Water Quality Analyst

South Africa is an arid, water scarce country with variable rainfall patterns both geographically and periodically. Water therefore has a high currency in South Africa. That which we have, has to be used efficiently and sustainably. Along the journey of water from catchment to coast, various domestic and commercial activities could impact the quality of water and in turn threaten the health of individuals, ecosystems and economic activity. Water analysts assess water quality and develop strategies to address any challenges.

Water quality analysts analyse freshwater and develop policies and plans for the control of factors which may produce water pollution. They collect water samples, conduct chemical, bacteriological, physical and biological analyses and compare the results to predefined water quality standards. They then provide recommendations and procedures to address challenges or maintain or improve water quality.

Water quality analysts work between laboratories analysing water samples and the field collecting samples in dams and wastewater treatment plants, for example. They can be exposed to hazardous organic materials and inorganic chemicals and are required to wear protective clothing and equipment.


Water quality analysts require a comprehensive knowledge of water chemistry and biological properties and a thorough understanding of the standards that govern water quality. They will further benefit from:

  • Competence in laboratory processes and equipment
  • A sound analytical approach to problem-solving
  • Good attention to detail and organisational ability
  • Ability to easily communicate complex concepts


Conduct research and fieldwork and analyse water samples

Develop and coordinate the implementation of environmental management systems

Conduct audits to evaluate environmental impacts of existing activities

Advise and recommend ways to prevent, control and remediate water pollution


B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Biological Sciences at all universities

B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Chemistry at all universities

B.Sc. in Water and Sanitation at UL

Diploma, Advanced Diploma, M.Tech in Water Science and Technology at TUT


National, provincial and local government.

Research institutions.

Water treatment plants.

Private consultancies and testing laboratories.

Related career paths