Water/Wastewater Engineer Career

Job Description: Design or oversee projects involving provision of potable water, disposal of wastewater and sewage, or prevention of flood-related damage. Prepare environmental documentation for water resources, regulatory program compliance, data management and analysis, and field work. Perform hydraulic modeling and pipeline design.


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Water/Wastewater Engineer Career

What Water/Wastewater Engineers do:

  • Design sludge treatment plants.
  • Provide technical direction or supervision to junior engineers, engineering or computer-aided design (CAD) technicians, or other technical personnel.
  • Conduct feasibility studies for the construction of facilities, such as water supply systems, runoff collection networks, water and wastewater treatment plants, or wastewater collection systems.
  • Analyze and recommend sludge treatment or disposal methods.
  • Design domestic or industrial water or wastewater treatment plants, including advanced facilities with sequencing batch reactors (SBR), membranes, lift stations, headworks, surge overflow basins, ultraviolet disinfection systems, aerobic digesters, sludge lagoons, or control buildings.
  • Design or select equipment for use in wastewater processing to ensure compliance with government standards.
  • Design water or wastewater lift stations, including water wells.
  • Provide technical support on water resource or treatment issues to government agencies.
  • Conduct cost-benefit analyses for the construction of water supply systems, runoff collection networks, water and wastewater treatment plants, or wastewater collection systems.
  • Design pumping systems, pumping stations, pipelines, force mains, or sewers for the collection of wastewater.
  • Review and critique proposals, plans, or designs related to water or wastewater treatment systems.
  • Evaluate the operation and maintenance of water or wastewater systems to identify ways to improve their efficiency.
  • Write technical reports or publications related to water resources development or water use efficiency.
  • Design water distribution systems for potable or non-potable water.
  • Design water runoff collection networks, water supply channels, or water supply system networks.
  • Oversee the construction of decentralized or on-site wastewater treatment systems, including reclaimed water facilities.
  • Analyze and recommend chemical, biological, or other wastewater treatment methods to prepare water for industrial or domestic use.
  • Design water storage tanks or other water storage facilities.
  • Analyze storm water or floodplain drainage systems to control erosion, stabilize river banks, repair channel streams, or design bridges.
  • Conduct environmental impact studies related to water and wastewater collection, treatment, or distribution.
  • Perform hydraulic analyses of water supply systems or water distribution networks to model flow characteristics, test for pressure losses, or to identify opportunities to mitigate risks and improve operational efficiency.
  • Conduct water quality studies to identify and characterize water pollutant sources.
  • Develop plans for new water resources or water efficiency programs.
  • Gather and analyze water use data to forecast water demand.
  • Identify design alternatives for the development of new water resources.
  • Analyze the efficiency of water delivery structures, such as dams, tainter gates, canals, pipes, penstocks, or cofferdams.
  • Perform hydrological analyses, using three-dimensional simulation software, to model the movement of water or forecast the dispersion of chemical pollutants in the water supply.
  • Perform mathematical modeling of underground or surface water resources, such as floodplains, ocean coastlines, streams, rivers, or wetlands.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Holland Code Chart for a Water/Wastewater Engineer