Managing Our Water: It's An Important Job

Working in the water industry can be rewarding because you are providing an essential service to your community. Water and wastewater operators serve their neighbors by protecting public health. It is important that people receive clean, potable water and that wastewater be discharged in an environmentally safe manner. Public drinking water plant operators are our first line of defense against waterborne diseases and contamination that can cause serious, even fatal, illnesses. There are over 1,000 public water systems statewide that are required to employ certified water operators. Water operators are certified by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. There are minimum educational and experience requirements depending on the certification level. Although it takes knowledgeable, conscientious people, a college degree is not required.

The water industry offers many career opportunities. These range from customer service to environmental engineering at public water systems and within state and federal regulatory agencies. Keeping drinking water safe takes a team effort.