Water treatment operators help ensure that residents within a proscribed area have access to clean and safe water. Broadly, water treatment operators ensure that water treatment plants produce a supply of water that meets the requirements of federal and municipal legislation in accordance with applicable standards and policies.
Typically under the supervision of a local office of public works, water treatment operators work to make sure that a water treatment plant continues to function properly. This broad responsibility includes many specific tasks geared toward the maintenance and upkeep of water treatment, sewer treatment, and related facilities.
Specific tasks are numerous, including overall maintenance of the treatment plant’s systems, monitoring filters and chemical treatments, performing inspections of equipment and any subsequent minor repairs that are necessary, controlling the water supply, and ordering major repairs and service when necessary. Water treatment operators are also responsible for maintaining the physical plant that powers the treatment plant, which necessitates inspections and ordering repairs. Additionally, water treatment operators must perform a variety of administrative and clerical duties relating to the plant, such as administering water distribution agreements, writing maintenance schedules and guidelines, logging daily activities, ordering various work, planning budgets and preparing financial reports, and preparing reports for governmental and regulatory bodies.
To perform their duties effectively, water treatment operators must have knowledge of water and sewer water systems, how to inspect systems, techniques for water testing, basic mechanics, and all related laws. They must also be effective administrators, provide leadership for assistant operators, be flexible and able to work under pressure, be able to work independently, and have good client communication skills. Typically, municipalities require water treatment operators to hold at least an associate’s degree, with more advanced coursework corresponding to a higher pay grade. Operators work a variety of different schedules, and duties entail both office and fieldwork.
Water Treatment Operator Tasks
- Collect, test, and analyze water samples.
- Operate wells and chemical feed systems, and oversee store tank levels to ensure compliance with regulations.
- Maintain water testing and treatment plant equipment.
- Maintains documentation and records of plant operations and data