A water engineer is someone who deals with the provision of clean water, disposal of waste water and sewage, and the prevention of flood damage. Their job involves repairing, maintaining and building structures that control water resources (for example, sea defence walls, pumping stations and reservoirs). Global warming, ageing infrastructure, population growth, and higher quality living standards are just some of the challenges a water engineer has to address.
What does a Water Engineer do?
Water engineers have many responsibilities, both technical and non-technical. They ensure that citizens are provided with a continuous supply of clean, uncontaminated water for drinking, living, and recreational purposes. Water engineers not only design water management systems, but often oversee the construction and maintenance of these systems as well. They demonstrate a genuine knowledge and interest of the water industry and environmental issues.
designing sewer improvement plans or flood defence programmes, and associated structures, such as pumping stations, pipework and earthworks (the scale may range from an initial outline to a full, detailed design)
preparing tender documents for construction
reviewing technical submissions
liaising with various agencies and individuals, including local authorities, government agencies, clients, contractors, residents, suppliers, technical experts, and consultants
Typical employers of water engineers are privately owned water companies, regulatory bodies, the environment agency, local authority environmental health departments, private consultants or contractors, and charities.
Water engineers spend most of their time in an office looking over data and designing new water resource management systems. However, part of their day may be spent at construction sites, overseeing the construction of their designs. They may also go to more industrial environments when supervising maintenance on advanced equipment. Most work full-time, sometimes putting in more than 40 hours a week in order to properly oversee projects and assure that everything is running smoothly.