What do Water/Wastewater Engineers do?

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.

  • 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, run-off 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.
  • 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.
  • Analyze storm water or floodplain drainage systems to control erosion, stabilize river banks, repair channel streams, or design bridges.
  • Design water distribution systems for potable or nonpotable water.
  • Design or select equipment for use in wastewater processing to ensure compliance with government standards.
  • Identify design alternatives for the development of new water resources.
  • Design water or wastewater lift stations, including water wells.
  • 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.
  • Gather and analyze water use data to forecast water demand.
  • Design water storage tanks or other water storage facilities.
  • Conduct cost-benefit analyses for the construction of water supply systems, run-off collection networks, water and wastewater treatment plants, or wastewater collection systems.
  • Analyze and recommend chemical, biological, or other wastewater treatment methods to prepare water for industrial or domestic use.
  • Review and critique proposals, plans, or designs related to water or wastewater treatment systems.
  • Write technical reports or publications related to water resources development or water use efficiency.
  • Design sludge treatment plants.
  • Conduct water quality studies to identify and characterize water pollutant sources.
  • Provide technical support on water resource or treatment issues to government agencies.
  • Analyze and recommend sludge treatment or disposal methods.
  • Design water run-off collection networks, water supply channels, or water supply system networks.
  • 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.
  • Oversee the construction of decentralized or on-site wastewater treatment systems, including reclaimed water facilities.
  • Develop plans for new water resources or water efficiency programs.
  • Analyze the efficiency of water delivery structures, such as dams, tainter gates, canals, pipes, penstocks, or cofferdams.
  • Conduct environmental impact studies related to water and wastewater collection, treatment, or distribution.
  • Perform mathematical modeling of underground or surface water resources, such as floodplains, ocean coastlines, streams, rivers, or wetlands.

Related Jobs (Water/Wastewater Engineers)

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Necessary Skills

  • Mathematics
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Active Listening
  • Monitoring