Empowering, Educating and Connecting water professionals to protect public health and the environment.


A sustainable California water environment.

Uniting the water sector – volunteers from CWEA and CA-NV AWWA working together on the Advanced Water Treatment Operator certification. The AWTO certification program launched in 2019. Learn more at our website AWTOperator.org

CWEA Programs

Our extensive CWEA Technical Certification Program is built around your major career milestones, serving as a roadmap to achieving your professional goals. Trusted by more than 6,000 wastewater professionals across California, CWEA’s certification program provides assurance of professional competency, training, and safe work practices.


More than 20 standing committees help bring CWEA’s mission to life, including training events, conferences publications, awards programs and technical certification program.


CWEA offers convenient and accessible opportunities to engage on a local level through meetings and training events with local sections. We have 17 local sections spread across California, so there’s a fun, active group near you. Feel free to drop by the next local section event in your area and get started networking with fellow wastewater pros.

CWEA membership provides access to an inclusive, collaborative community of professionals that spans roles, career stages, and regions.


CWEA’s Board and volunteer leaders are committed to helping wastewater professionals become experts and industry leaders while enjoying a rewarding career through CWEA certification, events and volunteering.

Based on our goal, CWEA has the following objectives for our events;

  • Deliver compelling member experience
  • Strengthen the wastewater profession
  • Advance our education missions in alignment with the CWEA strategic plan
  • Ensure the long-term sustainability of the profession and the association

CWEA depends on passionate volunteers. If you’d like to get more involved, consider volunteering for:

  • Speaker/trainer opportunities
  • Conference organizing committees
  • Conference facilitator/room host roles


CWEA is the trusted organization that advocates for and empowers wastewater professionals so they can protect and harness the potential of California’s most critical resource because all water is essential.

There are many organizations working on water issues and CWEA is the only California focused professional organization for wastewater professionals.

CWEA’s volunteer leaders and members are working on several emerging challenges as well as exciting opportunities, including:

  • Our industry is facing staffing challenges as 1/3 of the water workforce retires
  • We need to connect with a younger generation and make wastewater more visible
  • People come to the wastewater field for a variety of reasons and stay for the community, sense of pride, and service to the public
  • The water sector is rapidly changing as California moves towards water resource recovery, one water philosophy and direct potable reuse




The Story of CWEA's Founding
Founded in 1928, CWEA has been a leader in advancing clean water professionals and innovations for over 90 years.
CWEA's Past Presidents
The amazing wastewater leaders who have served as CWEA President. Detailed list coming soon.
Meet the Founders
Meet the early-leaders of CWEA and how they built the state’s wastewater infrastructure. Who were they? What did they do and what were their contributions? Find out in our History Committee’s article.


Treatment Process
Treatment Process
How does a water resource recovery facility thoroughly remove trash and pollutants to create safe, clean water. Find out here.
There's Nothing to Waste in Wastewater
We’re changing the name of wastewater treatment plants to water resource recovery facilities. Find out why CWEA believes in a future full of resource recovery and greener communities.
Building Healthy Soils with Biosolids
Building Healthy Soils with Biosolids
Now is a great time to build an amazing career as a California water or wastewater professional. There are hundreds of job categories available and thousands of job openings. Learn more about these great careers for a great cause. Work for water!


California's First Recycled Water Facility
In 1929 LADWP commissioned an ambitious program of sewage reclamation field studies, on an experimental basis to head off a shortage of water in LA.
The Lost Water Recycling Facility in Golden Gate Park
The Golden Gate Park recycled water facility is recognized as the first recycled water facility in California with effluent fully dedicated to the irrigation of public parkland and the creation of lakes, artificial brooks, and waterfalls.
Pioneering the Activated Sludge Process in Lodi
The City of Lodi’s activated sludge plant successfully opened in the 1920s at the South Ham Lane location and operated until 1967 when new treatment facilities were constructed.