With its year-long Water Quality Control Operations Program, the Environmental Resources Training Center (ERTC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is poised to assist people facing uncertain employment situations.

“The water treatment industry is quite stable, and layoffs are rare,” said Paul Shetley, ERTC director. “People who enter the career usually stay until they retire. This is a great option for people impacted by downsizing and layoffs like those at U.S. Steel in Granite City.” 

ERTC serves as Illinois’ sole training center in the field of water treatment technology and has been providing jobs training in water treatment technology for over 30 years. Participants in the program are given the opportunity to operate all five of the training scale water treatment plants – two wastewater plants and three forms of drinking water treatment plants.

The training the students receive includes plant operations, instrumentation, electrical and mechanical maintenance, sampling, laboratory analysis and safety practices. Students are trained in all aspects of water treatment from the basics to the most advanced systems such as reverse osmosis and biological nutrient removal.

ERTC offers a certificate of completion in Water Quality Control Operations Program. In conjunction with Lewis and Clark Community College, students may earn an associate’s in applied science degree. Graduates from ERTC are eligible to take the state exams to become certified water treatment operators in Illinois and Missouri.

“Students who graduate have the opportunity to hold five professional certifications in water treatment,” Shetley said. “There is no other training center that provides that opportunity.”  

Information on ERTC can be obtained by calling 618-650-2030 or visiting their website at siue.edu/ertc.

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