A water/wastewater engineer is an environmental engineer or scientist who works to help ensure the safety of public (and even sometimes private) water systems. This engineer works in treatment plants to ensure that fresh water and used water are both treated properly and systematically. They also typically monitor local soil and groundwater to ensure these environmental factors reflect the monitoring and output recorded by water treatment facilities.
Water/wastewater engineers spends most of their typical workday in a water treatment plant. They ensure that the plant efficiently and effectively collects wastewater from all sources, usually through monitoring sewer systems. The engineer then determines and works to ensure that sufficient systems are in place and working properly to treat the water. The engineer then helps determine whether the water must be returned to groundwater in the environment or if it can be made potable and returned to the general water supply. Additionally, water/wastewater engineers monitor water outputs and also make frequent trips into the field to monitor natural water sources, soil, and groundwater for pollutants to ensure the water returned from the plant won't be harmful to the environment.
To work in this position, a person must have at least a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering and a strong background in chemistry (and, sometimes, mechanical engineering as well). The engineer should expect some sort of background check as well. Typically employees in this job work during regular business hours, but they may be needed for on-call work in the event of emergency.
Water/Wastewater Engineer Tasks
Lead project management and reporting for team members, and set schedules and goals.
Model variables to identify risk factors, improvements, and other metrics.
Design wastewater treatment, disposal, and distribution systems.
Write reports documenting all factors, stages, and risks.