Government of Nova Scotia Government of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada


Water: Operator Certification

General Information

We take water from the environment to use and deliver it back to the environment after we are finished with it. While this may seem like a simple statement the journey this water takes along the way is complex.

Many sources of water are not directly suitable for drinking purposes and must be treated prior to use. Once the water is treated it is distributed to our homes and businesses through a maze of underground piping. We use this water for our daily needs then dispose of it, along with many types of waste, down our drains. This used water, or wastewater, is collected in another series of underground piping that delivers it to a point of discharge. This discharge is treated before being released to the environment.

Engineers, architects and contractors combine their skills to design and build the facilities that treat and distribute the water and collect and treat the wastewater. But once the facility is complete it is the operator who is responsible to maintain, repair and manage these expensive pieces of infrastructure.

The duties of an operator are diverse. In smaller plants an operator may control all of the machinery, perform tests, keep records, handle complaints, and perform repairs and maintenance. In large plants, operators may be more specialized and monitor only one process. They might work with chemists, engineers, laboratory technicians, mechanics, helpers, supervisors, and a superintendent.

The importance of responsible operation cannot be overstressed. As an operator of a water or wastewater facility you are responsible for the health and well-being of your community.