Water Treatment Plant operators have a critical role to play in our daily life as water is one of the most essential basic elements to life on earth. The other one is air. We drink water to survive. Almost 2/3rd of our planet is covered with water making it the only living planet in the entire universe till date. That is why it is called the blue planet. Explorations are being made to the Moon and Mars in search of water so one day we can colonize them.
Before the Industrial revolution in all the countries at different points of time, beginning with England, we used to have pure and clean water to drink from lakes and rivers. The rapid industrialization led to the growth of modern cities which are grossly overpopulated and dirty. The lack of sufficient clean water has led to the degradation of life in these cities. The industries have poured millions of tons of pollutants into the water resources like rivers and reservoirs which are lifeline to these cities, making it undrinkable.
The government along with the water treatment plant operators has taken various steps to ensure sufficient and clean water for people in these cities. The creation of water reservoirs and means to deliver drinkable water to the people in their homes is one of the most important tasks undertaken in cities.
This article will help us understand the whole process and the role of water treatment plant operators.
The Water Treatment Plant Process
The raw water from the water reservoir is delivered to the head works of the water treatment plants. The operation of the water treatment plant process in power plant consists of five major unit processes to make the water safe for drinking. These five major unit processes are given below.
- Chemical Coagulation
Step 1. Chemical Coagulation
An oxidant Chlorine dioxide that is used to break down organic matter such as decaying leaves and other plant material is added to the raw water. Then a chemical coagulant Aluminium Sulphate is used as a primary coagulant. A polymer is also added to the water as a coagulation aid. These coagulants are added at the rapid mix unit. The coagulants cause very fine particles to clump together into larger particles which can be removed later in the treatment process by settling,skimming,draining and filtering.
Step 2. Flocculation
The coagulated water then flows to the next major unit process known as Flocculation. This process is a slow process that causes the small, coagulated particles to form floc. The floc formed creates a surface in which the particulates in the water adsorb to the surface of the floc thus forming larger settleable particle for ease off removal by sedimentation and filtration.
Step 3. Sedimentation
The flocculated water then flows to the next major unit process, the Sedimentation process. This process removes suspended solids or particles that are heavier than water and reduces particulate load on the filters. This process removes ninety percent of the solids in the water. The clearer water on the surface is collected in the launder tubes that direct the water to the filter to remove the remaining ten percent of solids.
Step 4. Disinfection
The settled water then flows from the Pre-Sedimentation building to the filtration facility after adding chlorine to the water to begin the disinfection process. This process is designed to kill or inactivate most microorganisms in water like bacteria, viruses or intestinal parasites that causes diseases like gastroenteritis, typhoid, cholera etc.
Step 5. Filtration
Now the water flows into the filtration facility and onto the last of the major unit processes used to treat drinking water.Filtration is the process of passing water through material such as bed of coal, sand or other granular substance to remove impurities that are not removed during sedimentation process.The water treatment plant uses rapid rate multi-media gravity filter beds.When the filters start to get full of particles, the water treatment plant operators clean them using a procedure called backwashing. The backwash water is sent to the backwash recovery pond, and after the settling process, the backwash water is returned to the raw water settling pond for re-use.
What is a Water Treatment Plant Operator?
A water treatment plant operator is responsible for ensuring the safety and quality of drinking water that is supplied to homes and businesses. It is their responsibility to operate and maintain various equipment and processes in water treatment plants such as sedimentation,filtration and disinfection..Thus water treatment plant operators play a critical role in ensuring safety to public health by keeping drinking water safe for consumption.
Water Treatment Plant Operators are also known as:
Wastewater Operator Wastewater Operator Waste Water Treatment Plant Operator Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Wastewater Treatment Operator.
Roles and Responsibilities of Water Treatment Plant Operator
Water treatment plant operators have a range of duties and responsibilities in ensuring the safety and quality of water supply to the public.Here are some of the main duties and responsibilities off water treatment plant operators.
Operating and maintaining water treatment equipment
It is the duty of Water treatment plant operators to ensure the proper operation and maintenance of equipment such as pumps, filters and chemical treatment systems.They must be proficient in handling computerised control systems.
Monitoring Water Quality
Water treatment plant operators are responsible for monitoring the quality of the water being used, including parameters like pH,turbidity and chlorine levels.
Conducting Laboratory tests
The treatment operators conduct laboratory tests on water samples like bacteriological, chemical and physical analysis, to monitor water quality and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
The operators maintain detailed records of water treatment activities, including water quality data, equipment maintenance logs, and regulatory compliance records.
Responding to emergencies
Water treatment plant operators must be able to make quick decisions and respond quickly and effectively in dealing with emergency situations such as equipment failures,power outages, and water quality issues.
Ensuring Compliance with regulations
It is the responsibility of the water treatment operators to ensure that their plant is in compliance with all applicable environmental and safety regulations, including those related to water quality,hazardous materials handling, and wastewater discharge.
What are types of Water Treatment Operators?
There are different types of water treatment plant operators having different levels of responsibility and expertise.The three main types of expertise are given below.
Basic tasks such as monitoring equipment,recording data, and conducting routine maintenance are done by the Water treatment plant operator trainee.They work under the supervision of more experienced operators.
Intermediate level operators
Operators with more experience and responsibility are called Intermediate operators.They are responsible for operating and maintaining a variety of equipment,conducting laboratory tests and responding to emergency situations.They also train and supervise entry level operators.
Senior level operators
Senior level operators has the most experience in the field.They are responsible for maintaining and operating the plant,ensuring regulatory compliance and managing compliance.They are responsible for developing and implementing new processes and procedures to improve efficiency and water quality.
How to become a Water Treatment Plant Operator?
Like other occupations, water treatment plant operators also require some specific skills from you to succeed in your career.Here is a list of skills that you may require to learn and understand wastewater treatment process and operations.
Water treatment plant operator must have the ability to fix mechanical issues regarding equipment,systems, and company transportation.
The water treatment operator must have verbal and written communication skills. These skills help them in drafting their reports,guiding their colleagues and explaining the water treatment systems to other professionals.
Since the water treatment operators have to. work as a team they must possess excellent teamwork skills
Water treatment operators require strong observation skills as this helps them to closely monitor water treatment systems and notice any changes.
Knowledge of engineering
Water treatment operators require engineering skills to create better treatment systems and improve on existing ones.
This skill helps water treatment operators to troubleshoot problems regarding equipment,systems,treatment formulas and create innovative and effective solutions.
Water Treatment operators require strong comprehension skills to analyse and record metre readings.
Water treatment operators must be able to adjust their practices with technology. They must be able to operate new equipment and incorporate new technology into their daily operations.
Educational Qualification of Water treatment Plant Operator
You need a combination of education,experience and certification to become a water treatment plant operator.You can follow these steps to meet the general qualifications of a water treatment operator.
Step 1: Complete your High school
This is the minimum water treatment certification requirement for you in your journey to become a water treatment plant operator.
Step 2: Complete your Graduation
Although this qualification is not compulsory yet in the present context a degree in graduation or equivalent can increase your chances in career growth and earn more.
Step 3: Earn a certification
Most employers prefer professionals to earn a water treatment plant operator certification of the trade.Certification is necessary for the water treatment operators in order to operate equipment and process. Certification also ensures that these professionals have necessary skills and manage to maintain safe and clean water for the public.
Step 4: Receive on-the-job training
Water treatment plant operator training is necessary to get practical experience of this job.
Step 5: Apply for jobs
Once you have education, experience and certification you can have water treatment plant operators.
Here are few of the colleges that offer certificate course for the candidates
- IIT Roorkee, Roorkee
- Khatu Shyam Institute of Management & Technology, New Delhi
- Mahatma Jyotiba Phule University, Jaipur
- Pandit Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur
- Patna University, Patna
- Vardhman Mahaveer Open University,Kota
- Teri University, New Delhi
- Suvidha Institute of Technology, Mumbai
- Rashtriya Bahat University,Mohali
- Rashtriya Technical University
What is the Scope of a Water Treatment Plant Operator?
Even today about 2 billion people in the world use untreated drinking water or get water from contaminated sources. This results in spread off widespread diseases as we have discussed above in the article.
Since the role of water treatment plant operator becomes very critical as they are following the principle of “Prevention is better than cure”, there is a huge demand of water treatment operators all over the world.The rapid urbanization has led to the growth and creation of more towns and cities leading to the increasing demand of clean and drinkable water.This has created a demand for more water treatment plants to supply clean water.This rise in demand has contributed to the rise in the demand of water treatment plant operator jobs.
In India with a population of more than 1 billion and still growing there is an ever increasing demand for water treatment plant operators.
Water treatment plant operators job description
Here is the description of the Job Profiles of the water treatment plant operators.
Water Resource Specialist
Water Resource Specialists design or implement programs and strategies related to water resource issues such as supply,quality, and regulatory compliance issues.They also conduct investigations on matters such as water storage,wastewater discharge,pollutants,permits, or other compliance and regulatory issues. Their average salary is about Rs 3,80,000 per annum.
Water Efficiency Technicians
Water treatment plant technicians are intermediate-level water treatment plant operators.They are responsible for water treatment and distribution systems. They also maintain water treatment equipment and water distribution systems.They have an average salary of Rs 5,20,000 per annum.
Water Resource Manager
Water resource managers plan for water use and treatment.They are employed by the government like the municipal corporation or can work independently.Their average salary is around Rs 8,86,000 per annum.
Environment managers are responsible for supervising the performance of the private,public and voluntary sectors.Environmental managers earn about Rs 8,95,00 per annum.
The average salary of a water treatment plant operator in India is Rs 420,000 per annum.
Top Paying companies for water treatment plant operators in India
- Thermax Limited Water Treatment Plant.
- Dr Reddy’s water treatment plant.
- SIMA Labs water treatment plant.
- R.G. Technosolutions water treatment plant.
- Ion Exchange water treatment plant.
- Tata Steel water treatment plant operator.
- Sodexo water treatment plant.
- Sun Pharmaceuticals Limited.
- Akums Drugs & Pharmaceuticals limited.
The industries that employ water treatment plant operators are given below.
- Engineering & Construction
- Industrial Machinery
- Waste Management
- Auto Components
The career of a water treatment plant operator is not only rewarding but it assumes a responsibility towards our society. By providing clean and pure water to the people in society we are doing a great service to our nation as a whole. As far as career is concerned the scope of water treatment plant operators will keep on growing as more and more water treatment plants are set up due to ever increasing demand of drinkable water as a result of increasing population and growth of modern cities and towns.