A water treatment plant operator oversees the operation of a water plant and makes sure that all systems are running smoothly. The water treatment plant operator operates the water treatment systems. The operator also maintains and repairs the equipment involved in water processing, such as the pumps, filtration equipment, and piping.
When problems are encountered, it is important to be able to work well under pressure, to troubleshoot and determine the cause of problems, and to fix these problems properly. The operator also carries out periodic maintenance of the equipment to ensure the continuous smooth operation of the systems. The testing of the water is also important in order to determine that it consists of the proper qualities. Some record-keeping and computer skills will be necessary in order to keep track of logs, databases, and other documents relating to the operation of the plant. It is also important to keep the facility clean. This job requires a lot of physical movement, and it may require the plant operator to maneuver into hard-to-reach areas and to carry heavy items. The water treatment plant operator must also have strong mathematical skills in order to determine mixtures for water treatment chemicals. The exposure to dangerous chemicals and heavy equipment may also be a part of the job.
Much of the work is done independently, so it is important to be self-motivated. However, communication with others is also important in order to achieve the efficient operation of the plant. Generally, a minimum of a high school diploma is needed. Some experience working with industrial plants is usually required.
Water or Liquid Waste Treatment Plant / System Operator Tasks
Add chemicals and clean and maintain equipment and processing beds.
Take samples and test water and/or sewage for microorganisms, solid matter, and other contaminants.
Operate and maintain equipment to filter and monitor waste and wastewater.
Record data and inventory to track performance and identify problems.