What does a Sanitary Engineer do?

A sanitary engineer is a trained professional who applies engineering principles to protect public health and safety. While a sanitary engineer’s primary concerns are the proper collection and disposal of waste materials, this does not mean that the job is limited to picking up misplaced trash. On the contrary, the job is primarily concerned with protecting people from disease transmission implementing a variety of measures to keep public waterways and lands free of environmental and industrial pollutants. Another important aspect of the job is devising remediation strategies to restore the safety of land and water systems for human habitation or consumption.

Sanitary engineering is an interdisciplinary field that employs a variety of engineering models. While nearly all sanitary engineers must understand the fundamentals of chemistry and microbiology as they apply to water treatment and disease prevention, others are directly involved in the design and construction of water treatment systems. In order to channel and direct the flow of closed treatment and irrigation systems, as well as open systems that occur naturally, such as rivers, estuaries, and other bodies of water, the sanitary engineer must typically apply fluid mechanics principles. The ability to analyze linear, topographic, and hydrographic surveys, as well as demonstrate effective project management skills, are often required when providing consultation services of this nature. A sanitary engineer is also expected to be familiar with public health and safety laws.

This branch of engineering may occasionally intersect with one or more social sciences. In fact, some engineers are tasked with spearheading community stewardship programs, such as those that allow the public to adopt specific water or land areas in order to help keep them debris-free. They may also hold regular collection drives for household hazardous chemicals and other difficult-to-dispose-of materials like yard and construction waste. Furthermore, some sanitary engineers collect and analyze social data, such as economic and demographic statistics for specific populated areas.

The majority of jobs in this field are found in various towns, villages, and cities’ public works departments. Others, on the other hand, may find work in private construction and architectural firms, as well as public utility companies. A high school diploma or equivalent is required for entry into the field, as well as aptitude in mathematics, physics, and mechanical engineering. Professional certification an accredited agency is available to those who complete the required training and coursework. This could be The American Society of Sanitary Engineering in the United States. Engineers can register with the Engineering Council UK in the United Kingdom.