Water Quality Management : Emily Griffith Technical College

Water Quality Management

Water Quality Management is an industry built around maintaining public and environmental health by treating drinking water and wastewater. Take classes two nights a week and complete career-relevant projects at home with our part-time, hybrid option. We also have a full-time afternoon program.

At Emily Griffith, our program provides hands-on experience in technical areas across the industry, including chemistry and microbiological treatment processes, operation and maintenance of hydraulic equipment, maintaining conveyance systems, and much more. You will also learn about industry issues specific to Colorado.

What To Expect During the Program

  • Students must be prepared to commit a minimum of 8-10 hours/week of study-time in addition to the weekly class time.

What Can I Do with an Water Quality Management Certificate?

Graduates use their certificate to work in jobs such as the following:

  • Water Treatment Plant Operator
  • Water Distribution System Operator
  • Industrial Wastewater Treatment Operator
  • Water Quality Lab Analyst 
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Water Utilities Technician

Other potential career paths include jobs in environmental science/agriculture, natural disaster/emergency response, utilities and engineering.

Thinking about applying? Get the program checklist or flyer.

Skilled Trades
Approximate cost. Additional material and book fees may apply
Part Time Program
10 Months
Program length
Next Start Date
Apply to Emily Griffith Technical College

Course Information

Required Courses

WQM 1000 Introduction to Water Quality

Introduces environmental concepts utilized in the water industry. The course covers how the subjects of geology, chemistry, biology, and physics influence the water industry, the hydrologic cycle on a global scale, and how to monitor and maintain water quality.

Start Date: 02/14/2023
Instructor: Matt McFadden
WQM 1001 Introduction to Water Distribution

Learn a basic overview of water distribution systems and operations. It is a hands-on interactive experience and will prepare the students for entry level work for a water utility. Students will enjoy hands-on training and be exposed to industry experts both in the classroom and in the field. Key topics include Regulations and Water; Distribution System Components; Basic Hydraulics, Operations and Maintenance; Maps, Quarter Section Books, SCADA Systems, Web Resources; Water Quality Regulations, Disinfection, Monitoring and Records; Distribution System Water Maintenance, Flushing Programs, Safety; Public Health, Cross-Connection Control & Backflow Prevention; Operation & Maintenance of Meters &Pumps; and Electrical Applications.

Start Date: 03/09/2023
Instructor: Matt McFadden
WQM 1002 Introduction to WastewaterCollection

Learn the purpose, components and design of collection systems. Topics include safety procedures, inspection and testing, pieline cleaning and maintenance, underground repair, lift stations and sewer rehabilitation. Learn entry level skills necessary for wastewater collection systems and operations. This course is designed to train operators in the practical aspects of operating and maintaining wastewater collection systems with emphasis on safety practices and procedures. Students will learn the major components of collection systems and the different wastewater collection methods, regulations and policies. Science topics such as water sampling equipment and procedures will be discussed. Methods for operating and maintaining equipment necessary to perform surface and subsurface inspection of interceptor sewers and pipelines will be reviewed. Students will identify the proper safety procedures for underground repair and maintenance, construction, inspection and testing of sewers, inspection of manholes, and underground construction and repair.

Start Date: 04/10/2023
Instructor: Matt McFadden
WQM 1003 Introduction to Water Treatment

Learn entry level skills of basic water treatment plant operations used to prepare surface waters for potable use. This course stresses the knowledge and skills need by conventional operators treating surface waters. Topics include startup and shut down procedures, coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, filtering, corrosion control and taste and odor, associated calculations, laboratory tests and plant maintenance.

Start Date: 05/03/2023
Instructor: Matt McFadden
WQM 1004 Introduction to WastewaterTreatment

Learn entry level skills of basic wastewater treatment plant operations used to treat wastewaters for discharge into natural waters. This course stresses the knowledge and skills needed by conventional operators treating wastewaters. Topics include startup and shut down procedures, NPDES permits, natural cycles, pretreatment, primary treatment, secondary treatment, collection systems, flow measuring, and disposing of solids, associated calculations, laboratory tests and plant maintenance.

Start Date: 06/01/2023
Instructor: Matt McFadden

"Mr. G is excellent. One of the most patient teachers I've ever had," says Reuben. "He will sit and explain things to you; he knows how to translate the information."

Reuben Alcantar is a student in the Commercial/Residential HVAC & Refrigeration program. Rueben will complete his certificate this month and is already filing the paperwork to start his own HVAC business!

He decided to attend Emily Griffith after he was laid off from his job as a welder for Northwest Pipe Company when the company decided to close its Denver facility. He was eligible for a Trade Adjustment Assistance grant and after helping his neighbor with some HVAC work, decided he wanted to make it his new career. 

He chose Emily Griffith because we understood his specific needs, particularly regarding childcare for his 7-year-old daughter. He also appreciates the hands-on experience that he’s received. “Mr. G is excellent. One of the most patient teachers I’ve ever had,” says Reuben. “He will sit and explain things to you; he knows how to translate the information.”

Vince Guerrie, HVAC instructor, says of Rueben, “He’s a natural leader. He always steps up to help. He’s going to be very successful.” 

Rueben is looking forward to starting his own business and being his own boss. He hopes to be able to spend more time with his family but he says he will miss coming to Emily Griffith every day. 

Congratulations Reuben! 

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