Unit of competency details

NWP360B - Monitor, operate and control dewatering processes (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Is superseded by and equivalent to NWPTRT091 - Operate and control solids handling processesUnit code updated.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. Assessment Requirements created drawing upon specified assessment information from superseded unit. 06/Dec/2015

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030717 Plant And Machine Operations  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030717 Plant And Machine Operations  25/Sep/2008 
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Modification History

NWP360B Release 2: Layout adjusted. No changes to content.

NWP360B Release 1: Primary release.

Unit Descriptor

This unit of competency describes the outcomes required to monitor, operate and control water and wastewater dewatering and sludge thickening plant and to measure and report on system performance and process quality control. The ability to identify faults, determine and apply technical adjustments, conduct chemical dosing procedures and produce technical reports are essential to performance.

Application of the Unit

This unit supports the attainment of skills and knowledge required for operational staff with a specific responsibility for ensuring that water and/or wastewater dewatering and sludge thickening processes conform to organisational standards and comply with statutory requirements.

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 Monitor dewatering process performance .

1.1 Monitor test results and processes  to maintain the parameters of operation.

1.2 Identify and report process faults and the operational condition of plant according to organisational and statutory requirements .

2 Control chemical use .

2.1 Use, handle and store chemicals  according to organisational and statutory requirements.

2.2 Determine and carry out chemical dosing according to plant processes and organisational and statutory requirements.

2.3 Maintain chemical supply and usage records according to statutory requirements.

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

3 Operate and control dewatering processes .

3.1 Carry out routine plant inspections  according to organisational and plant requirements.

3.2 Conduct and analyse process tests  and determine performance against plant operational requirements.

3.3 Make integrated process adjustments  to optimise system performance according to organisational and statutory requirements.

3.4 Collect, interpret and record process data according to organisational and plant requirements.

4 Compile dewatering process reports .

4.1 Compile reports  from plant and system data to meet organisational procedures and statutory requirements.

4.2 Report observations outside defined parameters for further action.

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills :

  • identify and correct operational and control system problems
  • take samples and perform tests
  • prepare and apply chemical dosing
  • produce logs and reports
  • interpret plans, charts and instructions
  • interpret policies, procedures and standards
  • give and receive instructions
  • operate control and communication systems
  • use safety and personal protective equipment
  • communicate with employees and customers
  • give and receive instructions
  • perform system calculations

Required knowledge :

  • process layout
  • features and components of thickening and dewatering systems
  • theory of process operation
  • chemicals used for sludge conditioning
  • chemical dosing processes
  • risk factors and potential hazards related to thickening and dewatering systems
  • risk control requirements including safety equipment and material safety data sheets
  • lockout procedures for mechanical and electrical installations and hydraulic isolation
  • equipment operation, capacity and limitations
  • operation of pumping and valving systems
  • control and communications systems
  • policies, procedures and relevant legislation
  • relevant utilities and service bodies
  • hazardous materials handling
  • environmental aspects of water and/or wastewater treatment
  • procedures for storing and handling dangerous goods and chemicals
  • interpretation and use of material safety data sheets
  • chemical principles that form the basis of dewatering processes

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 demonstrate the ability to monitor, operate and control dewatering processes, including:

  • monitoring test results and processes
  • identifying and reporting faults
  • conducting routine plant inspections
  • taking samples and performing basic tests
  • preparing and applying chemical dosing
  • making basic process adjustments according to instructions
  • collecting data and completing required 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.

Processes  may include:

  • tables
  • drying beds
  • rotating drum filters
  • belt press
  • centrifuge
  • rotary press
  • plate frame press
  • DAF thickeners

Organisational and statutory requirements  may include:

  • by-laws and organisational policies
  • standard operating procedures
  • environment protection
  • Australian Drinking Water Guidelines
  • National Water Quality Management strategy
  • occupational health and safety, including use of personal protective equipment
  • chemicals
  • dangerous goods
  • lifts and cranes
  • Environment Protection Authority regulations
  • World Health Organisation standards
  • licensing agreements
  • electrical standards

Chemicals  may include:

  • synthetic and organic polymers

Routine inspection of plant  may include:

  • use of equipment, including:
  • electronic monitoring and metering systems
  • chart recording systems
  • basic hand tools
  • sampling and laboratory testing equipment
  • computerised equipment
  • communication equipment
  • personal protective equipment
  • interaction and communication with other employees, other authorities and the general public
  • visual observation
  • implementation of reporting procedures that may also include procedures for the implementation of by-laws, organisational policies and statutory requirements

Tests  may include:

  • solids analysis
  • jar testing
  • sludge density
  • centrate clarity
  • dewatering process efficiency

System adjustments  may include:

  • loading rates
  • chemical dosing rates
  • dewatering polymers
  • centrifuge settings

Reports  may include:

  • environmental reports
  • chemical usage
  • plant performance data

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

Competency field


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