Training for Careers in the Water Industry
Training for Careers in the Water Industry
From source to tap, water professionals are integral in the treatment and distribution of clean, safe drinking water.
A Springfield Water and Sewer Commission Water Operator in the control room at West Parish Filters Water Treatment Facility.

The water industry offers a variety of career opportunities, many of which are in high demand, offer great pay and benefits, and the opportunity to serve the community by providing clean, safe drinking water, which is critical to daily life and public health.

Many careers in the water industry require special training and licensure. The Springfield Water and Sewer Commission is pleased to partner with Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) and the Massachusetts Water Works Association (MWWA) to offer the introductory training course, Concepts and Practices of Basic Drinking Water Treatment, to prepare students for a career in the water sector.

Students that successfully complete the course will have met the basic treatment training requirement set by the state of Massachusetts and are eligible to sit for the Treatment 2 (T2) licensing exam, an important first step in pursuing a career at a water utility. The training program is a great opportunity for students, who by passing the course, have many options for employment and further training in the water sector.

With a T2 license individuals may apply for a variety of entry-level positions at water utilities including laborer, lab technician, and treatment plant operator. Through hands-on training, experience, and additional licensure, individuals have the ability to advance their career.

Concepts and Practices of Basic Drinking Water Treatment

The Basic Drinking Water Treatment course prepares students to take the Massachusetts T2 license exam. Successful completion of a Basic Drinking Water Treatment course is required to sit for the T2 license exam.

This 12-week course in an online course and uses the Blackboard Learning Management system. Students are able to complete weekly course material and assignments at a time that is coinvent for their schedule.

The course is offered by Springfield Technical Community College in collaboration with the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission and the Massachusetts Water Works Association. For more information and to register visit the STCC website.

Course Fees and Registration

The course and books are free for any student enrolled at a community college in Massachusetts (not just STCC!). For non-matriculated students the cost is $829 plus the cost of books.

 To register online, visit stcc.edu/water. To speak with someone about the class, call (413) 755-4225  or email wdc@stcc.edu.

Now enrolling for Spring 2021! Course runs from February 8, 2021 to April 26, 2021.

Treatment Plant Operator, Pete Thayer leads a group of students from the Basic Water Treatment course on a tour of the pipe gallery at West Parish Filters Water Treatment Plant.

What former students have to say

“What I really liked about the online course was the ability to do it at my own pace. I think that – especially when you’re working full time – it’s great to be able to work on the course at times that work best for your schedule.” -Andrew Shephard, Operator-in-Training, Springfield Water and Sewer Commission

Andrew Shephard operates the Rapid Sands Filters at the West Parish Filters Water Treatment Plant.

“This course is an amazing resource for anyone who has even a passing interest in this field or for anyone who doesn't really know what they want to focus in. They will be taught by the same people who trained the professionals who treat our local water." -Deanna Domenichelli, Labratory Technician, Springfield Water and Sewer Commission

Deanna Domenichelli conducts water quality testing in the laboratory at West Parish Filters Water Treatment Plant.
The Water Operator Profession

There are many opportunities for a  rewarding career in the water industry. One of the most critical roles is the job of Water Operator.

Water operators perform a variety of functions and are generally responsible for operating and maintaining a water treatment facility. Job responsibilities can include facilitating the filtration and treatment processes to produce drinking water that is distributed to homes and businesses.  The facility operates 24/7 to ensure a safe, uninterrupted water supply.

 

Water Operations at the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission

Water Treatment Plant Operators employed by the Commission work at the West Parish Filters Water Treatment Plant located in Westfield, MA.

Water flows to the treatment plant from the Commission’s primary water source, Cobble Mountain Reservoir, where it is filtered and treated before traveling through distribution mains to homes and business in Springfield and several surrounding communities. Approximately 250,000 people in the Lower Pioneer Valley rely on the Commission – and the operators at West Parish Filters – for clean, safe drinking water.

 

West Parish Filters Water Treatment Plant located in Westfield, MA.

Steps to becoming a Water Operator in Massachusetts
  • Take the Basic Drinking Water Treatment Course
    • Online through STCC or in-person offered by various organizations such as MWWA or other educational institutions.
    • Training Courses are prerequisites to sit for state licensing exams/ Basic Water Treatment required to sit for T2 exam
  • Take the T2 state exam and pass
  • Meet experience requirements and submit documentation for licensure
  • Apply for positions with Springfield Water and Sewer Commission or other water utilities across the state
  • Continue to complete training programs and state exams to earn additional licensure
Water Treatment and Distribution Licenses

Each water treatment facility is categorized by treatment process and complexity, T1-T4 and D1-D4.  To work as an operator you will need to hold licensure relevant to the level of the facility.

Currently, Springfield Water and Sewer Commission  operates a grade 3 facility (though T4 license strongly preferred for positions at the Commission). Individuals can be hired for entry level positions while they complete operator courses and pass licensing exams.

More information on Massachusetts water operator licensing and career pathways is available on the MA Board of Certification website.