EPA State Environmental Training Program
Associate of Water Technology Degree
Certificate of Completion
The Water Technology program is an award-winning, up-to-date technical training opportunity that will open doors to a career anywhere in the United States. Graduates of this program have found work in New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, California, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iraq, and Puerto Rico. More than 400 graduates have begun careers in the water field, working in such diverse areas as the semiconductor industry, the food processing industry, aerospace industry, electrical power industry, city water and wastewater departments, municipal or contract analytical laboratories, water reuse or recycling plants, metal plating companies, engineering consulting firms, and state planning offices.
While jobs are widely available, training programs like this one are rare. As the treatment of water becomes more technical, municipalities and industries rely on training programs to fill their needs. Students in this program learn how to clean water to make it safe for drinking and how to purify water to a high quality for use in computer chip manufacturing, food processing, or steam generation. They will also learn how to treat wastewater so it can be safely returned to the environment or reclaimed for beneficial use. Instruction also includes maintaining equipment such as pumps, motors, valves, and chemical feeders; laboratory testing and analysis; water chemistry and microbiology; and some basics of supervising and managing a water utility, including budgets, preventive maintenance schemes, and billing. Various course assignments requiring laboratory data sheets, simple process control spreadsheets, and term papers enable students to sharpen their computer and writing skills. General studies in basic algebra, applied math, water chemistry and microbiology, speech, and technical writing round out the curriculum.
Whether taking classes or working on a job site, students enrolled in this program will be required to perform the same job duties and be able to meet the same physical requirements that they will as graduates in the field. Depending where they find employment, graduates may be required to
- work in inclement weather,
- lift up to 50 pounds from the ground,
- work safely around hazardous chemicals using appropriate safety equipment such as a self-contained breathing apparatus,
- work safely in confined spaces,
- ascend and descend stairs and ladders to reach equipment,
- work safely around heavy equipment,
- work safely and effectively on uneven surfaces, and
- stand for long periods of time on concrete floors.
Some positions in the field require certification and the licensing agency may not provide special testing accommodations.
Opportunities for students to gain new knowledge and skills in operations, maintenance, and laboratory areas are provided through classroom training, hands-on laboratories, field trips, guest lectures, and training on the program’s own water and wastewater plants.
Before graduating, students will spend a minimum of 180 hours at a cooperative education site with a municipality or industry. Students have found co-ops at water and wastewater plants in Albuquerque, El Paso, Las Cruces, Socorro, Hobbs, Silver City, Mesilla, and Glorieta, and with industries such as Intel and Kurita America.
Financial aid beyond loans, grants, work-study monies, and DACC scholarships include seven private scholarships specifically for Water Technology students:
- Max Summerlot Memorial Scholarship, given to a water technology student in his or her second year in the program;
- Cynthia Hiers-Robinson Current-Use Scholarship;
- Jake Hands Memorial Scholarship;
- two scholarships presented by the New Mexico Water and Wastewater Association; and
- two scholarships presented by the Southwest Section of the New Mexico Water and Wastewater Association.
Additional Graduation Requirements
To receive either an associate degree or a certificate of completion, students are required to obtain a Career Readiness Certificate in the areas of Applied Math, Reading for Information, and Locating Information at the appropriate level for their respective degree option. To facilitate success in obtaining their Career Readiness Certificate students will be required to take 1 credit of OETS 102 Career Readiness Certification Preparation. A program advisor can provide additional information.
NOTE: Students must achieve a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 with a final grade of C or better in ENGL 111G Rhetoric and Composition and all required WATR courses. The remaining courses are applicable toward the bachelor of applied studies degree offered by the NMSU College of Extended Learning. At least 36 hours of the technical requirements are applicable toward the bachelor’s degree in agricultural and extension education offered by the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University.
WATR 120. Introduction to Water Systems
Introduction to and theory of groundwater sources, production, treatment, and distribution.
WATR 130. Wastewater Collection and Basic Treatment Systems
Introduction to wastewater characteristics, collection, and basic treatment operations.
WATR 140. Applied Water and Wastewater Math I
Introduction to basic water and wastewater mathematics, flows through distribution networks and collection systems, and fundamentals of flow measurement.
Prerequisite: CCDM 114N or equivalent.
WATR 160. Systems Maintenance
4 Credits (2+4P)
Basic tools, equipment, maintenance schedules, chlorinator trouble-shooting, and chlorine safety. Hands-on training with valves, pumps, meters and chlorination equipment.
WATR 165. Backflow Prevention
3 Credits (2+2P)
Theory of operation of backflow prevention devices and their application. Backflow devices including double check, reduced pressure, and pressure vacuum breakers will be tested for proper operation.
WATR 175. Programmable Logic Controllers
This course will introduce students to electrical safety, theory, and the function, operations, programming and troubleshooting of the PLC controlling common electrical components utilized in control circuits associated with the water and wastewater industry. Restricted to: Community Colleges only.
WATR 180. Water Chemistry
Basic chemistry with applications to water and wastewater analysis.
Prerequisite: CCDM 114N or consent of instructor.
WATR 182. Water Chemistry Analysis
Beginning water and wastewater laboratory analysis including gravimetric, volumetric, and quality control techniques.
Prerequisite: CCDM 114N or equivalent or consent of instructor.
WATR 190. Water and Wastewater Microbiology
Overview of microorganisms associated with water and wastewater. Growth and reproduction, energy production, and methods of counting.
WATR 192. Water and Wastewater Microbiological Analysis
Introduction to water and wastewater treatment operational tests such as BODs, solids testing, activated sludge control tests, use of microscope, and bacteriological techniques.
WATR 200. Internship
On-the-job training/work experience with municipalities or industries, working in water or wastewater treatment plants, high purity water plants, industrial waste plants, distribution systems, or wastewater collection systems. May be repeated up to 5 credits. Consent of Instructor required. Restricted to: Water Technology majors. S/U Grading (S/U, Audit). Restricted to Community Colleges campuses only.
WATR 220. Water Treatment Systems
Theory of water systems operation including surface water treatment, fluoridation, sodium zeolite softening, corrosion control, iron removal, various filtration methods, and overview of SDWA.
WATR 222. Water Systems Operation
Operations of various water treatment systems including surface water treatment, sodium zeolite softeners, and various filtration methods.
Prerequisite: WATR 220 or consent of instructor.
WATR 230. Advanced Wastewater Treatment
Calculations and operations involved in wastewater and water reclamation plants.
WATR 232. Wastewater Systems Operations
Operation of pretreatment, primary, and biological treatment units.
Prerequisite: WATR 230 or consent of instructor.
WATR 240. Advanced Water and Wastewater Math II
3 Credits (2+2P)
Advanced water and wastewater mathematics. Flow measurement. Systems head and pump curves.
Prerequisites: WATR 140.
WATR 250. Municipal Systems Management
Management of water utility systems including laws, finance, records, and safety.
WATR 255. Special Individualized Problems in Water Technology
Individual studies in areas directly related to water technology.
Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
WATR 270. Special Topics
Specific subjects to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits.
WATR 275. Certification Review
Review of water and wastewater plant operations and laws in preparation for state certification exams.
WATR 285. High Purity Water Treatment Systems
Principles of high purity water production including microfiltration, ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis, and deionization.
Prerequisite: WATR 220.
WATR 287. Advanced Water Chemistry Analysis
Sampling techniques, analysis, and evaluation of potable water contaminants using gravimetric, volumetric, spectrophotometric, and other instrumentation methods.
Prerequisite: WATR 285 or consent of instructor.
WATR 290. Advanced Wastewater Microbiology and Chemistry
Covers NPDES permits and DMR calculations and reporting; 503 sludge regs, including pathogen and vector attraction reduction and pollutants; wetlands, composting, and wastewater treatment ponds microbiology; activated sludge bulking and foaming microbiology and treatment; and use of selector to remove nutrients and prevent the growth of filamentous bacteria.
Name: Terry Mount, Department Chair
Office Location: DATS 155A
Phone: (575) 527-7584Website: https://dacc.nmsu.edu/watr/