They can only serve their intended purpose, if they are properly maintained and operated. That is why wastewater permits, water rights, and provisions for the subsidisation of municipal water management stipulate that wastewater treatment plants shall only be operated by trained personnel.
Sewage plant operators
The Austrian Water and Waste Management Association (ÖWAV) developed a training programme that has already stood the test of several decades and is continuously adjusted to the latest state of the art (ÖWAV, 2013).
Who is trained?
Although the training programme focuses on the operating personnel of municipal wastewater treatment plants, it is also suitable for the operating personnel of industrial and commercial wastewater treatment plants.
The ÖWAV training courses are taught by experts from the fields of science and practice, administration, and specialist companies. The courses are organised by the ÖWAV.
Duration and training process
The training to become a sewage plant operator is a part-time programme of three years. It begins with an internship of two weeks at a training wastewater treatment plant. The internship is then followed by a basic training course for sewage plant operators.
The ÖWAV course programme includes several more stages. The training ends with the final sewage plant operator exams. The training programme may be reduced to two years for participants with a completed apprenticeship in a relevant field.