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STCC Launches New Water-distribution Course

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will offer an online course this fall to prepare students for careers in the drinking-water industry and to help those working in the field enhance their skills.

The course, called “Concepts & Practices of Drinking Water Distribution,” is being offered through the Workforce Development Center at STCC in partnership with the Massachusetts Water Works Assoc. and the Springfield Water & Sewer Commission. The training, which runs from Sept. 14 to Dec. 4, is free for students enrolled in any community college in Massachusetts. Individuals not enrolled at a community college, as well as employees at water utilities, can register for the class for a fee.

This is the second in a series of courses designed for careers in the water industry. Last fall, a water-treatment course was offered in a similar self-paced online format. Students who completed the training last fall touted the course’s effectiveness and flexibility. The water distribution course will include weekly videos, readings, discussion topics, and quizzes.

Instructor Daniel Laprade, of the Massachusetts Water Works Assoc., has been working in the drinking-water field for more than 35 years and has been an instructor for more than 15 years. He said demand for trained employees in the drinking-water industry continues to grow as older workers retire.

“It’s an exciting and rewarding career,” he said. “Workers will face challenges as communities deal with aging infrastructure. Training such as the type we offer with STCC and the Springfield Water & Sewer Commission is critical to attracting new individuals to the field and enhancing the skills of new and existing employees.”

The 12-week training will help prepare students to take the Massachusetts Drinking Water Operator Grade 2, 3 and 4 Distribution license exams. Licensure is necessary for beginning a career in the drinking-water industry. This course is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Certification of Drinking Water Operators.

Material covered includes hydrology, source waters, basic math and chemistry, regulations, water sampling, hydraulics, distribution-system components (pipes, valves, pumps, tanks, meters), equipment operation and maintenance, safety, and administrative duties.

Someone with a Massachusetts water operator distribution license can work in such positions as water construction and repair technician; construction foreman; equipment operation and maintenance specialist; water-quality technician; SCADA, GIS, or instrumentation specialist; or water-systems manager.

Students who complete the water course can consider continuing their education in fields such as civil engineering, urban studies, software development, business administration, and more.

To enroll online, visit stcc.edu/water. To enroll in person or for more information, call (413) 755-4225 or e-mail [email protected].

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