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Waste Water Treatment Plant Operator Program

water treatment coursesProgram Duration: 5 Months
Course Contact Hours: 360
Student Tuition: $3,500.00

This training program combines  two water treatment courses:

  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Level 1
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Level 2 

Wastewater treatment plant operators observe, maintain, and regulate a wide variety of systems employed in the treatment of wastewater. They manage plant processes in order to ensure the plant operates effectively. Our Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator course trains students in the best ways to safely and effectively run and sustain wastewater treatment plants.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Level 1


Wastewater Treatment Plant– Level 1 is developed to train students to safely and efficiently operate and maintain wastewater treatment plants. This training program is designed to train students in the functional elements of operating and maintaining wastewater treatment plants, highlighting the use of safe methods and procedures. The information from this course includes the role and obligations of a treatment plant operator, a description of why wastes need to be treated, and comprehensive explanations of the equipment and processes employed in a wastewater treatment plant. Students will study to run as well as maintain racks, screens, comminutors, sedimentation tanks, trickling filters, rotating biological contactors, package activated sludge plants, oxidation ditches, ponds, and chlorination facilities.

After completing our water treatment courses, you should have the ability to:

  • Comprehend the function of the treatment plant operator in a wastewater treatment plant.
  • Determine steps in the wastewater treatment process.
  • Comprehend components of sedimentation, flotation, and trickling filters.
  • Recognize steps in the activated sludge process and also maintaining ponds.
  • Recognize the steps in the disinfection process and sulfur dioxide hazards.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Level 2


This course trains students in the practical aspects of operating and maintaining wastewater treatment plants, highlighting safe practices and operations. Subjects addressed in this particular course include conventional activated sludge processes, sludge digestion and solids handling, effluent disposal, plant safety and good housekeeping, plant and equipment maintenance, laboratory procedures and chemistry, use of computers for plant operation and maintenance, analysis and presentation of data, and records and report writing.

Prerequisite: Wastewater Treatment Plant– Level 1.

After completing this program, you will have the ability to:

  • Identify the steps in the activated sludge process.
  • Recognize the steps in sludge digestion and water sampling.
  • Understand techniques for maintaining plant safety.
  • Identify the steps for performing laboratory procedures.
  • Identify techniques for analyzing as well as reporting data.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Level 1


Wastewater Treatment Plant Module 1
Water Treatment Operators & Facilities

  • What is a Treatment Plant Operator?
  • The Water Quality Protector
  • Your Qualifications
  • Staffing Needs & Future Job Opportunities
  • Prevention of Pollution
  • Types of Waste Discharges
  • Effects of Waste Discharges
  • Solids in Wastewater
  • Natural Cycles
  • NPDES Permits
  • Collection of Wastewater
  • Treatment Plants
  • Flow Measuring Devices
  • Solids Handling & Disposal
  • Advanced Methods of Treating Wastewater
  • Effluent Discharge, Reclamation, & Reuse
  • Bar Screens & Racks
  • Comminutors & Barminutors
  • Grit Removal
  • Operational Strategy & Design Review
Read Full Course Outline
Wastewater Treatment Plant Module 2
Sedimentation, Flotation & Trickling Filters

  • Purpose of Sedimentation and Flotation
  • Operation & Maintenance
  • Sampling & Laboratory Analysis
  • Sludge & Scum Pumping
  • Safety Issues
  • Principles of Operation
  • Review of Plans & Specifications
  • Flotation Processes IMHOFF Tanks
  • Septic Tanks
  • How the Trickling Filter Works
  • Classification of Filters
  • Starting, Operating, & Shutting Down a Filter
  • Filter Operational Strategy
  • Filter Maintenance & Troubleshooting
  • Loading Criteria
  • Trickling Filter / Solids Contact (TF/SC) Process

Wastewater Treatment Plant Module 3
Activated Sludge & Wastewater Stabilization Ponds

  • Description of Rotating Biological Contractors
  • Process Operation & Pretreatment Requirements
  • Maintenance & Troubleshooting: Drives, Bearings & Motors
  • Safety of Equipment, Connections & Surfaces
  • Loading Calculations
  • The Activated Sludge Process
  • Package Plants & Extended Aeration
  • Oxidation Ditches
  • Use of Ponds
  • History of Ponds in Waste Treatment
  • Pond Classifications & Applications
  • Explanation of Treatment Process
  • Pond Performance
  • Starting the Pond
  • Daily Operation & Maintenance of Ponds
  • Pond Sampling & Analysis of Performance
  • Review of Pond Plans & Specifications
  • Eliminating Algae from Pond Effluents

Wastewater Treatment Plant Module 4
Disinfection Processes

  •  Need for Disinfection
  • Disinfection Using Chlorine
  • Points of Chlorine Application
  • Chlorination Process Control
  • Chlorination Feed Rate & Control
  • Measurement of Chlorine Residual
  • Chlorine Safety Program
  • Chlorine Handling
  • Chlorination Equipment & Maintenance
  • Other Uses of Chlorine
  • Dechlorination
  • Sulfur Dioxide Hazards
  • Sulfur Dioxide Supply System
  • Operation & Maintenance of Sulfur Dioxide Systems
  • Disinfection Using Ultraviolet (UV) Systems
  • Uses of UV Systems
  • Emergency Alarms
  • Maintenance & Troubleshooting of UV Systems
  • Disinfection Using Ozone Systems

Wastewater Treatment Plant Level 2


Wastewater Treatment Plant Module 1
Activated Sludge Plants

  • The Activated Sludge Process
  • Aeration Systems
  • Safety of Aeration Systems
  • Checking Out a New Plant
  • Process Start-Up Procedures
  • Routine Operational Control
  • Abnormal Operation Conditions
  • Equipment Shutdown, Abnormal O & M
  • Modifications of the Activated Sludge Process
  • Sequencing Batch Reactors (SBRs)
  • Microbiology for Activated Sludge
  • Collection & Preparation of Samples
  • Interpretation & Response to Results
  • Monitoring the Changes & Trends in Microbiology

Wastewater Treatment Plant Module 2
Sludge Digestion, Effluent Discharge, Reclamation, & Reuse

  • Need for Sludge Digestion
  • Components in the Anaerobic Sludge Digestion Process
  • Gas Systems
  • Digester Heating & Mixing
  • Operation of Anaerobic Digesters
  • Anaerobic Digestion Controls & Test Interpretation
  • Operational Strategy
  • Digester Cleaning
  • Aerobic Sludge Digestion
  • Digested Sludge Handling
  • Sludge Disposal
  • Effluent Discharge to Surface Waters
  • Receiving Water Monitoring
  • Sampling & Analysis

Wastewater Treatment Plant Module 3
Plant Safety & Maintenance

  • Why Safety?
  • Types of Hazards
  • Specific Hazards
  • Pumping Stations
  • Treatment Plants
  • Industrial Waste Treatment
  • Safety in the Laboratory
  • Fire Prevention
  • Water Supplies
  • Safety Equipment & Information
  • How to Develop Safety Training Programs
  • Hazard Communication (Worker Right-to-Know Laws)
  • Treatment Plant Maintenance
  • Mechanical Equipment Maintenance
  • Electrical Equipment Maintenance
  • Motors & Maintenance
  • Mechanical Maintenance
  • Unplugging Pipes, Pumps, & Valves
  • Flow Measurements – Meters & Maintenance

Wastewater Treatment Plant Module 4
Laboratory Procedures & Computer Use

  • Importance of Laboratory Procedures
  • Basic Laboratory Words, Equipment, & Techniques
  • The Metric System
  • Chemical Names & Formulas
  • Use of a Spectrophotometer
  • Safety & Hygiene in the Laboratory
  • Personal Safety & Hygiene in the Laboratory
  • Representative Sampling
  • Tests for Activated Sludge Control
  • Tests for Digestion Control
  • Laboratory Procedures for NPDES Monitoring
  • Dissolved Oxygen (DO) & Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)
  • Hydrogen Ion (pH), Metals, Nitrogen, & Ammonia
  • Nitrites, Phosphorus, & Sulfate
  • Computer Use in a Treatment Plant
  • Data Analysis, Report Generation & Recordkeeping
  • Systems Monitoring with Computers
  • Time Saving & Better Communication with Computers
  • SCADA Systems

Wastewater Treatment Plant Module 5
Analysis, Records, Reporting & Administration

  • Need for Analyzing & Presenting Data
  • Causes of Variations in Results
  • Monometer & Gauge Reading
  • Chart Reading
  • Average or Arithmetic Mean
  • Arithmetic Range of Values
  • Understanding Median & Mode
  • Geometric Mean
  • Moving Averages
  • Graphs & Charts
  • Variance & Standard Deviation
  • Prediction Equations, Trends, & Correlations
  • Metric Calculations
  • Records & Report Writing
  • Typical Monthly Report
  • Emergency Planning & Response
  • Function of a Manager
  • Planning, Organizing & Staffing
  • Communication, Conducting Meetings & Public Relations
  • Financial Management

Required Materials:

Wastewater Treatment Plant Level 1
Materials Included:

  • Operation of Wastewater Treatment Plants Volume 1 by CSUS

Wastewater Treatment Plant Level 2
Materials Included:

  • Operation of Wastewater Treatment Plants Volume 2 by CSUS

System Requirements:

Internet Access

  • Broadband or high-speed internet access is strongly recommended. Broadband includes DSL, cable, and wireless connections.
  • Dial-Up internet connections will result in a diminished online experience. Moodle pages may load slowly and viewing large audio and video files may not be possible.


  • Virtually all Windows-Mac hardware configurations and processors are acceptable.
  • 1 GB RAM recommended
  • Software
  • Operating Systems
  • Windows XP or Vista and Mac OS X 10 and higher
  • Web Browsers
  • Mozilla Firefox 2 and 3 (previous versions will work also)
  • Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8
  • Safari is not currently recommended as it cannot display certain Moodle editing menus for both students and instructors
  • Media Plug-ins (These may be required depending on your course media-click on the links below to download the latest versions)
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Apple Quicktime
  • Windows Media Player
  • Real Player
  • PowerPoint Viewer (use this if you don’t have PowerPoint)