Onsite assessment bolsters wastewater technician training
An overhaul of British Water's wastewater treatment technicians' training means plant operatives will now undertake onsite assessment to complete the course.
The requirement has been made more rigorous to raise standards and incorporate larger plant sizes, up to 1,000 population equivalent (PE).
Trainees for the British Water Wastewater Treatment Plant Accredited Service Technicians qualification will now be visited at the workplace by an assessor. Candidates need to show competence carrying out maintenance on septic tanks, biological filtration plants, rotating biological contactors, activated sludge plants, submerged aerated filters, biological aerated flooded filters and pumping stations, with one of these assessed by direct observation.
Prerequisites for certification are recognised qualifications in Electrical Safety and Working in Confined Spaces along with completion of EU Skills’ Safety Health & Environmental Awareness (SHEA) Water programme.
Dr Mar Batista, technical manager at British Water, said: “There are a large number of small sewage treatment plants of differing designs, sizes and ages across the country. The UK’s environmental regulators are showing increasing concern about the potential pollution these plants could cause. The primary way of preventing pollution is to ensure plants are properly maintained and serviced.
“British Water’s Wastewater Treatment Plant Focus Group has been working on updates for 10 years and we are delighted to have agreement from all stakeholders. Technicians completing the course will have a thorough knowledge of the types, theory and operation of small sewage treatment plants.”
Craig Finbow, chief executive of Owls Hall Environmental, is vice-convenor of the Wastewater Treatment Plant Focus Group and chaired the technicians training working group.
He said: “A lot of hard work has gone into developing the new training for wastewater treatment technicians. This is an important milestone in raising the bar on service and maintenance across the UK.”
Daryll Garavan, training manager – confined spaces, water and environmental at Develop Training, said: “Expanding the training requirement for wastewater treatment plant operatives will reduce the risk of health & safety and pollution incidents. We are looking forward to putting our first trainees through the new course.”
An estimated 400 people will need to retrain when their current accreditation expires and new recruits will do the course straight away. Batista said that even for those working in the industry but not undertaking daily maintenance, taking the taught course will help them better understand the issues faced by the industry.
- British Water chief says every day operations key during Covid-19 outbreak The chief executive of British Water has told WWT that water companies' day-to-day operations will remain critical during... Read More >
- Severn Trent welcomes new starters onto leadership programme Severn Trent has welcomed 20 starters onto its leadership programme as part of its ongoing commitment to bringing the next... Read More >
- Yorkshire Water delivers carbon literacy course Yorkshire Water has collaborated with one its framework partners, Galliford Try, to become the first company in the... Read More >
- Harnessing the power of algae to reduce phosphorous levels Russell Bright, CEO of Industrial Phycology, talks about new technology which represents a breakthrough in phosphorous... Read More >
- An organic approach to water treatment Robert Denny, Sales Manager at Veolia Water Technologies UK (VWT UK) describes the benefits of specifying alternative... Read More >
- Don’t let the new septic tank regulations become a drain on your resources Has the 2020 septic tank legislation created a deluge of paperwork for your business? Martin Port, founder of BigChange, has... Read More >
- Rewarding excellence WWT content director Alec Peachey looks ahead to next year's Water Industry Awards. Read More >
- Refining water quality management As part of our Utility of the Future campaign, Nadine Buddoo looks at why maintaining water quality is a fundamental... Read More >