Our 40-hour course is based on the USC (University of Southern California) textbook and course materials. Our 40-hour certificate program is acceptable to CA-NV-AWWA, ABPA, as well as most if not all local jurisdictions such as LA County as the pre-requisite training for the backflow tester exam and license. More information on what each county accepts / requires, as well as links to the AWWA and ABPA exam applications, are listed below. Most, if not all, certification exams require formal training and/or experience in order to apply, which our 40-hour course is submitted for this.
There is no state level agency that manages backflow licenses for California, so it is up to the local county / city / water purveyor to decide who can test their preventers. A comprehensive list of each county is below, our course is eligible for the prerequisite training for American Water Works Association (CA/NV) and American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA) exams, as well as many if not all local county exams, but is not a license in itself.
Depending on availability, some of our courses can have an ABPA or AWWA test proctored at the exam location on the Saturday following a Mon – Fri course. Otherwise, you would just take it at a separate exam location that is offered by the association. In order to host an exam, there are some space and access requirements in order to do this, notably a 60 day advance application for ABPA and 90 day advance application for AWWA. We would leave our props and gauges on site for use by the proctors. Our courses with one or more tests proctored afterwards will be listed in the course schedule as such, you can find their full list of exams on their websites. If doing a private course, we can have a hosted exam, provided that the course is scheduled with the 60 or 90 day notices required. There is no charge by either organization for hosting an exam, the only fees paid are by applicants who wish to take it.
Any county or city exams will be done at the jurisdiction's facility, and they often are only available every 2-3 months.
Los Angeles County – Testers have to be certified directly through The County of Los Angeles, Department of Public Health, we have the application downloadable here - You need to pass a practical examination, hold a formal backflow certification (40-hour), AND you have to have, or be employed by someone who has, a California C-36 Plumbing Contractor license.
San Diego County – Testers need to be either CA-NV-AWWA or ABPA certified and take a tester orientation meeting.
Orange County – Testers need to be certified directly through Orange County Health Care Agency, Division of Environmental Health. They apply for and schedule an exam after completing a 40-hour formal backflow training course.
Riverside County – Testers need to pass an exam with the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health, application requirements include an AWWA tester certification and a journeyman plumber registry number.
San Bernandino County – Testers need to hold a certification with the county Department of Environmental Health, which requires an online written exam which qualifies a tester for an in-person practical exam. If you took a 40-hour course at an “accredited institute” such as a college or AWWA, then you can request to waive the written exam.
Santa Clara County – There is no county level management agency, so testers need to be registered with each water purveyor. San Jose Water and Cal Water operate in these areas, both accept ABPA or AWWA’s certifications.
Alameda County – There is no county level management agency, so testers need to be registered with each water purveyor. For Alameda County Water District, testers have to hold an AWWA certification and simply register with them. For East Bay Municipal Utilities District, testers need an AWWA, ABPA, NCBPA or ASSE certification, and then take a written and hands on examination with East Bay MUD, they happen every six months usually January and July.
Contra Costa County – There is no county level management agency, so it is up to the water purveyors. For East Bay Municipal Utilities District, testers need an AWWA, ABPA, NCBPA or ASSE certification, and then take a written and hands on examination with East Bay MUD, they happen every six months usually January and July.
Fresno County – There is no county level management agency, and it appears that most of the county is operated by Cal-Water, which requires AWWA or ABPA certification to register with them.
Kern County – There is no county level management agency, and it appears that most of the county is operated by Cal-Water, which requires AWWA or ABPA certification to register with them.
San Francisco County – Testers need to hold a tester certification through AWWA, ABPA, ASSE, or NCBPA, have a certificate of liability insurance, have a calibrated test kit, and submit an application to the San Francisco Department of Health.
Ventura County – Testers need to apply for a tester certification through Ventura County Environmental Health Division. In order to qualify, they require a training / educational course through Venture College, USC, AWWA, or ABPA.
San Mateo County – There is no county level management agency, and it appears that most of the county is operated by Cal-Water, which requires AWWA or ABPA certification to register with them.
San Joaquin County – Testers need to be on the County Environmental Health Department’s tester list, and they require an AWWA certification to get on the list.
Marin County – This is managed by Marin Water – they require either an AWWA or ABPA certification and then you fill out a registration form to set up a hands-on demonstration with them, held in April and October of each year.
(if your county is not listed, you might want to google it yourself and check their requirements before registering for one of our courses)
The AWWA and APBA exams use the USC testing procedures, although some others are approved in certain areas. The ASSE 5000 Single Hose Procedures are a little more efficient and require less equipment (tees, hoses, etc.), but if taking the county or private exams, the proctor will only accept USC 10th Edition.
On our YouTube Channel, we created a series of videos where we test the four types of preventers using both types of procedures if you wanted to check out the differences:
Do you need a backflow test kit or need to calibrate a test kit you already have? We offer both of these, check out our sister company Kruger Instruments for more information: