Renewing an Arizona Water or Wastewater Operator Certificate

In Arizona, the timeline for renewing an operator certificate can be a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it’s pretty nice that you only have to worry about it every three years, considering a lot of states make water and wastewater operators renew annually. On the other hand, the three-year mark is just long enough to forget what you did to renew last time around. 

We’re here to help. If you need to renew a water or wastewater operator certificate with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), here’s your step-by-step guide. 


Step one: figure out your renewal date

While all operator certificates have a three-year lifespan, there’s no fixed expiration date. Just because your buddy’s renewal is due next month doesn’t necessarily mean yours is, so check your certificate to figure out your individual expiration date. 

If you have multiple certificates, it’s possible that they could each have different expiration dates. Take a look at all of your certificates individually to make sure you don’t miss this critical ADEQ deadline.


Step two: complete your professional development hours (PDHs)

ADEQ requires you to get a specific number of continuing education hours during each renewal cycle. They call these hours professional development hours, or PDHs. 

Both water and wastewater operators need 30 PDHs during each renewal cycle. 10 of those hours need to be directly related to your certificate, too. That’s true whether you have one certificate or multiple — and no matter which grade applies to each of your certificates. 

Two pieces of good news: first, you can take your hours online here. That way, you don’t have to worry about going to some classroom or getting time off work. You can chip away at the 30 hours you need whenever you want. 

If you choose an online education provider, make sure they have ADEQ approval. To get an idea of what that looks like, you can see our approval letter at the bottom of this page. 

Now, for the second piece of good news. To get all of the hours you need — and to make sure they’ll meet ADEQ’s requirements — you can choose an online 30-hour Arizona PDH package


Step three: submit your renewal online and pay the fee

Once you have the PDHs you need, you’re ready to submit your renewal. ADEQ maintains an online portal for this. You’ll log in using the email address that the state has on file for you. You can search this database if you’re not sure what email that is. 

As part of the renewal process, you’ll need to pay the renewal fee. That amount depends on how many certificates you have:

  • One certificate: $150
  • Two certificates: $200
  • Three certificates: $250
  • Four certificates: $300

Make sure you mark your calendar with the appropriate renewal deadlines for each of your operator certificates. You might also want to put a date on your calendar for about a month before your certificate(s) expires so you can get plenty of time to knock out your PDHs.