Science, Technology & Environment

Water Treatment Plant Operator

Water treatment plant operators regulate the pumping of water and wastewater, and purify and sanitise water to meet appropriate standards.

  • Entry-level education

    Apprenticeship or traineeship

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Water Treatment Plant Operator do?

Water treatment plant operators regulate the pumping of water and wastewater, and purify and sanitise water to meet appropriate standards.

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Work activities

As a water treatment plant operator, you would:

  • operate specialised manual and computerised equipment to control water flow
  • regulate water flow through stages of treatment
  • carry out maintenance on septic tanks and their filters
  • use appropriate chemicals to treat water and wastewater
  • take samples and monitor water quality
  • keep accurate records of all treatments and readings taken
  • carry out routine maintenance on treatment equipment and report faults to engineers.
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Key skills and interests

To become a water treatment plant operator, you would need:

  • an ability to cope with unpleasant smells and substances
  • the ability to work independently
  • practical and manual skills
  • good physical fitness
  • the ability to follow processes and procedures
  • an understanding of health and safety regulations
  • observational skills and attention to detail.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

As a water treatment plant operator, you would work a standard number of hours per week, often on shiftwork basis. Overtime may be available

Conditions

You would be based at a water treatment plant and may be required to work both inside and outside the plant, in all weathers. The role is physically demanding and may involve working in confined spaces or at heights.

Conditions may be wet and dirty, and you may have to deal with strong odours. You would wear protective clothing and equipment.

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How to become an Water Treatment Plant Operator?

Entry Level Education

To become a water and wastewater treatment plant operator, you usually have to complete a traineeship in Water Operations. Generally, employers require a junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Water is a necessary resource, and climate change and population growth is putting pressure on water resources. Job opportunities for water treatment plant operators exist in both metropolitan and rural / regional areas, and are expected to remain positive.

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