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NOC Code: NOC Code: 9243 Occupation: Water and waste treatment plant operators
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Water treatment plant operators monitor and operate computerized control systems and related equipment in water filtration and treatment plants to regulate the treatment and distribution of water. Liquid waste plant operators monitor and operate computerized control systems and related equipment in wastewater, sewage treatment and liquid waste plants to regulate the treatment and disposal of sewage and wastes. They are employed by municipal governments and industrial facilities. This unit group also includes waste treatment plant operators in composting plants and other waste management facilities. Water treatment plant operators monitor and operate computerized control systems and related equipment in water filtration and treatment plants to regulate the treatment and distribution of water. Liquid waste plant operators monitor and operate computerized control systems and related equipment in wastewater, sewage treatment and liquid waste plants to regulate the treatment and disposal of sewage and wastes. They are employed by municipal governments and industrial facilities. This unit group also includes waste treatment plant operators in composting plants and other waste management facilities.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
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Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3 4
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Digital Technology Digital Technology 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3 4
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading
  • Read logbook entries, e.g. read logbook entries to obtain information about the performance of water systems. (1)
  • Read instructions and warnings written on signs, labels and packaging, e.g. read labels on electrical panels to learn about electrical shock hazards. (1)
  • Read brochures from suppliers to familiarize yourself with new equipment, procedures and products. (2)
  • Read a variety of instructions and procedures, e.g. read step-by-step instructions about the start-up and shutdown of water-treatment equipment. (2)
  • Read memos, e.g. read memos to learn about changes to operating procedures. (2)
  • Read a variety of manuals, e.g. read manuals to find information about the operation, maintenance and repair of computerized control systems and related equipment. (3)
  • Read website articles and trade and engineering magazines to learn about new products and stay up-to-date on new technology. (3)
  • Read safety related information, e.g. read safety rules and regulations governing fall protection, confined spaces and other hazards. (3)
  • Read and interpret standards and regulations, e.g. read regulations issued by Environment Canada to learn about restrictions placed on the disposal of raw sewage. (4)
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Writing
  • Write brief and informal messages, e.g. write email messages in response to requests from engineers for information, such as pH readings. (1)
  • Write short comments in log books, e.g. write short comments to inform co-workers about the results of equipment inspections. (1)
  • Enter text into a wide range of forms, e.g. write comments on a reservoir treatment plant daily report to describe the analyses of test results. (2)
  • Write letters to suppliers requesting product information. (2)
  • Write reports to describe events leading up to workplace accidents, e.g. write about injuries and events when completing reports for workers' compensation boards. (2)
  • Write lengthy reports, e.g. write reports that describe activities, changes to operating systems and upcoming projects. (4)
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Document Use
  • View meters and digital readouts, e.g. scan digital readouts to determine temperatures and rates of flow. (1)
  • Read labels on product packaging, equipment, drawings and panels to locate specifications, voltages, safety information and identification numbers. (1)
  • Complete a variety of forms, e.g. enter data, such as dates, times and concentration levels, into system monitoring forms. (2)
  • Locate data in tables, e.g. locate data, such as turbidity, concentration, flow and temperature, in specification tables. (2)
  • Study a variety of technical drawings, e.g. study schematics to determine water-system flows and capacities and scan floor plans to locate dimensions and placement of equipment. (3)
  • Locate data in graphs, e.g. scan circle graphs to locate the hourly and daily usage of water-treatment systems. (3)
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Digital Technology
  • Use hand-held electronic devices like voltmeters to locate operational data, such as electrical readings. (1)
  • Use calculators and personal digital assistant (PDA) devices to complete numeracy-related tasks, such as calculating material requirements. (1)
  • Use electronic probes and sensors to measure chemical residues. (1)
  • Use computerized maintenance management systems to look up preventive maintenance schedules and equipment history records and to create work orders. (2)
  • Use spreadsheet software to track and tally costs for small operating budgets. (2)
  • Use word processing software to write short reports. (2)
  • Access online articles posted by suppliers, manufacturers and associations to stay current on industry trends and practices. (2)
  • Use communication software to exchange email with co-workers. (2)
  • Use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by training institutions, unions, suppliers, associations and employers. (2)
  • Use specialized software, such as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system software and distributed control system software, to monitor and operate computerized control systems. (2)
  • Use statistical analysis software to generate graphs and charts that present chemical levels, such as the level of nitrate in a well and bacterial contents. (2)
  • Use Internet browsers and search engines to access technical service bulletins, regulations, specifications and troubleshooting guides. (2)
  • Use statistical analysis software to analyze chemical concentrations and bacterial contents. (3)
  • Use advanced features of word processing programs, such as inserting tables of contents and diagrams created in other programs, to complete annual reports. (3)
  • Create spreadsheets and graphs to monitor chemical concentration levels at different points within water-treatment systems. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Listen to announcements over public address systems and two-way radios. (1)
  • Exchange information with co-workers, e.g. talk with co-workers about the performance of water systems and with supervisors to coordinate activities and schedules. (2)
  • Speak with the general public, e.g. discuss water-treatment processes with school children during public tours of water-plant facilities. (2)
  • Participate in group discussions, e.g. participate in toolbox meetings to discuss safe work practices and the outcomes of job hazard assessments. (2)
  • Exchange technical repair and troubleshooting information with co-workers and equipment repairers, e.g. describe the operating condition of malfunctioning equipment to repairers, such as industrial electricians. (3)
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Money Math
  • Handle petty cash to buy supplies. (1)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Schedule the delivery of chemicals. Consider factors, such as tank sizes and rates of depletion. (2)
  • Monitor small budgets for the purchase of tools and sundry items. (2)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Measure out quantities and weigh chemical compounds, e.g. measure out quantities of fluoride and lime before adding them to water and waste-plant systems. (1)
  • Take a variety of measurements using gauges, e.g. measure the temperature of water using thermometers. (1)
  • Calculate material requirements, e.g. apply formulae to calculate the quantity of alum needed to optimize a system. (3)
  • Take precise measurements using specialized equipment, e.g. use specialized testing kits to determine pH levels. (3)
  • Calculate the volume of reservoirs, clarifiers and filter compartments to gauge their ability to meet demand. (4)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare measurements of water quality, temperature, pH and flow to specifications, e.g. compare data from water-quality test results to standards to identify whether they are within acceptable limits. (1)
  • Calculate averages of sets of readings and draw conclusions to make adjustments to plant equipment and systems as required. (2)
  • Analyze multiple readings to evaluate the performance of water-treatment systems, e.g. use water-quality test results to troubleshoot system faults and deficiencies. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate how much sludge there is in a tank. (1)
  • Estimate the rate of flow needed to fill a tank. (2)
  • Estimate how long a line will be shut down to make the necessary process adjustments. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Water and waste plant operators determine task order to resolve issues efficiently, e.g. when data or inspections indicate that there is a process problem. In some cases, supervisors establish their work priorities and in other cases, they set their own priorities, subject to only general guidance from supervisors. They have some need to integrate their work plans with those of others, although much of their work is done independently. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Decide the order of tasks and their priorities, e.g. decide which equipment maintenance activities and tests to complete first. (1)
  • Decide when to schedule repairs, considering what time would cause the least disruption. (2)
  • Decide process control changes needed to ensure that plant systems and equipment are operating within prescribed limits. (2)
  • Decide to shut down equipment or sections of the plant that are malfunctioning. Consider the severity of the malfunctions and the impact of shutdowns. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Receive complaints from customers. Track recent data from the plant systems and equipment to determine whether the problem is caused by a plant malfunction. If it is not, contact the municipal office to request dispatch of a technician. (2)
  • Encounter delays due to equipment breakdowns and malfunctions. Inform co-workers and equipment repairers about the malfunction. Help troubleshoot the cause of the malfunction, initiate procedures to reduce the impact and monitor the situation until the equipment is repaired. (2)
  • Encounter water-distribution problems when computerized control systems malfunction. Co-ordinate the human resources needed to collect data at each site, help troubleshoot the malfunction and provide uninterrupted regulation of water and sewage-treatment services. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Learn how to perform rarely used procedures by reading manuals, conducting online research and speaking with co-workers. (2)
  • Learn about new equipment by reading operating manuals and by speaking with co-workers and manufacturers' representatives. (2)
  • Learn about the operational status of systems by reading log books, reviewing data from computerized control systems, completing tests and physical inspections and by speaking with co-workers. (2)
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Critical Thinking
  • Judge the accuracy of readings taken using equipment, such as pH testers. Compare readings taken with other types of equipment. (1)
  • Evaluate the safety of work sites. Consider the hazards presented by chemicals, equipment, confined spaces and working at heights. (2)
  • Evaluate the performance of equipment and water-treatment systems. Consider multiple test results and signs of malfunction, such as excessive vibrations, unusual noises and odours. (3)
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