Unit of competency details

NWP317B - Control water quality in distribution systems (Release 2)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
2 (this release)Current 30/Apr/2012
(View details for release 1) Replaced10/Jan/2011

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to NWPNET013 - Identify and respond to water problemsUnit code updated. Content and formatting updated to comply with the new standards. All PC transitioned from passive to active voice. Unit title changed to better reflect unit outcomes. 06/Dec/2015

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080317 Quality Management  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080317 Quality Management  25/Sep/2008 
The content being displayed has been produced by a third party, while all attempts have been made to make this content as accessible as possible it cannot be guaranteed. If you are encountering issues following the content on this page please consider downloading the content in its original form

Modification History

NWP317B Release 2: Layout adjusted. No changes to content.

NWP317B Release 1: Primary release.

Unit Descriptor

This unit of competency describes the outcomes required to monitor, identify and resolve water quality problems in water distribution systems. The ability to identify and investigate operational problems, collect samples and analyse technical information, communicate effectively with stakeholders and to interpret and apply incident management procedures are essential to performance.

Application of the Unit

This unit supports the attainment of skills and knowledge required for field and operational staff with a specific responsibility for monitoring water quality and responding to issues affecting water quality in distribution systems.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the required performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised  text is used, further information is detailed in the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1 Identify and locate water quality problems .

1.1 Conduct monitoring  of water quality  according to organisational and statutory requirements .

1.2 Investigate water quality problems  and identify the cause according to organisational requirements.

1.3 Collect, analyse and report system data  according to organisational requirements.

1.4 Collect, label and record samples according to organisational requirements.

1.5 Correctly select, fit and use required safety equipment, including personal protective equipment.

2 Respond to water quality problems .

2.1 Analyse incidents and apply incident management procedures  to resolve water quality problems.

2.2 Notify stakeholders  of policies, procedures and plans.

2.3 Monitor the recovery of the system and measure recovery according to organisational requirements.

2.4 Investigate and review results and take action according to organisational requirements.

3 Complete documentation .

3.1 Report process faults according to organisational requirements.

3.2 Compile reports from system data according to organisational requirements.

Required Skills and Knowledge

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

Required skills :

  • identify and correct operational problems
  • identify and investigate water quality problems
  • access, interpret and apply relevant organizational and legislative requirements
  • identifies environmental policies, plans and procedures
  • undertake sampling and testing procedures
  • produce reports, logs, etc.
  • use safety equipment and personal protective equipment
  • investigate type of contamination
  • interpret plans, service diagrams, topographic plans, charts and specifications
  • interpret policies, standard operating procedures
  • communicate with employees and customers
  • manage system operations and processes
  • use communication systems
  • give and receive instructions
  • monitor inflows
  • identify control system faults

Required knowledge :

  • relevant legislative requirements and responsibilities
  • established environmental management procedures
  • control procedures for environmental risks and incidents
  • environmental impact assessment
  • primary agencies involved in drinking water quality management
  • water quality standards and issues
  • causes of water quality deterioration
  • system hydraulics
  • incident management processes
  • system layout
  • system processes
  • systems operation
  • isolation procedures
  • sampling and testing procedures
  • water quality specifications
  • environmental aspects of water systems and infrastructure
  • safety procedures
  • lock out procedures for mechanical and electrical installations
  • policies, standard operating procedures and legislation
  • relevant utilities and service bodies
  • communication systems
  • environment, landscape and ground structure of work area
  • risk management principles
  • risk factors and potential hazards involved in water systems
  • equipment operation, capacity and limitations
  • effects of weather and conditions on operation of infrastructure
  • pipes and fittings
  • pumping and valving systems
  • control systems

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

The candidate should:

  • perform each task outlined in the elements consistently and in a representative range of contexts
  • meet the performance criteria associated with each element by employing the techniques, procedures, information and resources available in the workplace from those listed in the range statement
  • demonstrate an understanding of the underpinning knowledge and the application of skills as described under knowledge and skills

The candidate should demonstrate the ability to:

  • monitor characteristics of water quality
  • investigate water quality problems
  • collect samples
  • collect and record water quality data
  • analyse and resolve water quality incidents
  • inform stakeholders regarding water quality procedures and incident management plans
  • complete incident reports and other relevant documentation

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Access to the workplace and resources including:

  • documentation that should normally be available in a water industry organisation
  • relevant codes, standards, and government regulations

Where applicable, physical resources should include equipment modified for people with disabilities.

Access must be provided to appropriate learning and/or assessment support when required.

Assessment processes and techniques must be culturally appropriate, and appropriate to the language and literacy capacity of the candidate and the work being performed.

Validity and sufficiency of evidence requires that:

  • competency will need to be demonstrated over a period of time reflecting the scope of the role and the practical requirements of the workplace
  • where the assessment is part of a structured learning experience the evidence collected must relate to a number of performances assessed at different points in time and separated by further learning and practice
  • a decision of competence only taken at the point when the assessor has complete confidence in the person's competence over time and in various contexts
  • all assessment that is part of a structured learning experience must include a combination of direct, indirect and supplementary evidence
  • where assessment is for the purpose of recognition (RCC/RPL), the evidence provided will need to be authenticated and show that it represents competency demonstrated over a period of time
  • assessment can be through simulated project-based activity and must include evidence relating to each of the elements in this unit

In all cases where practical assessment is used it will be combined with targeted questioning to assess the underpinning knowledge. Questioning will be undertaken in a manner appropriate to the skill levels of the operator, any cultural issues that may affect responses to the questions, and reflecting the requirements of the competency and the work being performed.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised  wording, if used in the Performance Criteria, is detailed below. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs if the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Monitoring  may require:

  • visual and electronic inspection
  • the implementation of incident management plans and reporting procedures
  • the implementation of by-laws, organisational policies, standard operating procedures and statutory requirements

Organisational and statutory requirements  may include:

  • Australian Drinking Water Guidelines
  • National Water Quality Management Strategy
  • World Health Organisation guidelines
  • local authority by-laws
  • organisational policies and standard operating procedures
  • environment protection
  • equal employment opportunity
  • occupational health and safety, including the use of personal protective equipment
  • plumbing and drainage standards
  • Water Acts
  • electrical and mechanical procedures
  • hazardous substances and dangerous goods

Water quality  includes:

  • parameters and standards as set by:
  • the World Health Organisation
  • the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
  • Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

Water quality problems  may include:

  • loss of disinfection
  • E. coli
  • cross contamination
  • levels of heavy metals, such as manganese and iron
  • turbidity (nephelometric turbidity units -NTU)
  • colour (Hazen units - HU)
  • odour and presence of trihalomethanes (THMs)

System data  may include:

  • sampling and testing records
  • infrastructure failures
  • customer complaints

Investigation  may require:

  • the identification of possible contamination in areas including:
  • catchment areas
  • bulkwater assets
  • water transfer assets
  • water distribution assets
  • sampling procedures
  • interaction and communication with other employees, other authorities and the general public

Incident management procedures  may include:

  • categorisation of the incident
  • implementation of the incident management control plan
  • customer notification
  • notification to relevant state or territory government departments

Stakeholders  may include:

  • consumers
  • employee groups
  • community groups
  • government departments

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

Competency field

Collection and distribution.

Training component details
The following details are displayed for each different NRT:-

Training packages

- Training package details
- Training package components


- Qualification details
- Qualification components

Accredited courses

- Accredited course details


- Module details

Units of competency

- Units of competency details
- Unit components

Skill sets

- Skill set details
- Skill set components

Click on the Export link to export the NRT information to MS Word or PDF.

Click on the Manage notification link to create or change a notification for this NRT.

When selecting the Display history check box a set of tables will appear displaying a log of historical values describing what has changed and when over time.

If you have access to make changes to an NRT, click on the Edit link on the upper right hand side of the summary box.