The Racine Wastewater Utility has a field sampling crew who is responsible for scheduling and sampling events, as well as collection and processing of sample data. In addition to samples of numerous industrial dischargers the sampling crew also samples incoming flow from neighboring communities. All of these samples are analyzed against known standards and samples of higher concentrated waste may generate additional fees from certain industries or customers.
The Sampling Technician's work site is often a confined space.
Many workplaces contain spaces that are considered "confined" because their configurations hinder the activities of employees who must enter, work in, and exit them.
A confined space has limited or restricted means for entry or exit, and it is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.
Confined spaces include, but are not limited to underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, manholes, pits, silos, process vessels, and pipelines.
OSHA uses the term "permit-required confined space" (permit space) to describe a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics: contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere; contains a material that has the potential to engulf an entrant; has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant; or contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress.
Wastewater treatment-plant operators control processes and equipment that remove pollutants in water so it is safe to drink. Wastewater-treatment-plant operators perform similar duties to ensure wastewater can be returned safely to natural areas or be reused. Workers in this field must earn state certification by passing an exam.
A wastewater plant operator oversees the equipment, machines and gauges in a wastewater plant and makes necessary adjustments to ensure compliance with standards and guidelines. The main job of a wastewater plant operator is typically to monitor and record the performance of computerized equipment that purifies, regulates and analyzes the water flowing to or from different processes. From this information, the operator is then responsible for adjusting equipment such as pumps, valves, meters, control panels and chemical flows to ensure that the best quality effluent possible is discharged to the lake. A wastewater plant operator typically also makes regular physical inspections of the plant on an hourly or semi-hourly basis by walking around the plant and observing the performance of each piece of equipment. He customarily records the information manually or by using a handheld computerized device. The operator is also customarily trained to handle power outages or natural disasters that may interrupt the wastewater plant operations.
The Environmental Protection Agency publishes laboratory analytical methods that are used by municipalities to analyze the chemical, physical and biological components of wastewater and other environmental samples that are required by regulations under the authority of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Most of these methods are published as regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at Title 40 Part 136.