Water plant technician

Water plant technician article illustration


Water plant technicians maintain and repair water treatment and supply equipment in a water plant. They ensure the provision of clean water by measuring the water quality, ensuring it is filtered and treated correctly, and maintaining distribution systems.

Excludes water treatment systems operator.

The duties of a water plant technician typically include, but are not limited to:

  • Operating and maintaining water treatment systems to ensure that the treated water meets environmental and regulatory standards
  • Conducting regular tests on the treated water to ensure that it is safe for consumption
  • Troubleshooting and repairing any issues with the water treatment systems
  • Monitoring the levels of chemicals used in the treatment process
  • Maintaining accurate records of all maintenance and repairs performed on the water treatment systems
  • Ensuring the safe disposal of any hazardous materials used in the treatment process
  • Coordinating with other staff members to ensure the proper functioning of the water treatment plant

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to water plant technician:

water plant operator
water treatment technician
water plant worker
water plant measurement technician
water plant monitoring technician
water treatment plant worker
water plant equipment maintenance technician
water plant quality technician
water plant repair technician
water plant maintenance technician
water treatment plant operator
water treatment plant operative
water plant operative

Working conditions

Water plant technicians often work in industrial settings such as water treatment plants or utilities. The job may require working in confined spaces or around hazardous chemicals, so following strict safety protocols is crucial. Water plant technicians may also need to work in shifts, including evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required to become a water plant technician. Many employers also require an associate degree in a related field, such as environmental science or chemistry. In addition to formal education, on-the-job training is also essential to become proficient in the job duties of a water plant technician.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Water plant technician is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Water plant technician career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to water plant technician.

wastewater treatment operator
water engineering technician
wastewater treatment technician
water treatment systems operator
groundwater monitoring technician

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of water plant technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of water plant technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

water quality analyst
water treatment plant manager
water engineer

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of water plant technician.

  • Water pressure: Physical laws, qualities and liquid or water pressure applications.
  • Water policies: Have a solid understanding of policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations concerning water.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of water plant technician.

  • Ensure compliance with environmental legislation: Monitor activities and perform tasks ensuring compliance with standards involving environmental protection and sustainability, and amend activities in the case of changes in environmental legislation. Ensure that the processes are compliant with environmental regulations and best practices.
  • Maintain water treatment equipment: Perform repairs and routine maintenance tasks on equipment used in water and waste water purification and treatment processes.
  • Measure water quality parameters: Quality assure water by considering various elements, such as temperature.
  • Troubleshoot: Identify operating problems, decide what to do about them, and report accordingly.
  • Maintain water storage equipment: Perform routine maintenance tasks, identify faults, and perform repairs on equipment that is used to store wastewater and water before treatment or distribution.
  • Maintain water distribution equipment: Perform routine maintenance tasks, identify flaws, and perform repairs on the equipment used to supply and distribute clean water.
  • Maintain specified water characteristics: Turn valves and place baffles in troughs to adjust the volume, depth, discharge, and temperature of the water as specified.
  • Operate pumping systems: Operate pumps and piping systems, including control systems. Perform routine pumping operations. Operate the bilge, ballast, and cargo pumping systems. Be familiar with oily-water separators (or-similar equipment).
  • Operate hydraulic machinery controls: use correctly the controls of specialized machinery by turning valves, handwheels, or rheostats to move and control the flow of fuels, water, and dry or liquid binders to machines.
  • Monitor water quality: Measure water quality: temperature, oxygen, salinity, pH, N2, NO2, NH4, CO2, turbidity, and chlorophyll. Monitor microbiological water quality.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of water plant technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of water plant technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Follow water supply schedule: Adapt operations in the distribution and supply of water for irrigation purposes, residential or facility use, to ensure that the timing is correct and the schedule is followed.
  • Perform laboratory tests: Carry out tests in a laboratory to produce reliable and precise data to support scientific research and product testing.
  • Use water disinfection equipment: Operate equipment for water disinfection, using different methods and techniques, such as mechanical filtration, depending on needs.
  • Maintain records of maintenance interventions: Keep written records of all repairs and maintenance interventions undertaken, including information on the parts and materials used, etc.
  • Perform water treatments: Perform regular water testing, ensuring that water management and filtration processes follow reasonable management practices, industry standards, or commonly accepted farming practices. Record previous water contaminations, the source of contamination and the contamination remedied. Take mitigation measures to guard against further contamination.
  • Operate water purifying equipment: Operate and adjust equipment controls to purify and clarify water, process and treat wastewater, air, and solids, recycle or discharge treated water, and generate power.
  • Collect samples for analysis: Collect samples of materials or products for laboratory analysis.
  • Use personal protection equipment: Make use of protection equipment according to training, instruction and manuals. Inspect the equipment and use it consistently.
  • Carry out waste water treatment: Perform waste water treatment according to regulations checking for biological waste and chemical waste.
  • Ensure equipment availability: Ensure that the necessary equipment is provided, ready and available for use before the start of procedures.
  • Install hydraulic systems: Install systems and components that use liquid fluid power to create mechanical movements, such as hydraulic pumps, valves, hydraulic motors, hydraulic cylinders and other elements that power hydraulic machinery.
  • Document analysis results: Document on paper or on electronic devices the process and the results of the sample analysis performed.
  • Test samples for pollutants: Measure concentrations of pollutants within samples. Calculate air pollution or gas flow in industrial processes. Identify potential safety or health risks such as radiation.
  • Install plumbing systems: Install systems of pipes, drains, fittings, valves, and fixtures designed to distribute potable water for drinking, heating, washing and waste removal.
  • Perform water treatment procedures: Perform operations such as filtering, sterilising, and dechlorinating to purify water for consumption and food production using different procedures and technologies such as micro-filtration, reverse osmosis, ozonation, carbon filtration, or ultraviolet (UV) light.
  • Ensure proper water storage: Ensure that correct procedures are followed, and the required equipment is present and functional for water storage before treatment or distribution.
  • Ensure equipment maintenance: Ensure that the equipment required for operations is regularly checked for faults, that routine maintenance tasks are performed, and that repairs are scheduled and performed in the case of damage or flaws.
  • Maintain desalination control system: Maintain a system to obtain potable water from saline water.
  • Perform water testing procedures: Conduct testing procedures on water quality, such as pH tests and dissolved solids. Understand instrumentation drawings.
  • Manage desalination control system: Manage a system for the removal of salt in order to obtain potable water.

ISCO group and title

3132 – Incinerator and water treatment plant operators

  1. Water plant technician – ESCO
  2. What does a water treatment plant operator do? – CareerExplorer
  3. Featured image: By Doc Searls – https://www.flickr.com/photos/docsearls/3399888622/in/photostream/Uploaded by MrPanyGoff, CC BY-SA 2.0
Last updated on April 18, 2023