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Free SWS Basics Course

Free One-Day Course for SWS Operators

The course is designed for SWS operators, this free one-day course covers the basics of water system operation and maintenance, water testing and other regulations, waterborne disease, water treatment for small systems and recordkeeping. The class also reviews the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments, the State Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund, and water system security issues.

You must complete the one day course and pass the exam, with a 70% or better, in order to apply for a SWS certification.

Note: Distribution or Treatment operators who are certified at Levels 1-4 can be the operator for a small water system and do not need to complete the one day course or the exam. The water system still needs to complete a new SWS operator application form every 3 years and submit it to the State.

Course Schedule
The Oregon Association of Water Utilities (OAWU) is currently offering the course.

Exams

Effective August 1, 2022, tests are required for anyone seeking to be eligible for assignment as DRC for a small water system. Exams are provided at the end of the course. Tests are mailed to an OHA-DWS office for grading. Certificates for a passing exam score of 70% or higher will be provided by email.

If you need to retake the exam or you weren't able to take the exam following the training you can schedule it by using our online form. Certificates for a passing exam score of 70% or higher will be provided by email.
  • Schedule your SWS exam

Course Credit

Upon course completion, attendees receive a certificate of attendance showing 0.6 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). 




Small Water System Certification

You can apply for a SWS operator certification after attending our free 1-day training and completing the exam with a passing score of 70%. Once you complete the course and pass the exam you will need to submit a SWS operator application along with your course completion certificate, and exam certificate. Those applying for certification after 2020 must also include a copy of their high school diploma/transcripts, GED, or college diploma/transcripts.

No fees are associated with the SWS operator certification. 

A Distribution or Treatment operator who is certified at Levels 1-4 can be the operator for a small water system. A level 1-4 operator does not need to complete the one day course or the exam. The water system still needs to complete a new SWS operator application form every 3 years and submit it to the State.

Small Water System Renewal

To renew a SWS operator certification, the operator must complete a free SWS training course (see below) every 3 years, and submit a new PDF iconSWS operator application with the course completion certificate. No other courses are required or can be substituted for these requirements. After you have successfully completed the exam one time you will not need to take the exam again, unless your cortication has expired.   

No fees are associated with the SWS operator certification renewal. 


Additional training options for certification