Education programs for water operators can be found in colleges, universities or government training programs. These programs are designed for students who plan on becoming certified water distribution systems operators or certified wastewater treatment plant operators. After completing coursework, water operators may take a state licensure exam.
Here are some common concepts taught in water operator courses:
- Small water systems
- Water sources
- Reservoir management
- Taste/odor control
- Lab procedures
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List of Courses
Water Plant Operations
A course in water plant operations includes discussion of water supplies in terms of location, storage, quality and quantity. Water treatment technologies and skills required to operate a treatment plant are introduced. A survey of applicable water quality laws and rules for becoming a certified water operator are part of this course.
Drinking Water Treatment
Drinking water is purified through multiple treatment processes before being distributed. The technology used for these processes is controlled by the water treatment plant operator. In this course, students learn the technologies and processes used in purification of surface water, such as carbon absorption and filtration. Quality problems that arise during distribution may be discussed. Federal and state regulations for each treatment process are addressed.
This course provides an introduction to the types of wastewater and the basis for treating wastewater before it is discharged into the environment. Water operators who plan on working in wastewater treatment plants learn the processes and technology required to treat and disinfect wastewater. Basic biology, chemistry and math are taught along with water sampling methods.
Water storage facilities and water delivery systems are the focus of this class. Students study each piece of the delivery system in order to understand how the system works and observe potential health and safety problems that may occur. Skills needed to monitor and maintain distribution systems are emphasized.
Operations and Maintenance of Water Treatment Plants
Continuous operation of water treatment plants is essential to maintaining an adequate supply of clean water. In this course, students learn maintenance techniques for instrumentation used in water treatment plants, such as pressure gauges, pumps and filters. Water distribution systems are examined. Safety procedures are introduced.
Wastewater Treatment Plant Operations and Maintenance
Wastewater treatment plant operation includes removal of waste and minerals from the water before treating the water. Students learn how to control and monitor these processes in this class. Maintenance methods for instruments and systems are taught. Additionally, students learn techniques for controlling odors and water reuse.