Water cavitation peening (WCP) with aeration is a recent potential method in the surface enhancement techniques. In this method, a ventilation nozzle is adopted to improve the process capability of WCP by increasing the impact pressure, which is induced by the bubble collapse on the surface of components in the similar way as conventional shot peening(SP). In this paper, the process capability of water cavitation peening and shot peening is investigated, The residual stresses in the near-surface and surface morphologies of spring steel SAE 1070 was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), optical microscopy (OM). After peening treatment, changes in surface morphologies, as well as residual stress with the different peening duration were recorded. The obtained results indicate that the WCP processing had a better surface finish than SP processing.