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Water Quality Professionals –
Enforcing the Right to Clean Water 
Massachusetts Green Career 
Conference
October 3, 2013
Marlborough, Massachusetts
Oct
 Ray Willis, President
Massachusetts Water Pollution Control Association
 Kirsten King, Communications Director
New England Water Works Association
Co‐Presenters
Massachusetts Water Pollution Control 
Association (MWPCA)
 Founded in 1965
 Located at Richard Alden Training Center in Millbury
 Comprised of over 800 water quality professionals
 Strives to be an advocate and provide a voice for 
the wastewater and stormwater sectors
 Associated state association of WEF and NEWEA
Overview ‐ MWPCA
Overview ‐ NEWWA
 Established in 1882
 Approximately 3,000 
members
 Serves six New England 
states 
 Based out of Holliston, 
Mass. – a central location 
for the New England states
 Is a section of the American 
Water Works Association
NEWWA –
Mission Statement
Our mission is to promote public health,
safety, quality of life, and environmental
stewardship through education/training,
advocacy, and outreach relating to safe
drinking water and to advance the
membership.
NEWWA
Water Utilities
Consultants
Manufacturers
Regulators
Environmental 
Associations
Academia
Construction 
NEWWA – Who We Serve
Regulatory Requirements ‐ Wastewater
 U.S. EPA policies/regulations requiring upgrades of existing 
facilities and constructing new facilities
 Phosphorus and Nitrogen Removal
Industry Climate ‐ Wastewater
Industry Climate – Drinking Water
 New & Revised Regulations
 Total Coliform Rule
 Lead and Copper Rule
 Manganese
 Disinfection byproducts
 Majority of water‐related infrastructure locally and 
nationally has reached its design life and requires 
replacement
 Massachusetts Water Infrastructure Finance Commission 
identified that $39.4 Billion will be required over the next 
20 years  
 AWWA ’s seminal report, Buried No Longer™: Confronting 
America’s Water Infrastructure Challenge (AWWA , 2012), 
showed that restoring existing potable water pipe 
networks as they reach the end of their useful lives and 
expanding them to serve a growing U.S. population will 
cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years
Aging Infrastructure
The True Cost of Water
 Consumers do not pay for the 
true cost of water
 Public outreach campaigns 
are working to educate public 
about the need to invest in 
our water and wastewater 
systems
 Also the Mass. Water 
Infrastructure Finance 
Commission and national 
WIFIA (Water Infrastructure 
Finance & Innovation 
Authority)
$0
$50
$100
$150
$200
$250
Utility Cost Comparisons
Average
Monthly
Cost
The Progressive Path
 Water and Wastewater 
Utilities are Becoming 
‘Greener’
 Solar panels (Chelmsford, 
Grafton, Littleton)
 Wind power (MWRA)
Career Paths in Drinking Water
and Wastewater
The “Original” Green Professions
 Engineering
 Civil, Environmental, 
Chemical 
 Design
 Facility Operations
 Construction Management
Career Paths in Drinking Water
and Wastewater
The “Original” Green Professions
 Construction 
 Laborers
 Equipment Operators 
 Supervisors
 Project Management
Career Paths in Drinking Water
and Wastewater
The “Original” Green Professions
 Treatment Plant & 
Reservoir Operations & 
Management 
 Plant managers/supervisors
 Water quality 
analysts/chemists
 Watershed 
managers/foresters
 Operators
Career Paths in Drinking Water
and Wastewater
The “Original” Green Professions
 Distribution System 
Management
 Collection/Distribution
 Supervisors/Managers
 Mechanics
 Plumbers
 Operations crews
 Metering
 Valves
 Hydrants
 Emergency crews
 Maintenance crews
Career Paths in Drinking Water
and Wastewater
The “Original” Green Professions
 Sales
 Equipment Sales
 Technical Support
 Field Technicians
Cross Connection/Backflow
 NEWWA certifies cross 
connection control 
surveyors as well as 
backflow prevention device 
inspectors/testers
Additional Careers
 Regulatory
 Accounting/Finance
 Customer Service
 Public Relations
 Information Technology
 Lawyer
 “Promoting Entry to Career Pathways in the Drinking Water 
and Wastewater Sector,” Lowell Center for Sustainable 
Production, University of Massachusetts Lowell and The 
Massachusetts Workforce Alliance, May 2012
 Nationally 30‐50% of current water workforce will be eligible for 
retirement in the next 5 to 10 years
 Average age in Massachusetts 50+ years; MWPCA member 52 years 
old
 Potential for 2,400 operators to retire in Massachusetts over the 
next 10 years
 There are 250 Municipal Drinking Water Utilities and 120 Municipal 
Wastewater Utilities in Massachusetts in addition to private drinking 
water and wastewater facilities 
Drinking Water/Wastewater Critical 
Need: Operations
Quote from Study:
“The drinking water and wastewater industry is 
comprised of good but challenging jobs with 
advancement potential, clear career pathways and 
supervisors who support education and training for 
those pathways.  Industry leaders are committed to 
their employees, profession, and mission to protect 
public health and the environment.”
Drinking Water/Wastewater 
Operations
Drinking Water/Wastewater ‐
Operations
Operator Skill Requirements:
 Basic understanding of 
math and science concepts 
required
 Mechanically inclined
 Licensure requirements
 Other positions available 
within field that require 
less skill/licensure
Licensure Options 
 Municipal and Industrial Categories
 Operator  
 Grades 1 – 4 Municipal
 Grades 1 ‐ 4 Industrial
 Grades 5 – 7 Combined
 Collection System (voluntary) – Grades 1 ‐ 4
 Laboratory (voluntary) ‐ Grades 1 – 2
Wastewater Operators
 Schedule exam on‐line at goamp.com (3 locations in 
New England)
 Pass exam and submit results to NEIWPCC with fee
 Issued license in one of three categories:
WI – When & If Status
OT – Operator in Training, employed by a facility but does not meet 
educational requirements
Full – Employed by a facility and meet educational requirements
• Information – www.neiwpcc.org
Wastewater Licensure 
Process 
Passing of the Equivalent Exam and Experience at Equivalent or 
Higher‐Graded Facility
 Grade 1 – One year experience; 6 month education credit 
 Grade 2 – Three years experience; 2 year education credit
 Grade 3 – Five years experience; 3 year education credit
 Grade 4 – Six years experience; 4 year education credit
 Grade 5 – Six years experience; 4 year education credit
 Grade 6 – Seven years of experience; 5 year education credit
 Grade 7 – Eight years of experience; 5 year education credit
Wastewater Licensure 
Full Status Requirements
Licensure Options
 Distribution – Grades 1‐4
 Treatment – Grades 1‐4
New course requirements to sit for Grades 2‐4
Full operator certification requirements vary depending on education 
level and test passed:
http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/water/drinking/educatio
n‐and‐experience‐requirements‐for‐full‐operator‐c.html
Drinking Water Operators
Drinking Water/Wastewater 
Operator Training
 New England Water Works 
Association
 Certificate Program
 New England Water 
Environment Association
 Massachusetts Water 
Works Association
 Massachusetts Rural Water 
Association
Student/Young Professional 
Involvement
 Student Poster Session at 
NEWWA Annual Spring 
Conference each year
 YP Session/Competition at 
Conference
 Student Activities Committee
 Young Professional 
Committee
 Discounted Student Member 
Rate for Joint 
NEWWA/NEWEA/NEAPWA 
Membership
 Municipal Drinking Water and Wastewater Facilities
 Department of Public Works, Water Districts, Commissions, Sewer Districts
 Private Drinking Water and Wastewater Facilities
 Private operation firms, decentralized facilities, private water supplies, etc. 
 Industrial
 Private industrial facilities, commercial facilities, etc.
 Private Sector
 Consulting/engineering firms, construction firms, equipment 
manufacturers
 Government
 Federal, state, local
Drinking Water/Wastewater
Markets
Current Salary Ranges
 Entry Level ‐ $38,000 ‐ $42,000
 Mid Level  ‐ $46,000 ‐ $52,000
 Supervisor Level ‐ $74,000 ‐ $83,000
Potential for Increased Salaries
 Supply vs. Demand
 Sophistication of facilities now requiring skilled employees
 Licensure requirements
 Jobs cannot be outsourced
Drinking Water/Wastewater
Operator Salaries
Industry Web sites
 www.mwpca.org
 www.mwwa.memberclicks.net
 www.newwa.org/careercenter
 www.newea.org
 www.awwa.org  ‐ career center
 www.wef.org – job bank
Workforce Development Agencies
 Career Center Lowell
 Skill Works
 Regional Employment Agencies/Workforce Investment Board
 MassDEP
 Veteran Affairs Services
How Do I Find These Jobs?
Kirsten King, Director of Communications
New England Water Works Association 
(508) 893‐7979, Ext. 243
kking@newwa.org
Lynn Foisy, Executive Director
Massachusetts Water Pollution Control Association
(774) 289‐3402
mwpca2011@yahoo.com
Need Help????
Thank You – Any Questions?

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