Instructor Gilles St. Pierre discusses career opportunities in the field of water treatment, as well as the impact students can have on their communities and the environment.
Water Treatment Technology
I'm Gilles St. Pierre. I'm the water treatment instructor here at Northern Maine Community College. The equipment that we have here is the actual equipment that they're using in the field. So that's kind of unique. They're getting their hands-on training on equipment that when they go work at a facility, they actually can say to the employer, hey, I've run that machine before. Some of the equipment that the students get to use here in the classroom, we have an eidetic sealer, we use that for bacteria testing. We have a pH meters that test the pH of the water samples. And they do hands-on calibration and testing of water with that. We have dissolved oxygen meters to test the the oxygen in the tanks. And also you could use an oxygen meter test to tese the oxygen level in the stream or river. And we have BoD meter to test the strength of the wastewater. We have microscopes to do microscopic examination of bodies under the microscope. And this program, if a student has a math and science background, it will be very helpful. Upon graduation from the program at Northern Maine Community College, the students will have multiple opportunities for different jobs in the field. A couple of them being water treatment plant operator, wastewater treatment plant operator, laboratory technician. They can also be equipment sales reps for vendors. The students are qualified to sit for the main water and wastewater exams. The students can also apply for the state of Maine Department of Environmental Protection. And the state of Maine Drinking Water program. The Clean Water Act of '72 was passed to clean up environmental pollution, and that's what we're doing today. We continually need more people to enter the field because these facilities don't operate by themselves. They need that technical experience of the people who have been to to school and got trained in this field. The fact that it's a new program, it's a new opportunity for the younger generation to get in the field of environmental treatment, environmental protection, and that it can be a very rewarding career. We're just keeping the rivers clean.
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