Begin, Upgrade, or Recertify in Wastewater Operations

Kirkwood Community College offers IDNR-approved water and wastewater workshop programs statewide for operator upgrade and recertification. Courses are available year-round in classroom, online, and self-guided formats to fit your schedule and learning preferences.

Keeping track of your CEUs for renewal has never been easier. Upon completion of a course, CEUs will be posted to your permanent record and reported to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources on your behalf.

Begin and develop your journey in water treatment, water distribution, wastewater, pump installation, or well contracting in Iowa.

Together, we can keep Iowa's water and environment safe and clean.


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Kirkwood Community College is an approved issuing agency for Water and Wastewater Recertification & Upgrade. The state of Iowa requires all licensed water and wastewater operators to maintain certification through the completion of approved educational course offerings. Grade I and II water/wastewater operators are required to complete 10 hours (1.0 CEU), Grade III and IV water/wastewater operators must complete 20 hours (2.0 CEU) of training every two years. The current renewal period is April 1, 2023 through March 31, 2025.

As an operator, you are responsible for keeping a record of all continuing education courses you have taken in the current renewal period. Kirkwood has developed a tracking system for you for classes that have come through us for processing.

Please note: If you have taken classes through other community colleges or other agencies that no longer process their CEUs through Kirkwood Community College, they will no longer be listed on your transcript.

To request a CEU transcript through Kirkwood, please email contactce@kirkwood.edu.

The Iowa DNR recognizes courses for Water Treatment, Water Distribution, and Wastewater CEUs. We sponsor a variety of courses offered at several locations throughout the state and in several formats. Please view our catalog or look online for updated information.

Classroom: Short-term, subject-specific workshops designed to upgrade the skills of existing operators and basic training classes in water and wastewater treatment for entry-level operators. Each workshop lasts from one to four days and covers specific subjects such as pump maintenance, chlorination chemistry, and worker safety regulations.

Online: Fully-online workshops designed to upgrade the skills of existing operators and basic training classes in water and wastewater treatment for entry-level operators. Covers specialized, need-to-know information and skills.

Self-Guided: Courses are all based on the texts developed by the California State University, Sacramento, Office of Water Programs. Modules require completion of sample problem sets and exercises, as well as monitored evaluations where the operator must achieve a score of 70% to receive completion credit and advance to the next module. Pencil/paper or online formats are available for most courses.

Please view the following PDF for a list of approved and unapproved training topics prepared by IDNR in cooperation with the Iowa joint Operator Certification and Training Coordination Committee for Certified Water and Wastewater Operators.

To view the PDF with the complete list, please click here.

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Continuing Education