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 Career Opportunities in Wastewater 

The true environmentalists work with their hands and heart to protect the environment! Employees of the City of Pueblo Wastewater Department are true environmentalists working to protect the quality of the Arkansas River for downstream users

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Water infrastructure plays a critical role in protecting public health, promoting economic prosperity, and ensuring a good quality of life. Once water is used, it contains pollutants that must be removed and treated before release. Historically, Americans counted on its streams, rivers, and even the ocean to dilute and carry away their waste. In the nineteenth century, Boston built the country's 1st modern sewer system, which pumped sewage into Boston Harbor to drift out to sea. But by the twentieth century, dilution was no longer a viable approach, and new methods were needed for treating the huge volumes of waste generated by a growing city.

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Today, throughout the country, multimillion-dollar wastewater treatment plants clean wastewater by removing solids, settling out microscopic particles, decomposing toxic materials, and disinfecting. When effluent (treated wastewater) is released back into the watershed, it combines with other waters that eventually flow into the intakes of drinking water treatment plants and back to the faucets in households and businesses. It is an endless hydrologic cycle.

Renewing the Water Workforce June 2018

Wastewater Careers

General Career Options

When most people turn on a faucet, they expect clean water to flow out. People with careers in wastewater help take water from drains and sewers and turn it into the clean water that flows from the faucet. There are a number of career options in wastewater treatment.

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Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators

About this Career

Where does the clean water flowing out of your kitchen faucet come from? It was pumped from a lake or other natural source to a water-treatment plant. And after you use the water, it goes to a wastewater-treatment plant. At both facilities, plant operators control processes and equipment that remove pollutants from the water. They take water samples and read meters and gauges. After examining this data, they might adjust equipment or the release of chemicals to ensure that the water is safe.

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Wastewater Management

About this Career

Wastewater management is the industry that deals with treating and cleaning water so that it is safe to drink, as well as disposing of liquid waste products in a safe and environmentally friendly way. For these reasons, working in the field of wastewater management can be extremely rewarding, as you are helping keep the planet (and individuals) healthy. Some positions in include wastewater operator, shift supervisor, water control/pollution technician and project manager.

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Wastewater Operators

About this Career

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators manage a system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or wastewater.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics