Water and Wastewater Technology

Program Description

The Water and Wastewater Technology program at BSC is offered online and designed for entry-level employment in water and wastewater treatment facilities. Students acquire understanding of operator responsibilities regarding the safety of communities, personnel and environment. Coursework includes laboratory testing and analyses for operational control and regulatory compliance, as well as applying biological, chemical and mechanical knowledge and skills to the operation of water and wastewater treatment facilities.

Job shadowing at an approved facility or hands-on lab activities at BSC’s National Energy Center of Excellence during the final semester is required for students to demonstrate safe, efficient operation and routine maintenance of a treatment facility and related equipment.

Courses are offered online only beginning every three to five weeks and are not subject to limited enrollment.

Preparation

A background in applied math, mechanics, instrumentation and print reading is beneficial.

Program Requirements

Students who complete the curriculum requirements receive a Program Certificate and are ready to enter the workforce.

Required program entrance scores:

  • ACCUPLACER Math – 41 (elementary algebra)
  • ACT Math – 16
  • COMPASS Math – 34 (pre-algebra)

Career Opportunities

Graduates may be employed by cities, counties or agencies, as well as industries that operate and maintain water treatment, water distribution, wastewater collection and/or wastewater treatment systems.

Additional Information

Water and wastewater operators in North Dakota are required to meet North Dakota certification requirements. Graduates of the Waste and Wastewater Technology program will qualify for a certification track that allows reduced work experience to take the Class II, Class III and Class IV exams. Students completing the job shadowing requirement may also earn experience credit toward North Dakota’s first-level certification requirement. The program has been approved by some states for CEU/CEC training approval.

Bachelor Of Applied Science In Energy Management

Credits from this program may be applied to BSC’s Bachelor of Applied Science degree (BAS) in Energy Management, offered entirely online. The BAS is designed for individuals interested in supervisory and management positions in the energy industry. The BAS builds on the foundation laid in an AAS degree and includes general education classes, core management courses, and energy specific management courses.

National Designation

BSC’s National Energy Center of Excellence was designated as the National Power Plant Operations Technology and Education Center by U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman in 2007. This official designation recognizes BSC as the premier national center of education and training for operators and technicians in the energy industry.

Contact

701-224-5651 • 800-852-5685
bsc.energy@bismarckstate.edu

ENRT 101. Introduction to Energy Technology

Credits: 4
An introduction to the expanding energy industry. Students will learn about a variety of energy facilities from traditional to renewable, including but not limited to fossil fuel power plants, petroleum refineries, ethanol and biodiesel facilities, gasification plants, wind farms, geothermal and hydro power production facilities, natural gas processing facilities, petroleum production, water and wastewater treatment and others. The role of the technician in these facilities will be a focus, as will be the expectations and culture of the industry.

ENRT 103. Applied Math

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: FASPSU
This course will teach basic math skills and apply them to energy industry situations. Students will learn the metric system, basic volume and area calculations as well as algebra and trigonometry and how they apply to industry specific situations.

ENRT 104. Electrical Fundamentals

Credits: 3
This course covers basic direct current theories and applies those to the electrical system and related equipment. Students will also study basic DC circuit calculations. This course will also cover basic alternating current theories and apply those theories to electrical systems and related equipment. Students will study various methods of producing a voltage. Students will also study essential generator and motor design, construction and operating principles.

ENRT 105. Safety, Health and Environment

Credits: 3
This course covers the personal protective equipment and proper safe work practices and procedures commonly used in the energy industry. Students will also gain a working knowledge of standard safety, health and environmental practices and regulations set by various government entities.

ENRT 106. DC Fundamentals

Credits: 2
Typically Offered: FASPSU
This course covers basic direct current theory and application. Students will study methods of producing direct current voltage, including batteries, and magnetic fields. Students will learn to calculate voltage, current, resistance, and power in series, parallel, and combination DC circuits. The construction and operation of rotating DC machines including DC generators and DC motors will also be covered.

ENRT 107. Mechanical Fundamentals

Credits: 2
Typically Offered: FALL
This course provides an introduction to mechanical concepts commonly found in a plant setting. Topics covered include hand tools, piping, valves, steam traps and strainers. In addition, pumps, compressors, drivers, fans and rotating equipment are covered. Bearings, seals and lubrication are a focus in this course, as well as heat exchanger designs. Plant terminology and operator expectations are covered also.

ENRT 108. AC Fundamentals

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: FASPSU
This course covers basic alternating current theories and applies those theories to electrical systems and related equipment. Students will also study basic generator and motor design, construction and operation principles.

ENRT 110. Plant Equipment and Systems

Credits: 4
Typically Offered: FALLSPR
This course provides an introduction to equipment used in the power, process and renewable industries. Valves, piping, pumps, compressors, generators, turbines, motors, lubrication systems, heat exchangers, furnaces, boilers, cooling towers, separators, reactors, and distillation columns are covered. The utilization of this equipment within systems will be covered.

ENRT 112. Print Reading

Credits: 3
This course covers schematics, prints, and piping and instrument diagrams used in the energy industry. Students will learn how to read and interpret block and single-line diagrams, which will prepare them for the logic and electrical schematics included in this course.

ENRT 115. Industrial Composition

Credits: 2
Typically Offered: FASPSU
In this course, students learn the proper writing techniques used within the industry through practical industrial writing scenarios such as filling out work request orders, equipment logs and electrical switching orders.

ENRT 116. Instrumentation and Control

Credits: 4
This course provides a comprehensive study of instrumentation components, control theory, control systems and typical controllers associated with the operation of energy facilities.

ENRT 118. Heat Transfer, Fluid Flow & Thermodynamics

Credits: 3
Students enrolled in this course will study heat transfer, fluid flow and the conservation of energy. Specific equipment design considerations based on thermodynamic principles will be covered.

ENRT 120. Water Purification and Treatment

Credits: 3
This course covers industrial water treatment processes. Students will study boiler water treatment, raw water treatment and the design and operation of ion exchangers. The course also covers cooling water treatment equipment and waste water treatment equipment and systems.

ENRT 122. Industrial Composition and Communication

Credits: 4
Typically Offered: FALL
In this course, students will learn the proper writing techniques used within the industry through practical industrial writing scenarios such as filling out work request orders, equipment logs and electrical switching orders. In addition, students will study the appropriate interpersonal skills needed to communicate effectively with co-workers and customers including resolving on-the-job conflicts and establishing positive working relationships. Students will also learn what is considered acceptable behavior in the workplace and how to recognize unacceptable behaviors.

ENRT 192. Experimental Course

Credits: 1-3
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
An experimental course is one that is being tested to determine its suitability for inclusion in the course catalog. Testing may continue for two semesters, after which the course should be discontinued or approved through the established college procedures, assigned a permanent course number and title, and included in the master catalog.

ENRT 194. Independent Study

Credits: 1-3
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
An independent study course is one designed jointly by the student and faculty member to address an advanced topic of particular interest to the student and in the instructor's field of expertise. The course, when developed, must be approved by the department chair as being relevant to the discipline and of sufficient rigor for the credits to be awarded.

ENRT 195. Service Learning

Credits: 1
Repeat Status: Repeatable up to 6.00 credits.
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
Designed to increase off-campus community involvement and awareness of civic responsibility, Service Learning gives students the opportunity to earn up to six semester hours of college credit while pursuing volunteer activities that have positive impact in the community. Some examples of activities that may serve as vehicles for Service Learning include: volunteer work at non-profit organizations (e.g., Kiwanis, Lions, etc.); serving as unpaid interns in local and state government; and organizing and participating in activities that are beneficial to the community as a whole (e.g. spring clean-up drives, neighborhood watch programs, meals-on-wheels, etc.). Students interested in Service Learning should discuss options with their academic advisors and/or faculty in areas related to the proposed activity.

ENRT 196. Study Tour

Credits: 1-3
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
Study Tour courses provide students with unique learning opportunities in locations, either foreign or domestic. These learning opportunities should be directly related to the academic field of study under which credits are to be awarded. Some students may not qualify for study tours if their travel abroad is restricted for legal reasons.

ENRT 197. Cooperative Education/Internship

Credits: 1-3
Repeat Status: Repeatable up to 6.00 credits.
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
Cooperative education and internships provide students with real-world experience in business and industry as they explore careers or gain experience in chosen fields of study. The work experiences must be directly related to the discipline under which the credits are to be awarded.

ENRT 199. Special Topics

Credits: 1-3
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
Special topics courses are developed by the faculty member to take advantage of unique learning opportunities that either are not repeatable (such as a presidential election) or address advanced topics not normally covered in the curriculum. Topics covered must be directly related to the discipline under which credits are to be awarded.

ENRT 205. Steam Generation

Credits: 3
In this course the various types of boilers, systems, components and auxiliary systems associated with steam generators are covered. Different designs of boilers will be covered including low/high pressure, fire tube/water tube, negative/positive draft, drum type and others. Boiler operation, combustion, safety and emission control equipment will be covered along with efficiency measures.

ENRT 215. Operations, Troubleshooting & Communications

Credits: 3
Students will gain the knowledge necessary to comprehend overall plant operations and respond to abnormal operating conditions. Students also will participate in root cause analysis exercises while troubleshooting different operating scenarios. This course provides instruction in the different types of troubleshooting techniques, procedures, and methods used to solve process problems. Students will use existing knowledge of equipment, systems and instrumentation to understand the operation of an entire unit in a facility. Students study concepts related to commissioning, normal startup, normal operations, normal shutdown, turnarounds, and abnormal situations, as well as the process technicians individual and team role in performing tasks associated with these concepts within an operating unit.

ENRT 220. Practical Applications

Credits: 2
Students will participate in hands-on lab activities, internships or industry job shadowing to gain entry-level job competencies.

ENRT 292. Experimental Course

Credits: 1-3
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
An experimental course is one that is being tested to determine its suitability for inclusion in the course catalog. Testing may continue for two semesters, after which the course should be discontinued or approved through the established college procedures, assigned a permanent course number and title, and included in the master catalog.

ENRT 294. Independent Study

Credits: 1-3
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
An independent study course is one designed jointly by the student and faculty member to address an advanced topic of particular interest to the student and in the instructor's field of expertise. The course, when developed, must be approved by the department chair as being relevant to the discipline and of sufficient rigor for the credits to be awarded.

ENRT 296. Study Tour

Credits: 1-3
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
Study Tour courses provide students with unique learning opportunities in locations, either foreign or domestic. These learning opportunities should be directly related to the academic field of study under which credits are to be awarded. Some students may not qualify for study tours if their travel abroad is restricted for legal reasons.

ENRT 297. Cooperative Education/Internship

Credits: 1-3
Repeat Status: Repeatable up to 6.00 credits.
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
Cooperative education and internships provide students with real-world experience in business and industry as they explore careers or gain experience in chosen fields of study. The work experiences must be directly related to the discipline under which the credits are to be awarded.

ENRT 299. Special Topics

Credits: 1-3
Repeat Status: Repeatable up to 12.00 credits.
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
Special topics courses are developed by the faculty member to take advantage of unique learning opportunities that either are not repeatable (such as a presidential election) or address advanced topics not normally covered in the curriculum. Topics covered must be directly related to the discipline under which credits are to be awarded.

WATR 101. Introduction to the Water Industry

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: FALL
This course provides an overview of the water treatment program and the water treatment industry. It introduces students to water and wastewater treatment occupations and processes. Students study operator roles, industry requirements, common terminology and basic equipment as well as water use and characteristics.

WATR 105. Laboratory Procedures

Credits: 2
Typically Offered: SPRING
Students will be introduced to the chemical makeup of water and the impurities that must be removed for purification processes. Common procedures for testing and monitoring water and wastewater quality will be studied along with the calculation of chemical dosages and feed rates.

WATR 110. Water Treatment I

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: SPRING
This course will cover water sources and protection with a focus on pre and primary methods and equipment. Filtration, clarification and basic softening methods will also be studied along with pump types and applications. An emphasis will be placed on operating procedures and troubleshooting for each type of process.

WATR 115. Water Treatment II

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: SPRING
This course will instruct students on secondary and final treatment methods, processes and equipment. Disinfection methods and distribution systems will be covered in detail along with sampling, monitoring and reporting based on governmental regulations. Routine operator duties along with problem solving methods will be identified.

WATR 116. Control Systems

Credits: 2
Typically Offered: FALL
This course provides a comprehensive study of instrumentation components, control theory, control systems and typical controllers associated with the operation of water and wastewater treatment facilities.

WATR 120. Wastewater Treatment

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: SPRING
This course is designed to assist students in understanding the processes and equipment used in a wastewater treatment plant. The concepts used for biological treatment and troubleshooting the various processes will be emphasized. Collection systems operation and maintenance will also be covered.

WATR 192. Experimental Course

Credits: 1-3
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
An experimental course is one that is being tested to determine its suitability for inclusion in the course catalog. Testing may continue for two semesters, after which the course should be discontinued or approved through the established college procedures, assigned a permanent course number and title, and included in the master catalog.

WATR 194. Independent Study

Credits: 1-3
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
An independent study course is one designed jointly by the student and faculty member to address an advanced topic of particular interest to the student and in the instructor's field of expertise. The course, when developed, must be approved by the department chair as being relevant to the discipline and of sufficient rigor for the credits to be awarded.

WATR 195. Service Learning

Credits: 1
Repeat Status: Repeatable up to 6.00 credits.
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
Designed to increase off-campus community involvement and awareness of civic responsibility, Service Learning gives students the opportunity to earn up to six semester hours of college credit while pursuing volunteer activities that have positive impact in the community. Some examples of activities that may serve as vehicles for Service Learning include: volunteer work at non-profit organizations (e.g., Kiwanis, Lions, etc.); serving as unpaid interns in local and state government; and organizing and participating in activities that are beneficial to the community as a whole (e.g. spring clean-up drives, neighborhood watch programs, meals-on-wheels, etc.). Students interested in Service Learning should discuss options with their academic advisors and/or faculty in areas related to the proposed activity.

WATR 196. Study Tour

Credits: 1-3
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
Study Tour courses provide students with unique learning opportunities in locations, either foreign or domestic. These learning opportunities should be directly related to the academic field of study under which credits are to be awarded. Some students may not qualify for study tours if their travel abroad is restricted for legal reasons.

WATR 197. Cooperative Education/Internship

Credits: 1-3
Repeat Status: Repeatable up to 6.00 credits.
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
Cooperative education and internships provide students with real-world experience in business and industry as they explore careers or gain experience in chosen fields of study. The work experiences must be directly related to the discipline under which the credits are to be awarded.

WATR 199. Special Topics

Credits: 1-3
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
Special topics courses are developed by the faculty member to take advantage of unique learning opportunities that either are not repeatable (such as a presidential election) or address advanced topics not normally covered in the curriculum. Topics covered must be directly related to the discipline under which credits are to be awarded.

WATR 220. Practical Applications

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: FALLSPR
In addition to coursework students will complete an internship/job shadow experience at a water treatment facility or hands-on lab activities at BSC's National Energy Center of Excellence. This experience will require students to observe and assist in the daily operations of a functional water or wastewater treatment facility. The hands on training is expected to include lab testing, process checks, basic problem solving and routine maintenance activities.

WATR 292. Experimental Course

Credits: 1-3
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
An experimental course is one that is being tested to determine its suitability for inclusion in the course catalog. Testing may continue for two semesters, after which the course should be discontinued or approved through the established college procedures, assigned a permanent course number and title, and included in the master catalog.

WATR 294. Independent Study

Credits: 1-3
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
An independent study course is one designed jointly by the student and faculty member to address an advanced topic of particular interest to the student and in the instructor's field of expertise. The course, when developed, must be approved by the department chair as being relevant to the discipline and of sufficient rigor for the credits to be awarded.

WATR 296. Study Tour

Credits: 1-3
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
Study Tour courses provide students with unique learning opportunities in locations, either foreign or domestic. These learning opportunities should be directly related to the academic field of study under which credits are to be awarded. Some students may not qualify for study tours if their travel abroad is restricted for legal reasons.

WATR 297. Cooperative Education/Internship

Credits: 1-3
Repeat Status: Repeatable up to 6.00 credits.
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
Cooperative education and internships provide students with real-world experience in business and industry as they explore careers or gain experience in chosen fields of study. The work experiences must be directly related to the discipline under which the credits are to be awarded.

WATR 299. Special Topics

Credits: 1-3
Typically Offered: ONDEMAND
Special topics courses are developed by the faculty member to take advantage of unique learning opportunities that either are not repeatable (such as a presidential election) or address advanced topics not normally covered in the curriculum. Topics covered must be directly related to the discipline under which credits are to be awarded.