The pink color of the lagoon above is indicative of healthy microbial activity in a swine lagoon.


The Animal Waste Operator Certification program is housed in the NC Division of Water Resources.  Initial Certification Schools and Continuing Education classes are offered throughout the year by participating training providers such as NCSU Cooperative Extension. Exams are offered 4 times a year.  

IMPORTANT NEWS JULY 2023: The NC General Assembly passed Session Law 2023-63, Section 13.1 (p.24) which increases exam fees to $85 and renewal fees to $25. It also adds an option to pay a late fee if you miss the renewal deadline. Previously you were required to retake the exam. Full information is on this factsheet.

Tab/Accordion Items

  1. To renew, you need to be up to date on Continuing Education hours. (6 credits every 3 years)
  2. Regardless if you pay online, use the online system to check that you can renew by putting your operator number into the online e-payment system: ePayment
  3. If the online e-payment system states you are invalid, contact our office at
  4. If it says you are unable to pay because of Continuing Education hours, you can view your hours needed in this report.
  5. If you need Continuing Education, contact your Cooperative Extension office, or look for available classes here: Continuing Education Classes.
  6. After completing the needed Continuing Education training hours, please give the office a week to enter the data and then you can pay online or mail.

For a record of your payment, we strongly recommend paying online : ePayment


Annual Renewal points to remember:  

  • Annual renewal fee is $25 due by December 31.  There is no grace period.
  • A LATE FEE of $50 will be assessed on Jan 1, 2023. 
  • If an operator fails to renew for 12 months, the operator will be required to pass the Animal Waste Certified Operator exam.

Check the # of Continuing Education Hours you need:  View / dowload a list of all Animal Waste Operators in NC with the  # of Continuing Education hours they have, the # they need, and the date they need them by. View Report Here.

Find Continuing Education Classes: View a list of upcoming Animal Waste Continuing Education Classes that have been registered with us. For more classes that have not yet been listed here, contact your local Cooperative Extension office.

Find Initial Certification Schools: View a list of upcoming Animal Waste Initial Certification Schools that have been registered with us. For more classes that have not yet been listed here, contact your local Cooperative Extension office.

Direct ALL questions regarding locations/dates/pricing to the training provider. Universities, community colleges and private organizations conduct training classes.  NC DWR Operator Certification Program DOES NOT CONDUCT training classes. 

For the Animal Waste Manuals, see the Downloads section link below.



For Training Providers:

IMPORTANT: Always Download the most recent exam application from this page. Do not use an old application. Locations change.

Session Law 2023-63 Section 13.1 increassed the fee of Animal Waste Operator Exams to $85 beginning July 1, 2023. This cost is equal to the Wastewater Operator exam fee.


Animal Waste Operator Exams and Wastewater Operator Exams are given on the same day at multiple locations, 4 times a year: March, June, September, December.

The minimum requirements to take the exam are:

  • applicant must be 18 years old
  • applicant must complete an approved training program for the exam they are applying for.

Animal Waste Exam Application (AWA, AWB)

Math Formulas for Type A + Type B Animal Waste (Provided during exams)

Dates, locations and deadlines for both Animal Waste Operators and Wastewater Operators can be found here.



Operator Certification Exam Pass Rates - Animal Waste and Wastewater:

If you already have at least one operator certification number you can check your status for any certification: ​​​​​Enter Your Operator Certification Number here to check:

Contract Operator List      This list is not comprehensive nor an endorsement. It is provided for convenience.

To be listed as a contract operator for NC Carolina Water Pollution Control Systems, please submit this form. To remain on the list, you must submit the form once a year.

If you are hiring a contract operator, you are responsible to verify operators have active certifications of the appropriate type and grade by checking the Certified Operator Lists. (see next section)


If you are hiring a contract operator, you are responsible to verify operators have active certifications of the appropriate type and grade by checking the Certified Operator Lists. These list all NC Certified Operators, alphabetically:

To find out if a specific operator's certification is active: ​​​​​Enter the Operator Certification Number here.

For currently active Certified Operators, use the Certified Operator Portal to check your billing, continuing education, exam status, etc. Use your NCID to login. ( NCID Registration  &  NCID Instructions)

  Certified Operator Portal - Click to Access

Animal Waste Operator Rules

Certified Animal Waste Operator responsibilities and requirements are set by the NC Legislature and found in rules 15A NCAC 08F

Animal Waste Operator Rules - Chapter 08 / subchapter F:  website / PDF / html text

Animal Waste Operator General Statutes - Chapter 90 / Article 3: website / PDF / html text


Wastewater Operator Rules

Other Related Rules

Operator Forms

Course Manuals: Animal Waste Certification Training for Operators:

Need-to-Know (NTK)

Reporting Forms:

Recordkeeping Forms

For full details including meeting dates, agendas, and summaries, see the WPCSOCC page.

Do you know an Animal Waste Certified Operator that demonstrates excellence?

Please consider nominating them for the: WILBUR E. LONG AWARD NOMINATION. Nomination form available in 2024.

The purpose of this award is to recognize any current certified water pollution control system operator in NC that:

  • has exhibited outstanding knowledge and innovation in the continuing operation of a water pollution control or animal system, or
  • has contributed time and effort toward the training, education, and professionalism of water pollution control or animal systems; or
  • has devised, discovered, or invented devices or techniques which enhance the science of system operation.

All certified water pollution control system operators are eligible: Animal Waste, Biological Wastewater, Collections, Physical/Chemical, Land Application, Subsurface, and Spray Irrigation.

Patrick Beggs - Nonpoint Source Waste Operator Certification

919-707-9105 -
  • Animal Waste Program
    • Type A (AWA)
    • Type B (AWB)
  • Land-Based Wastewater Treatment:
    • Land Application (LA)
    • Spray Irrigation (SI)
    • Subsurface (SS)


Jenee Williamston -  Administrative Specialist

919-707-9089 -
  • Exam Registration
  • Continuing Education Hours
  • Renewals
  • Rosters
  • Reinstatement
  • ORC Designation
  • Wallet Cards
  • Address Changes


Ashley Coleman - Administrative Specialist

919-707-9106 -
  • General program questions
  • Exam application inquiries
  • Record retention issues


Jeff Talbot - Supervisor

919-707-9108 -


Mail Address

1618 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC  27699-1618

Physical Address

Archdale Bldg
512 N. Salisbury St., Suite 1209
Raleigh, NC 27604

Main Phone


This list is for those staff that assist animal waste operators: DEQ inspectors and RO staff; Cooperative Extension; SWCD; etc..

Please join so we have a way to reach those staff that assist animal waste operators.

The address you will receive emails from Please consider adding it to your email contact list so you can be sure it goes to your inbox.

Enter your full name, email, and be sure to check the box in front of the listserv address.

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