Water Quality Analyst

Water quality analysts are responsible for the purification of water by removing harmful household and industrial substances from the water. They assist in operating water works for drinking water, wastewater and/or industrial effluent.

Water quality analysts check the quality of water through scientific analysis, ensuring quality and safety standards are met based on the water quality index, for its use as: drinking water, agricultural water, wastewater and/or industrial effluent. They take samples of the water and conduct analysis of this in a laboratory, and develop purification and treatment procedures. 

Water treatment or water purification is the process of removing harmful household and industrial substances from the water. Waste water is transported by drainpipes from houses and industries to water purification works. At purification works, water quality analysts manipulate pumps, valves and other equipment to extract impurities from the water. They interpret readings on the meters to ensure a smooth-running process and control the addition of chemicals to purify the water. They then take samples of the water to be analysed in the laboratory. Water quality analysts may be involved in laboratory duties such as analysis of water samples, as well as research and the development of new, improved unit operations in water care technology.

Water quality analysts supervise the workers responsible for maintaining the plant with respect to the repairing pumps and valves and cleaning the tanks and canals. 

Personal Requirements

  • good problem-solving skills
  • organised and meticulous
  • enjoy doing laboratory work

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

National Senior Certificate (matric), with a Bachelor’s Degree pass or a Diploma pass. Each institution has its own entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences.
Recommended Subjects: Life Sciences.
In addition, check the university admission requirements. Each institution has its own entry requirements.

What to Study

Degree: BSC  Bachelor of Science degree with Chemistry or Analytical Chemistry or Biochemistry. Bachelor of Science in Water Resource Management 
Diploma: National Diploma in Environmental Management or in Water Care.
Postgraduate: Postgraduate degree programmes in various specialisations are offered at honours, master’s and doctoral level.
In-service training: Water quality analysts will receive training under the supervision of an experienced analyst.
They start with doing routine tasks, such as the cleaning of the purification works.


  • mining companies
  • water boards
  • Department of Water Affairs
  • chemical manufacturing industries
  • Eskom
  • Sasol
  • municipalities (water purification plants).

Further Information

Institute for Water Quality Studies
Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation

Getting Started

  • read up as much as possible about water and water pollution
  • arrange to speak to water care technologists about this type of career and ask permission to observe them at work

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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