Water is one of the public’s most important resources, and water operators are the individuals making sure that safe water delivery functions smoothly in communities. It takes an enormous amount of work to deliver water from natural sources – and eventually deliver it into our homes. It is an equally complicated process to convert the wastewater from our drains and sewers into a form that is environmentally safe – this is also the duty for the operators.
Operators must also be proficient at handling water emergencies. Heavy rains and flooding may cause large amounts of storm water and wastewater to flow into sewers, exceeding a plant’s capacity. Operators are trained in emergency management procedures from natural disasters to malfunctions within a plant.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates both tap water and wastewater procedures. Plant operators must constantly be reviewing these regulations to make sure that quality standards are being met. Not to mention that plants operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
With the population growth in the US, and increasing suburban geography, demand for operators is predicted to outpace the average for all occupations. Employment of water and liquid waste treatment plant and system operators is expected to grow by 20 percent between 2008 and 2018.