Jul 25, 2024  
2024-2025 Course Catalog 
2024-2025 Course Catalog


Water Treatment and Distribution System Technology, Diploma

Location(s): Ankeny

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The Water Treatment and Distribution System Technology diploma is designed to address the education requirements of both operators working in the water industry and students interested in entering the water industry. This diploma is the starting point for people who are interested in a career in the water field and will prepare them for entry-level employment.  This program emphasizes hands-on experience and instruction.  An internship is required.

The AAS degree program is designed to build on this diploma to prepare current operators and students to be more comprehensive and valuable employees by giving them the knowledge and the skills to work on processes, equipment, controls and to troubleshoot.

This program provides training and educational experiences that will prepare you for water certification examinations. Work experience requirements must be met before you are eligible to take an examination for certification. Students should refer to the certifying body in their area to determine eligibility. In Iowa, visit the DNR website.

Program Details

Pathway: Agriculture, Animals, & Natural Resources

More information on this Pathway.

Students start Fall semester

If you wish to start the program in the Spring or Summer, please contact the program chair at 515-965-7015 to discuss proper sequencing of courses.

Graduation Requirements

To earn a Water Treatment & Distribution System Technology diploma, a student must complete all coursework as prescribed and maintain a 2.0 grade point average. A grade of 2.0 (C) or better is required in all WAT courses required for this diploma.


These credits are applicable to the AAS degree in Water Environmental Technology  .

Total Credits Required to Complete this Diploma -38

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$193.00 per credit

The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.

Varied Costs

Costs Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3
Books (approximate) 750 650 350

Approximate total for program: $8,780**

**Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

Students completing this diploma will be well-poised to enter the workforce with other entry-level personnel, but they will be able to more quickly advance up the pay and duty scale because they will have training that others will not have. They will immediately be qualified for some related employment opportunities, including entry-level positions with municipal and industrial water treatment facilities, municipal and industrial water distribution systems, and municipal, industrial, and commercial water laboratories. You will be well-advanced along the path for state operator certification, which opens many employment doors for you.

You will:

  • Operate facilities to remove contaminants to produce and deliver safe drinking water to consumers, thereby protecting public health from waterborne diseases and other health concerns.
  • Operate, maintain, and troubleshoot water treatment processes and water distribution systems.
  • Monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot equipment, controls, computerized systems and laboratory equipment.
  • Collect and analyze water samples, interpret results and adjust processes to achieve maximum performance.
  • Be eligible to take your Iowa DNR Grade 1 Water Treatment Certification Exam, have the knowledge to pass the exam, and become certified.
  • Be eligible to take your Iowa DNR Grade 1 Water Distribution Certification Exam, have the knowledge to pass the exam, and become certified.
  • Make a difference every day.

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?

  • A basic knowledge of the traditional sciences, including biology and chemistry.
  • A good knowledge of math and algebra.
  • A willingness to work indoors and outdoors.
  • A desire to protect public health and the environment.
  • Technical abilities and technological skills.
  • Good public relations skills.
  • A willingness to do a variety of tasks that contribute to producing and delivering safe drinking water to consumers. 

What Else Should I Consider about this Diploma?

  •  Water Environmental Technology is a high-growth industry that is very stable and challenging. There are a wide variety of career opportunities and specialties.
  • Because field work and hands-on experience are so important to this field, you will do an internship where you will work in this field and gain real-world experience.  This work experience will qualify you to take Grade 1 certification exams when you complete your internship!
  • If you are a person who is passionate about serving your community, improving public health, able to work with minimal supervision and reliable and accurate in your work ethic, Water Environmental Technology may be the field for you.
  • Average starting salary $28,000-$60,000 (depending on area of interest and level of education), with opportunities to make a much higher income as you advance to higher levels of certification.

Program Competencies

The Students will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the duties of an operator of Water Treatment Facility and Water Distribution System. 
  2. Explain the operations, maintenance, and administration of Water Treatment Facility and Water Distribution System. 
  3. Perform monitoring, sampling, and laboratory analyses for regulatory compliance and process control of Water Treatment Facility and Water Distribution System. 
  4. Obtain the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Grade 1 Operator Certification.


Nondiscrimination Statement

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in nor allow discrimination covered by law against any person, group or organization. This includes in its programs, activities, employment practices, or hiring practices, and harassment or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, genetic information (in employment) and actual or potential parental, family or marital status. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law. Lack of English language proficiency will not be a barrier to admission and participation in career and technical education programs.

Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may file a complaint through the College Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Complaint forms may be obtained from the Executive Campus Dean’s office, the Executive Academic Deans’ office, the Judicial Officer, or the EEO/AA Officer, Human Resources. ADA questions and concerns may be directed to the Section 504/ADA Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 6, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6857, dso@dmacc.edu. Title IX questions and concerns may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 1, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6216, Title9@dmacc.edu. Questions or complaints about this policy may be directed to the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, John C. Kluczysnki Federal Building, 230 S. Dearborn Street, 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604-7204, phone 312/730-1560, fax 312/730-1576, TDD 800-877-8339 Email OCR.Chicago@ed.gov.

DMACC offers career and technical programs in the following areas of study:
Agriculture, Natural and Environmental Science
Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
Arts, Design, and Visual Communication
Business, Management, and Marketing
Education, Public, and Human Services
Health Science
Hospitality and Culinary
Information Technology
Transportation & Logistics

Entrance requirements for specific programs can be found at Academic Pathway website.(2024)

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