Water Inspector

South Africa experiences high variability in rainfall, both geographically and periodically. An arid country, large parts experience severe droughts and it is typically described as a water scarce country. Water is essential in maintaining effective ecosystem functioning, providing domestic water and sanitation and sustaining the economy. Monitoring water use through regular inspections supports the sustainable use and highlights opportunities to improve water supply and access.

Water inspectors evaluate and inspect the extraction, use and quality of water in domestic use, irrigation in agriculture and manufacturing purposes. They regulate and monitor water permits and licensing and facilitate investigations around water use complaints and infrastructure compliance. They also inspect water storage facilities such as instream and off-channel dams to ensure they comply with water regulations.

Water inspectors engage with landowners and communities as well as land use planners and engineers. They frequently undertake site inspections at wastewater treatment facilities, reservoirs, dams and even beverage manufacturing plants, returning to an office to evaluate and report on usage.

Skills

Water inspectors need a comprehensive understanding of water systems in urban and rural areas and knowledge of water use guidelines, laws, and regulations, coupled with: 

  • Methodical approach to investigation
  • Analytical and critical thinking ability 
  • Excellent problem-solving ability
  • Safety awareness and consideration

Tasks

Inspect water infrastructure, plumbing, piping, fixtures and water metres

Conduct water flow and pressure tests

Investigate complaints, emergency calls and causes of unusual consumption

Examine and monitor permits and water licenses

Studies

B.Sc., B.Sc.(Hons), M.Sc. in Environmental Science specialising in Water Science at NWU, RU, UJ, UMP, UP and Wits

Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Water Science and Technology at TUT

Water inspectors can benefit from a Further Education and Training Certificate or National Certificate in Water Treatment Practice at National Qualifications Framework Level 1 to 3 at Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges.

Employers

National, provincial and local government.

Water utility companies.

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