"The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it"



We would like to thank the systems and operators who have supported us for the last 26 years!

After 43 years of training water and wastewater operators, Fred will be retiring next June. We have four more workshops scheduled from November through June. They will be the last RATS workshops we will be presenting in Albuquerque. If you would like to register for one, now is the time. Seating will be limited to 30 students.

Download the flyer here!


Welcome to the Home of the Best Water and Wastewater Certification Training Manuals in the Country

Ragsdale and Associates have been providing the best Water and Wastewater technical training available in New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Nevada since 1992. With forty years of expertise in  all areas of water and wastewater systems operations and maintenance, we have developed a wide range of operator training programs.

Our training programs have received national recognition for presentation and content. We do not teach the answers to an exam. Fred was and has been involved in the ABC certification process since its inception. He was in Ames, Iowa in 1975 for the first conferences to establish the "Need-To-Know" criteria for what would later become the Water and Wastewater operator certification exams. He has also reviewed certification exam questions and assisted by writing questions for exams in several states.

Our workshops and manuals will teach you how to operate and maintain a water or wastewater system safely and efficiently. In the process, you will learn the information you "Need-to-Know" to pass any state's certification exam.


We have been funding this website to advertise our workshops and offer our training materials since 2011. During that time we have had 4 million hits from over 300 visits a day. As part of our "pay-it-forward" policy, we have uploaded over 220 gigabytes of free training materials in the last 5 years. That's about  40,000 of our manuals.

While we are still offering some of our materials as free downloads, our water and wastewater certification training manuals are now going on sale for $14.95 each in PDF form. You can purchase both the water and wastewater manuals for $24.95.

We know our manuals aren't the only ones you can buy on the internet. You can buy Sacramento manuals or AWWA and WPCF manuals for $60-100 dollars each. They contain 500-1400 pages of material to read through to find the things you need for an exam. Then you can buy a "Study Guide" that is nothing but a bunch of sample test questions for another $50-150.

Our manuals will lead you from Grade 1 to Grade 4 exams because they are focused on those "Need-To-Know" criteria. Our Wastewater Systems manual covers both Wastewater Treatment and Wastewater Collections Systems exams. Our Water Systems manual covers both Water Treatment and Water Distribution Systems exams. You also get study questions in each chapter to help you focus on the Basic (1&2) or Advanced (3&4) "Need-To-Know" issues. So you get everything you need for two exam groups in one 220-250 page book.

We also offer large systems a licensing agreement for multiple copies at a discount. Please contact us for details.

We have added our Pumps and Wells O&M Manual and a number of files on the Revised Total Coliform Rule to our FREE DOWNLOADS:

Adobe Acrobat Reader
Water Sampling Certification Study Guide
Ground Water Rule
RATS Pumps and Wells O&M Manual
How To Do Stuff (PDFs)

Revised Total Coliform Rule:
Assesments and Corrective Action
Public Notification Instructions
Small Systems Guide


In the past we have asked folks who download to continue to "pay-it-forward" by making a contribution to a local charity. We will now make contributions from the proceeds to the following charities. Thank you for your support!

Water.Org (water for developing countries)

NM Roadrunner Food Bank (1 in 3 children in New Mexico live in poverty)


 Operator Feedback



Quick note - finally got around to taking the Wastewater Grade 4 in Albuquerque earlier this month.  Passed on the first try - couldn't have done it without your manuals.

Thanks again,

Dennis Romero

City of Gallup, NM



Mr. Ragsdale,

I am the Training Manager for Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department and I wanted to thank you for the great materials you provide to Wastewater Operators.  We use your materials for our O&M Academy and for self-study of Operators pursuing ADEQ certification.   You do a great service for the wastewater industry!  Thank you.

If you are ever in Tucson I would like you to stop by our learning facility so we can show you what training topics we provide to our employees.  



Mr. Ragsdale,

I attended your advanced Wastewater Collections campus at our Sun City office in August.

I just wanted to let you know that I sat for my Arizona Collections 3 exam yesterday and scored an 88%. I wanted to thank you for your excellent class. I felt very confident going in to the exam because of the prep you provided. I have recommended your classes and books to many people since attending the class.

Thank you again.




I just wanted to drop a note to you and Fred thanking you for the useful information you provide both in class and in your books.  I successfully completed testing this week for a grade three in both Wastewater and Wastewater Collections thanks to you guys! 

Thank you, Barbara



I recently passed my Grade 2 in Distribution (83%) and Grade 2 in Water treatment (82%) (both only using your manual) in Arizona. I will begin studying for my grade 3's in the near future and just wanted to make sure there was enough information in them for the 3's and 4's.

Thanks for your help, Brad


Good afternoon Fred,

I wanted to thank you for the training class that you taught in our Sun City office recently.  I enjoyed it and received a great deal of information that made me feel more confident to talking my next Certification in Distribution and Collections and even Wastewater Treatment .  You do an outstanding job on explaining the material in a way that makes since.

Thank you again,




I'm a master student of environmental engineering in Ottawa University, Canada .I read your manual and I have to say it really helps me. I am using it as a reference for my thesis. I just had a question, could you tell me when you published it?

Regards, Mohsen


Hi Fred,

This is Jeremy Duncan of Sunstate Environmental. I took your collection and wastewater classes at the Que Casino. I passed the collection exam and am still waiting on the treatment exam results.... Thank you for the great training... It was much appreciated...

Thanks, Jeremy