What does a Water Treatment Operator do?
|Citation||Retrieved in 2017 from BLS.org|
Water treatment plant and system operators manage a system of machines to transfer or treat water or wastewater. They monitor meters, operating conditions, and gauges through the use of control boards. They also document and track data from the gauge and meter readings. They work for local governments on a full time basis.
How to Become a Water Treatment Plant System Operator
Many employers prefer candidates who hold an associate’s degree in a related field. Degree examples are wastewater treatment technology or environmental sciences. These programs can be found at trade associations, technical schools, and community colleges.
Some employers may accept a high school diploma or the equivalent to become operators by providing on-the-job under the supervision of an experienced operator. However, in order for a water treatment plant and system operator to become fully qualified they are required to complete long-term on-the-job training and gain all the necessary skills needed in this occupation.Larger treatment plants typically combine formal classroom or self-paced study programs with on-the-job training.
Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators require a license in the state they reside in. These licenses have different levels indicating one’s level of training and experience. It varies by state, therefore we encourage you to look for your state requirements prior to pursuing training.
Job Description of a Water Treatment Plant System Operator
Specific duties of plant operators depend on the size and type of plant one works in. However they typically have the job of adding chemicals to disinfect water or other liquids. They must regularly inspect equipment and monitor operating conditions, gauges, and meters. They collect and test sewage and water samples in addition to the keeping records of readings or operational data. He or she operates equipment that purifies water or to dispose of or process sewage.
Water treatment plant and system operators have the duties of cleaning and maintaining equipment, filter beds, tanks, and other work areas. They must follow U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations and ensure safety standards are met.
Water plants are open 24-7, therefore water and wastewater treatment workers schedules vary. Some work weekends, nights, and holidays whereas others may only work during the week. This occupation can be physically demanding and conditions can be dangerous at times. Water treatment plant operator work both indoors and outdoors. There is a faster than average growth for this occupation due to many of the experienced operators retiring in the near future.