LOOKING FOR A GREAT CAREER?
Receive low-cost training and get started on a lifetime career in the water and wastewater industry.
Nearly 50% of water and wastewater treatment plant operators across the country are expected to retire over the next 10 years, opening up positions that pay as much as $50,000 per year at entry level.
Treatment plant operators protect public health and the environment by ensuring that clean water standards are met 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They do essential, recession-proof jobs in every community earning excellent pay, benefits, and opportunities for promotion.
To attract new men and women to the field, Dublin San Ramon Services District and other Bay Area agencies offer hands-on training and classroom instruction for prospective treatment plant operators. These programs can lead to a great entry level job right after high school. They also provide pathways from other fields and to advance in the water industry.
Bay Area Consortium of Water and Wastewater Education (BACWWE) and Solano Community College
For: High school graduates and adults
Location: Wastewater treatment plants throughout the East Bay
Tuition: Tuition and books paid by participating water/wastewater agencies
Bay Area Consortium of Water and Wastewater Education (BACWWE) has teamed up with Solano Community College to offer college-level training in water and wastewater operations. The evening courses are taught at treatment plants throughout the East Bay, including DSRSD’s facility in Pleasanton. In addition to bringing the training to satellite locations, the 18-agency partnership pays for students’ tuition and books and provides working professionals as instructors. Eight courses (28.5 units) offered through the program prepare students to take state certification exams. Students can take additional general education classes at the college to earn an associate of science degree.
Water Pollution Control Program
Tri-Valley Regional Occupational Programs (ROP)
For: High school juniors/seniors and adults
Location: DSRSD Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility in Pleasanton
Cost: TBD for 2014-2015 school year
Students learn how a wastewater treatment plant operates through 150 hours of classroom instruction and 390 hours of hands-on experience. They become familiar with the biological, chemical, and physical processes that remove harmful contaminants from wastewater before it is recycled or returned to the environment. During the nine-month program, students attend class one evening per week and complete an unpaid internship of an additional 12 hours per week. Graduates are equipped to seek entry level employment as a Water/Wastewater Operator Trainee and to take certification exams administered by the State Water Resources Control Board.
Association of California Water Agencies
The Association of California Water Agencies offers several scholarships for college education in the fields related to water resources. Visit the ACWA website for more information or call (916) 441-4545.
DSRSD James B. Kohnen Scholarship
The DSRSD James B. Kohnen Scholarship is a one-time gift of $2,000 to a deserving high school senior planning to attend college and study a field related to water resources. The scholarship honors former Dublin San Ramon Services District Board member James B. Kohnen, who played an integral role developing the District’s water, recycled water, and wastewater services.
Applicants must be:
- Living in and attending high school in the DSRSD service area
- High school seniors with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better
- Graduating in 2015 from: Dublin High School, Valley High School, Dougherty Valley High School, California High School, Valley Christian High School or Quarry Lane School
- Intending to study a field or discipline related to water resources at an accredited, publicly funded college or university in California
- Planning to attend college, full time, for the complete 2015–2016 academic year
Awards are based on a combination of scholastic achievement, an essay, and applicant's commitment to a field related to water resources. This commitment is best demonstrated by pursuing a degree related to water/wastewater technician, engineering, agricultural or urban water supply, environmental studies, or public administration associated with resource management.
The scholarship recipient is selected in May and invited to appear before the DSRSD Board of Directors to receive the $2,000 check.
How to Apply
The 2015 application and deadline will be posted in early 2015.
About James B. Kohnen
James B. Kohnen devoted many years of his life to managing and protecting the public water supply and other vital resources. As a member of the DSRSD Board of Directors from 1992 to 2000, Mr. Kohnen was instrumental in developing water service for the Dougherty Valley; bringing recycled water to the Tri-Valley; expanding water, wastewater, and recycled water services to east Dublin; expanding the Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility; and expanding the Livermore-Amador Valley Water Management Agency pipeline that transports treated wastewater to the San Francisco Bay.
Mr. Kohnen also served on the boards of the Zone 7 Water Agency, the Alameda County Special Districts Association, the American Society for Quality, the Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District, and the California Special Districts Association.
Mr. Kohnen loved lifelong learning, earning two bachelor degrees, two master’s degrees, and a doctoral degree. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 30 years, graduating from the U.S. Army War College, the Air War College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and rising to the rank of colonel. After working for many years as a quality manager for food companies, he became a teacher at San Leandro High School, where he taught political science, management, and general science. He also was member of the faculties of the University of Phoenix and St. Mary’s College.
The DSRSD James B. Kohnen Scholarship was established after Mr. Kohnen’s death in 2012 to honor his public service in the water resources field and inspire young people to follow in his footsteps.