Why Hire a Certified Water Specialist?

By John Beauchamp  |  October 20, 2015  |  Consumer,Featured,Water Quality Association Certification

The craft of improving water quality is both an art and a science.  It takes years of experience in the field doing it to become good at it.  And while experience is essential, it’s just as important to have the scientific training within which to understand and “categorize” your experience as you learn.

Having been a Water Quality Association (WQA) Certified Water Specialist and Certifed Installer for 24 of the 28 years I’ve been doing water treatment for a living, I know how valuable the ongoing training provided by WQA has been.  In my experience, the practical knowledge gained in my day to day work life was greatly enhanced and synergized within the context of the “theoretical” understanding I gained through the study of water treatment principles provided in the WQA Professional Certification Program.  Certification helped me learn more from equipment manufacturer’s seminars and other related technical materials, because I began to “speak the language” of water.  The bottom line is, learning about water and becoming certified has helped me immeasurably to do my job of serving our customers better.

Kelly Thompson, certification trainer and fellow Master Water Specialist, said in an interview with Water Quality Products magazine:

“…certification adds credibility to the company and its employees.  The larger answer is that it helps raise the standards in the water quality industry. The certification exam and requirements are tough, and if someone has reached a level of certification, then they know quite a bit.  This exam is like the bar exam for water quality professionals. You are not likely to pass and receive certification unless you have knowledge and familiarity with the industry, both practical and academic” (bold italics added for emphasis).

That’s why somebody working a desk job in our industry, and perhaps not able to readily practice the craft in the field, may not get the practical experience needed to “put it all together,” even though they have read many text books and taken lots of classes.  Likewise, somebody who is employed designing, installing and servicing water treatment systems, but doesn’t really understand the math, science and technical background involved, might be less able to use their real life experience to improve their craft based on sound knowledge of water treatment principles.

There are not many of us who have been fortunate enough to have had great mentors, industry specific educational training and time in the field “getting our hands dirty” to be able to “talk the talk” and “walk the walk.”  In 2012 there were only about 1600 WQA Certified Personnel currently certified in the entire U.S.  That’s about one for every 200,000 people.  It’s no wonder we are so busy, because people need good water, and not everyone is as qualified to help them get it.  This is what is so great about the WQA’s Modular Education Program for certification.  It combines mentoring, on the job experience and educational training in water treatment, much like apprenticeship programs in other trades.

Another reason to hire a Certified Water Specialist, especially one with a lot of experience and length of continuous certification, is that we have to accumulate substantial continuing education credits to renew our certification.  That can amount to 15 or 20 classes over a three year period.  This training ensures we are up to date on the latest techniques, products, research and new regulations in the industry.

As a Certified Water Specialists, we go the extra mile when it comes to getting and maintaining our certifications because we love what we do.  We like learning all we can about water, its properties, and what’s in it.  We want to know all we can about the technologies available to improve its quality, in order to help make it more useful and safer to drink for everyone.  It can be hard work at times, but we do have fun!  We care about water quality, we care about our industry and we care about our customers.  Wouldn’t you rather do business with people who do what they do with a passion?

There is also a Code of Ethics in the Water Quality Improvement Industry, and as members of the Water Quality Association, and especially as Certified Professionals, we are bound to abide by this Code of Ethics in all our dealings with customers, amongst ourselves, with members of related industries, and the public at large.  This code reflects our association’s dedication to promoting the highest principles of honesty, integrity, fair dealing and professionalism in the water quality improvement industry, and its dedication to preserving the consuming public’s right to quality water.

Our agreements, as members, to abide by the Water Quality Association Code of Ethics, and as Certified Professionals, to not only abide by, but take specific training in applying the code, are perhaps some of the best reasons why you, as a consumer, should hire a Certified Water Specialist to help you find a solution to your water quality problem.

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