PREPARING FOR THE PO WATER TREATMENT EXAMINATION
All PO certification examinations consist of 100 scored and up to 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 water treatment systems. Exam preparation materials appropriate for operators preparing for a PO Water Treatment certification exam are detailed below.
The Need-to-Know Criteria describe the core competencies covered on PO Water Treatment certification exams and lists exam specifications as well as reference material that should be used to prepare for the exams. Utilize the Water 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 Water 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.
PO Water 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.
The following are approved reference sources for the PO Water Treatment certification exams. Operators should use the latest edition of these reference sources to prepare for the exams.
- *WSO: Water Treatment Series (Grade 1, Grade 2, Grades 3 & 4)
- *WSO: Water Distribution Series (Grades 1 & 2, Grades 3 & 4)
- Basic Science Concepts and Applications
- Water Quality
- Water Sources
- Water System Security, A Field Guide
*These WSO texts replace previous AWWA titles Water Treatment and Water Transmission and Distribution. Visit www.awwa.org/wso to learn more about transitioning between the guides.
ASDWA & NRWA
- Security Vulnerability Self Assessment Guide for Small Drinking Water Systems
CSUS FOUNDATION, OFFICE OF WATER PROGRAMS
CSUS OWP Website
- Manage for Success
- Water Treatment Plant Operation, Volume I and Volume II
A study guide to help operators prepare for taking a certification exam is available for purchase from AWWA.
- Operator Certification Study Guide, Sixth Edition: A Guide to Preparing for Water Treatment and Distribution Operator Certification Exams
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.
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.