People rely on ample supplies of clean water for survival, and on the proper treatment of wastewater to keep cities healthy and water sources unpolluted. Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators manage the vital systems that treat water and wastewater. Water treatment plant and system operators oversee the treatment and distribution of fresh water, as it is pumped from wells, rivers, or reservoirs to water treatment plants. They monitor and maintain the equipment and control the processes that treat water to make it safe to drink. Wastewater treatment plant and system operators run systems that remove pollutants from domestic and industrial waste… from sewer pipe to treatment plant… until it is returned to streams and oceans… or is used for irrigation. Most operators work for local governments, while some work for utilities. Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators work in conditions that are at times noisy and odorous. Slippery walkways, dangerous gases, and the potential of equipment to malfunction present significant hazards. They must prepare for emergencies and are well versed in the use of safety practices and equipment. Most work full time, and may be on call or work shifts around the clock to maintain operations, especially during emergencies. High school education and licensure are required; related coursework or an associate’s degree may be helpful. Long-term on the job training is typical.
What they do:
Operate or control an entire process or system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or wastewater.
On the job, you would:
Add chemicals, such as ammonia, chlorine, or lime, to disinfect and deodorize water and other liquids.
Collect and test water and sewage samples, using test equipment and color analysis standards.
Record operational data, personnel attendance, or meter and gauge readings on specified forms.
Math and Science
Engineering and Technology
product and service development
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
Safety and Government
public safety and security
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
use rules to solve problems
notice when problems happen
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Industrial control software
Human machine interface HMI software
Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
Data base user interface and query software
Data logging software
high school diploma/GED or certificate after high school usually needed
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.