Water treatment specialists in the Army do what their job title describes. They make sure water is safe to drink both for fellow soldiers and for people in the areas where the Army is deployed.
Waterborne illnesses are still among the most deadly and widespread in the developing world and are even present in parts of the U.S. This hazard is especially true following natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes. The work these soldiers do, both on active duty status or in the Reserves, is critical to keeping drinking water free and clear of contaminants.
It could mean everything from inspecting facilities for the presence of bacteria and germs to helping with water storage and distribution operations, to installing and overseeing water purification systems. This important Army job is military occupational specialty (MOS) 92W.
Duties of a Water Treatment Specialist
These soldiers are tasked with ensuring water safety, and once they've completed their training, should know how to perform water quality analysis testing and verification. They'll assist with water reconnaissance and site preparation, to ensure drinking water is available for troops, and are involved in all aspects of operating and maintaining water treatment equipment including setup and oversight.
Training for Water Treatment Specialists
To prepare for an Army career as a water treatment specialist, you'll take the usual ten weeks of Basic Combat Training (otherwise known as boot camp) and 14 weeks of Advanced Individual Training (AIT) with on-the-job instruction. While part of your training will be spent in the classroom at Fort Lee in Virginia, you'll also spend time in the field, testing different techniques and products for water purification.
You'll learn how to identify health hazards and how to inspect food products, food service operations, wastewater, and waste disposal facilities for contamination.
Qualifying as an Army Water Treatment Specialist
There is no Department of Defense security clearance required for this position. But you'll need a score of 88 on the general maintenance (GM) segment of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests. Normal color vision is required, so colorblindness could potentially disqualify a soldier from this MOS.
You're likely to be successful in this MOS if you have an interest or strength in algebra, biology, chemistry or general science. It is highly detail-oriented work, so you'll need focus and patience. But it's a great fit for soldiers who have an interest in protecting the environment.
Similar Civilian Occupations to Water Treatment Specialists
The skills you learn will help prepare you for a career with local, state or federal government agencies, especially in fields related to water safety or water treatment. You’ll be able to consider a future as a food and drug inspector, public health inspector, health and safety inspectors, or industrial hygienist.