A water analyst is critical in ensuring that human and animal drinking water is free of bacteria and other contaminants. Because of the increase in pollution, this job is critical for maintaining public health. Before entering this field, a person should have at least a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or a related field. Collecting water samples, testing samples, documenting results, cleaning equipment, and keeping track of inventory are all common responsibilities of a water analyst.
Before any testing can be done, water samples from a variety of sources must be collected. A water analyst will travel to a location such as a river, lake, or water tower to collect a sample that will be sent to a laboratory. As a result, this aspect of the job necessitates some travel.
A water analyst will run a series of tests on the sample after it has been collected. The primary goal of testing is to determine the water’s quality and the amount of pollution it contains. A sample is frequently placed on a glass slide for testing and observed with equipment such as a microscope or spectroscope. A water analyst may then search for bacteria or other microorganisms that are harmful to humans and animals. Because public safety is at risk, a person must be extremely knowledgeable about water quality and able to recognize potential hazards.
A water analyst will usually document his findings after the testing is completed. He might, for example, keep track of the location where a water sample was taken, the date, any bacteria or other pollutants discovered, and the overall water quality level. Maintaining accuracy is critical, so results must be meticulously recorded. This data is usually saved in a computer database so that it can be accessed later. A water analyst may also print graphs that visually display the quality of a water source in some cases.
Another aspect of this job entails cleaning laboratory equipment. Sterilization of equipment such as beakers and flasks is frequently required a water analyst to ensure safety and accuracy for future tests. He may also need to clean the counters, as well as the microscopes and spectroscopes.
In addition, a water analyst is frequently in charge of inventory management and ordering new supplies. This entails taking inventory of a laboratory’s storage area on a regular basis and determining which supplies are running low. It is necessary to order supplies ahead of time before they run out in order to maintain a smooth work flow.