE

PO Wastewater Treatment examinees are provided with a formula/conversion table during the exam. This table contains helpful mathematical formulas and unit conversions and also defines common abbreviations that may be present on the exam. Review the appropriate formula/conversion table to become familiar with the formulas and abbreviations available on test day.

EXAM REFERENCES

The following are approved reference sources for the PO Wastewater Treatment certification exams. Operators should use the latest edition of these reference sources to prepare for the exams.

WEF
WEF Website

  • Activated Sludge - Manual of Practice OM-9
  • Basic Laboratory Procedures for the Operator-Analyst
  • Chlorination/Dechlorination Handbook
  • Operation of Extended Aeration Package Plants
  • Operation of Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants - Manual of Practice No. 11
  • Operation of Nutrient Removal Facilities
  • Wastewater Biology: The Microlife

CSUS FOUNDATION, OFFICE OF WATER PROGRAMS
CSUS OWP Website

  • Advanced Waste Treatment
  • Operation of Wastewater Treatment Plants, Volume I and Volume II
APHA, AWWA, WEF
Website
  • Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater

STUDY GUIDE

A study guide to help operators prepare for taking a certification exam is available from WEF.

WEF
WEF Website

  • WEF/ABC/C2EP Wastewater Operators' Guide to Preparing for the Certification Examination

SAMPLE EXAM QUESTIONS

While sample exam questions are not duplicated on any exam, they are provided as examples of the types of questions and format you will encounter on PO certification exams. Sample exam questions are not meant to represent any current exam questions or to be used as content study material.

View Sample Wastewater Treatment Operator Exam Questions.

COPYRIGHTED EXAMINATION QUESTIONS

All examination questions are the copyrighted property of ABC. It is forbidden under federal copyright law to copy, reproduce, record, distribute, or display these examination questions by any means, in whole or in part, without written permission from ABC. Doing so may subject violators to severe civil and criminal penalties and is a violation of the Professional Operator Code of Conduct.

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