Water and waste treatment plant operators (NOC 9243)

About this job

Water plant operators:

  • monitor and operate computerized control systems and related equipment in water filtration and treatment plants to regulate the treatment and distribution of water

Liquid waste plant operators:

  • monitor and operate computerized control systems and related equipment in wastewater, sewage treatment and liquid waste plants to regulate the treatment and disposal of sewage and wastes

These workers are employed by municipal governments, industries and institutions. This group also includes waste treatment plant operators in composting plants and other waste management facilities.

Common job titles
  • controller, water filtration plant
  • environmental systems
  • industrial waste treatment plant
  • liquid waste treatment plant operator
  • technician, water and wastewater treatment
  • wastewater collection systems

Duties

Water plant operators:

  • operate and monitor computerized control systems and related equipment in water filtration and treatment plants to regulate the treatment and distribution of water
  • read flow meters, gauges and other recording instruments to measure water output and consumption levels, bacterial content, chlorine and fluoride levels
  • monitor and inspect plant equipment and systems to detect equipment malfunctions and to make sure plant systems are operating normally
  • collect and test water samples for chemical and bacterial content
  • analyze test results and instrument readings and make adjustments to plant equipment and systems as needed
  • provide verbal or written instructions for process control changes to waterworks system to ensure water produced meets standardized quality requirements
  • do security checks in plant and on grounds
  • respond to customer complaints on water quality problems
  • complete and maintain plant logs and reports
  • may perform minor maintenance or help skilled tradespersons with installation and repair of plant machinery
  • may measure, mix and transport chemicals to maintain feed stocks

Liquid waste plant operators:

  • operate and monitor computerized control systems and related equipment in wastewater treatment, sewage treatment and liquid waste plants to regulate the flow of sewage through settling, aeration and digestion tanks, and to treat and dispose of sewage and wastes
  • patrol plant to check pumps, motors, filters, chlorinators and other plant equipment; monitor and read gauges, meters and other recording instruments to detect equipment malfunctions and make sure plant systems and equipment are operating within prescribed limits
  • test and adjust chemical feed rates to ensure that disinfection processes meet quality standards
  • collect waste and sewage samples, test and analyze results and make adjustments to plant equipment and systems as needed
  • do security checks in plant and on grounds
  • complete and maintain plant logs and reports
  • perform preventive maintenance on plant equipment to ensure that the facility operates in accordance with required standards
  • may assist skilled tradespersons with installation and repair of plant machinery.

Work environment

Key aspects of the work in this occupation:

  • Work takes place in a regular controlled indoor environment.
  • Work also takes place outdoors where workers are exposed to various weather conditions.
  • Workers may be exposed to hazardous chemicals, gases or bacteria in the workplace.
  • Working with equipment, instruments, machinery or power/hand tools may be a source of injury.
  • The workplace may contain strong or toxic odours.
  • Noise in the workplace may cause distraction or hearing loss.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

There is limited movement between water plant and waste plant operators. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

Additional resources

  • British Columbia Water and Waste Association
    www.bcwwa.org
  • Environmental Operators Certification Program
    eocp.ca