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Learn about water quality & the wastewater industry
Water is the greatest, and sometimes the most underrated, commodity on Earth. It is water has enabled the Earth to sprout and maintain life - plant and animal, from clovers to dinosaurs. There is no more water on the planet, or less, than there ever was or will be.

The earth has managed this system for millions of years: balancing the amount of water as ice at the North and South Poles, the oceans, streams, rain, lakes, and in the composition of it's living organisms through a system of moving from one form (ice) to another (liquid water) and another (air molecules). (More about the water cycle)

As the earth's human and other animal populations expanded and became more condensed, the quality of water was threatened. The rivers and lakes were exposed to pollutants, such as human waste, faster than it could be cleaned through natural means. To protect the environment, animal life, and human health and lifestyles, a system was developed and refined to assist the natural process to reduce the strain on the earth's natural resources. (More about how the wastewater treatment plants work and about our water and wastewater infrustructure)

The wastewater industry has become a complex association of professionals who work to design effective treatment plants and processes, collect the wastewater (used water), separate the solids and other impurities from the water, clean (treat) the water, and regulate how this is achieved before it is returned to the environment. (More information about careers in water quality and water quality regulation)

In addition to wastewater professionals in California, there are many organizations, associations, and individuals that are concerned with maintaining a high level of water quality. Find one that interests you.

Students and teachers are welcomed to visit the CWEA Junior Water Quality and In the Classroom and Beyond pages to find information tailored to your needs.