MA Community College offers free online water treatment training to students

Springfield Technical Community College launches online certificate training course to prepare students for careers in water treatment.

Springfield Community College
Springfield Technical Community College

SPRINGFIELD, MA, SEPT 6, 2019 -- Springfield Technical Community College (Springfield, Ma.) is launching an online certificate training course to prepare students for careers in water treatment.

The training is also free for students enrolled in any community college across the state.

The course, called "Concepts & Practices of Basic Drinking Water Treatment," begins Sept. 9 and runs through Dec. 6.

Individuals not enrolled at a community college as well as employees at water utilities can register for the class for a fee.

The Workforce Development Center at Springfield Technical Community College, the Massachusetts Water Works Association and the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission have joined together to offer the training which prepares students to take the state Board of Certification exam.

The program provides career opportunities for students who will be qualified for jobs such as water systems manager, water treatment operator and water quality technician.

STCC received $30,000 from the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission to fund the development and offering of the online course.

Community college students enrolled in the 12-week course will need to attend at least one of the two five-hour micro-internships at a water treatment facility. For students not enrolled at one of the community colleges, the micro-internships are optional.

Instructor Daniel Laprade, of the Massachusetts Water Works Association, has been working in the drinking water field for more than 30 years. An instructor for the past 15 years, Laprade is a Massachusetts registered professional engineer and holds both Grade 2 Water Treatment and Distribution licenses in Massachusetts.

Laprade said now is a good time to learn about water treatment, because the demand for trained employees will continue to rise as older workers leave the industry.

“In the next 10 years, a third of the people who work in this industry will be retiring,” he said. “A lot of knowledge and experience will be leaving this business soon, and we won’t have a lot of people to fill their shoes.”

Laprade added that many cities are dealing with aging infrastructure, which represents a challenge for water treatment workers.

“It’s a good industry, a very rewarding industry,” Laprade said. “But it’s challenging, as we see in the news.”

In Newark, N.J, residents over recent weeks have been using bottled water after lead was found in tap water. The city will replace old pipes that were the source of the lead problem. The crisis in Newark echoes what residents of the city of Flint, Mich., faced in recent years.

For more information and to register online, visit stcc.edu/water.  

More in Drinking Water