A Water Reclamation Facility Operator is integral to the function and success of a water reclamation facility (sometimes known simply as a water plant). In this position, the employee is responsible for performing various tests to ensure that the treatment processes performed on the contaminated water have been successful in creating an ecologically friendly effluent (runoff) that is safe to discharge back into the environment. A water plant operator will also be required to analyze the data obtained and identify anomalies in the quality of the treated water.
The position of Water Reclamation Facility Operator will also require the holder to maintain and repair equipment at the plant, carefully document results of tests and performance of the treatment plant, as well as read and interpret gauges and other measuring devices. Water plant jobs may also require that a person travel from one plant to another within a certain region to perform tests and training; so, as a Water Reclamation Facility Operator, it is important that one is prepared for travel.
Finally, in terms of job expectations, Water Reclamation Facility Operators are often required to carry an SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus). Thus, extensive medical testing may be administered before a candidate will be considered for this position to ensure that no respiratory problems will negatively impact his or her performance on the job.
Water plant jobs generally consist of a lot of on-the-job training, but because a large portion of a Water Reclamation Facility Operator's job responsibilities includes performing tests to determine water chemistry, obtaining a minimum of an Associate's degree in chemistry or a related science before seeking employment is recommended. This will allow the individual to learn more quickly and possibly progress to a higher level position with greater ease.
It is also imperative, if one is seeking to be a water plant operator, for the candidate to attain a Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Certificate. These certifications are available in both grades I and II and are offered by the state's Department of Environmental Quality. While a grade I certification will often be sufficient for entry-level positions, a grade II certification will make a candidate much more attractive and will increase his or her chances of career advancement in the future.
Although waste management careers have not historically been considered the most glamorous jobs, they are a fundamental part of ensuring that our society runs smoothly. And particularly in these times, with so much effort and attention being put toward managing humans' environmental impact, water plant jobs, such as that of Water Reclamation Facility Operator, can prove to be lucrative and fulfilling careers.