The management of water waste is a vital part of the infrastructure of any country, and helps keep its population safe and drinking water clear and uncontaminated. There are a variety of water waste jobs, ranging from entry level to those requiring a college degree. Jobs can be through government agencies or private companies.
Many water waste jobs deal directly with converting water that has gone down drains and into sewers into fresh, clean water that is usable. Water treatment plant operators run the equipment that purifies this water, as well as monitoring systems to ensure that the water that comes out is pure. Individuals employed in these plants often have an engineering or mechanical background, as they can also be responsible for the maintenance of water purifying equipment. Similarly, sewage treatment plant operators maintain the sewage system and run the equipment that removes waste products from water before it is released back into the environment or into a reservoir.
Some individuals with a biology background or education can find interesting work in water waste jobs. Water put out from treatment plants and released into the environment must be tested regularly to make sure it is free from chemicals and pathogens. Being familiar with tests and biological agents in advance can give a candidate an advantage in a job search. Scientists and biologists work to find new and better chemicals with which to purify water, while civil engineers and waste water process engineers make sure that the infrastructure in place to get the water to treatment plants is as effective as possible and is continuously maintained.
Some water waste jobs involve being on call and working through emergencies and natural disasters. Rain storms can dump huge amounts of water into a city or town's treatment system, which must be processed in order to keep the streets clear and plumbing functional. Melting snows can have a similar impact, and technicians must be able to work quickly and efficiently or risk damage to infrastructure.
In some areas, water waste jobs are expanding into areas of renewable energy and green technology. Individuals may be employed to find new ways for water treatment plants to increase the amount of water purified or to develop new ways to use the water itself as a renewable energy source. Green technology is at the forefront of water waste jobs, and includes finding new ways to reduce the amount of runoff dumped into treatment plants as well as ensuring that areas such as wetlands and floodplains are protected from water contaminated by human use.