Military Career: Water and Sewage Treatment Plant Operators
Military bases operate their own water treatment plants when public facilities cannot be used. These plants provide drinking water and safely dispose of sewage. Water and sewage treatment plant operators maintain the systems that purify water and treat sewage.
What They Do
Water and sewage treatment plant operators in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
- Operate pumps to transfer water from reservoirs and storage tanks to treatment plants
- Add chemicals and operate machinery that purifies water for drinking or cleans it for safe disposal
- Test water for chlorine content, acidity, oxygen demand, and impurities
- Regulate the flow of drinking water to meet demand
- Clean and maintain water treatment machinery
- Keep records of chemical treatments, water pressure, and maintenance
Branches of the Military
Helpful school subjects include chemistry, math, and shop mechanics. Helpful attributes include:
- Interest in chemistry and pollution control
- Interest in working with mechanical equipment
Job training consists of 8 to 10 weeks of classroom instruction, including practice operating water and sewage treatment equipment. Further training occurs on the job and through advanced courses. Course content typically includes:
- Operation of treatment systems
- Water testing and analysis
- Maintenance and repair of pumps, compressors, and other equipment
Normal color vision is needed to examine water for acidity and impurities.
Water and sewage treatment plant operators work indoors and outdoors. They may be exposed to strong odors.
Civilian water and sewage treatment plant operators work for municipal public works and industrial plants. Their work is similar to military water and sewage treatment plant operators. Civilian plant operators usually specialize as water treatment plant operators, waterworks pump station operators, or wastewater treatment plant operators.
Below is a list of similar civilian occupations:
The services have over 3,000 water and sewage plant operators. Each year, they need new plant operators due to changes in personnel and the demands of the field. After job training, new operators work under close supervision in water or sewage treatment plants. With experience, they may supervise plant operations. Eventually, they may become base utilities superintendents.
Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Washington D.C.