What Does it Mean to Be a Water Quality Professional?

Angie - Test Knowles, | May-09-14



Guest post by Jessica Melnychuk, HR Services
According to our 2013 Profile of Canadian Environmental Employment, water quality professionals are in high demand right now, with nearly 25% of employers planning to hire them in the next two years. However, it’s also one of the most difficult sub-sectors for employers to find qualified candidates, especially for intermediate and senior positions.
Pinchin Environmental, a Canadian environmental consulting company with more than 30 years of experience, provides services such as Environmental Due Diligence and Remediation, Environmental Laboratory Services, Emissions Reduction and Compliance, and much more. With Certified Industrial Hygienists, Professional Engineers, Geologists and Hydrogeologists on staff, Pinchin deals with a variety of projects that affect our environment.
ECO Canada caught up with Sarah Hatfield, Pinchin’s Project Manager, Compliance Services, Environmental Emissions Reduction & Compliance, to chat about the unique challenges for water quality professionals.

Tell me about the water projects Pinchin Environmental works on, and the typical duties for water treatment professionals.

Pinchin works on Stormwater, Wastewater and Drinking water projects relating to compliance. Water treatment professionals have many duties, such as:
Working in Water Quality - ECO Canada
  • Responding to client requests for assistance with Notices of Violation for exceeding a parameter or parameters in their municipal sewer use bylaw.
  • Assisting clients in obtaining Sewer Discharge agreements with their city or municipality.
  • Completing industrial wastewater treatment assessments which typically include site visits for visual inspection of systems and information gathering.
  • Identifying sources of pollutants and preparing pollution prevention plans. Pollution Prevention plans may be required for a pollutant that is out of compliance with either storm or sanitary limits.
  • Completing water use audits and preparing Water Rebate applications for clients.
  • Preparing approval applications for Storm water and Wastewater. 

What makes Pinchin Environmental unique in the water industry?

Pinchin assists small to mid-sized industrial, commercial and institutional facilities with their wastewater needs. Most larger consulting firms work on much larger capital projects oriented towards the municipal sector.

What are the different challenges for urban versus rural settings?

In an urban area, there is infrastructure managed by the city or local municipality. Dealing with one party is very straightforward. In a rural area, wastewater and storm water is generally regulated by the province in conjunction with the local municipality and Conservation Authority. Dealing with and fulfilling the requirements of various parties can be challenging.

What has been one of the greatest challenges you’ve overcome, and what is one of your greatest success stories?

One of the greatest challenges we have had to overcome is finding the right kind of talent to work in this area. There aren’t too many qualified people out there that have the right balance of technical experience and qualifications to serve Pinchin’s client base. Our greatest success story has been working with clients where we have been able to find cost effective solutions for their wastewater and storm water issues that meet government requirements.
If you’re interested in a career as a water professional, learn about the typical salaries, skills requirements and education for this career path in our Occupational Profiles >>  
Ready to land a job in water quality? Check out the ECO Job Board! >>