Operator in Training, Wastewater Treatment

City of Anacortes | Anacortes, WA

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Posted Date 2/12/2020


PRINCIPAL PURPOSE OF JOB: Performs routine designated tasks in a learning mode at the wastewater treatment plant to develop proficiency in all operations and maintenance functions they can legally perform, so as to be certified as Operator I within 12 months or the minimum required experience period.

LEVEL OF AUTHORITY: Work is performed under close immediate supervision of a higher classified employee.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: Most of the work is performed at the wastewater treatment plant in an environment characterized by loud to moderate noise, foul odors, potential contact with or exposure to pathogens and other hazards associated with human waste. There is a potential exposure to hazardous chemicals and a potential exposure to heat, especially when required to don rubber protective gear or when performing incinerator maintenance. Some work is performed in confined spaces requiring special training in basic confined space procedures. Other work is performed outdoors in all kinds of weather conditions. Can be unusually stressful due to need to make quick decisions to avoid equipment damage or dangerous results, particularly when learning new equipment and processes.

1. Ability to learn wastewater treatment systems, processes and equipment to prepare for successfully obtaining level I wastewater treatment certification.

2. Observe and then, under close supervision, monitor assigned plant operations and record data from control room meters, gauges, and chart readings. Report equipment malfunctions and unusual trends or conditions to higher classified employee. When sufficient ability is acquired, may make minor correction and report the action taken.

3. Learn to use and operate programmable logic controllers (PLC's) under close initial direction until proficiency has been demonstrated, to maintain assigned process operations within prescribed standards. This includes electronically adjusting controls and valves, starting and stopping pumps and operating switches and dial controls.

4. Collect influent, in-process and effluent wastewater samples and deliver samples to laboratory. Under close supervision and then with more independence work in the laboratory running routine tests. Complete tests and paperwork fully and accurately.

5. Perform custodial and plant maintenance duties such as cleaning slime, algae and grit from basins, weirs, baffles and rotating arms of equipment using high pressure water hose and brushes. Includes inspection and maintenance of equipment such as tanks, pumps and valves, plumbing, minor electrical repairs, housekeeping duties such as sweeping, mopping, taking out trash, and cleaning restrooms.

6. Under close supervision initially, and then with more independence, perform routine maintenance on treatment plant and lift station equipment such as lubrication, oil changes, and belt changes. Assist in routine repair work such as the disassembly, repair and installation of valves, switches, process instrumentation, motors and related equipment.

7. Learn to operate the incinerator under direct supervision initially then with more independence.

8. Perform work in accordance with sound safety practices, participating in and following safety policies and practices, using appropriate safety devices and equipment.

9. Learn to trace flow of sewers to proper collection site for sampling when a contamination is detected.

10. Respond to public inquiries in a courteous manner and refer inquiries to an employee of higher classification as appropriate.

11. Once sufficient ability is acquired, be available to be on call on regular rotation and respond as necessary to plant and pump station alarms. Use judgement to determine what to do in response to alarm situation, depending on ability and experience.

12. Required to work in emergency situations and to report to work during unscheduled time as directed.

13. Regular and dependable attendance is an essential function of employment.

1. May perform portions of the work of higher classified positions occasionally, as assigned within scope of abilities and certification.

2. May perform duties of similar complexity in any City department as required or assigned.

1. Must possess a valid Washington State driver's license.

2. Desirable to have high school diploma or a General Equivalency Diploma (GED), as indicator of skills and knowledge in math, sciences, reading and writing commensurate with that level of education.

3. Must be able, when directed, to obtain a commercial driver's license with a hazardous material endorsement.

4. Must be able to acquire knowledge of wastewater treatment systems, processes and equipment sufficient to perform assigned functions appropriate to the Group I level. Must be able to obtain certification as a Group I Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator within 12 months or the minimum required experience period.

5. Must be able to learn to operate all major plant systems within 12 months.

6. Must be able to learn to use and operate programmable logic controllers (PLCs) for equipment controls, to monitor, maintain and respond to computers in plant computer room. Must be able to learn to use personal computers and application programs.

7. Must have a basic to intermediate-level knowledge of mechanical, electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic theory and application and be able to learn to use manuals and other resources to apply that knowledge in wastewater treatment operations and other diverse requirements of the job.

8. Must receive and apply training in confined space procedures, the use and containment of all hazardous chemicals used and all other safety programs applicable to wastewater treatment. Must receive and apply training in the use of all safety equipment including SCBA's (self-contained breathing apparatus) and atmospheric tester.

Physical Capabilities
1. Physical strength and ability sufficient to perform moderately heavy manual labor for extended periods under dirty, uncomfortable and generally unpleasant conditions. Moderately heavy labor is defined, for example, as frequently exerting force sufficient to lift up to 25 pounds and occasionally up to 50 pounds.

2. Physical stamina and agility sufficient to stand, walk, climb up and down ladders, crawl into confined spaces and engage in similar physical activities for the duration of the shift, as necessary.

3. Capacity for sustained attention to functioning machinery and equipment. Good sensory perception to monitor plant machinery and operations visually, audibly, by smell and by touch (for temperature and vibration) on an ongoing basis.

Other Capabilities
1. Ability to learn to read equipment instruction and maintenance manuals, drawings, schematics and blueprints.

2. Solid working knowledge of math and chemistry, sufficient to learn to control plant processes through formulas to determine, for example, volumes, detention times, overflow rates, flow and dosages.

3. Strong problem-solving and decision-making ability to interpret gauges and react quickly and accurately to avoid equipment damage or danger.

4. Ability to follow oral and written instructions.

5. Ability to communicate effectively through written means.

6. Ability to attend to detail and keep a sustained surveillance of equipment and plant operation.

Use of Tools and Equipment
In addition to all specialized plant equipment, operate forklift, utility truck and pickup truck. To the extent of ability as training progresses, use a variety of hand tools, such as drills, wrenches, shovels, etc., and power tools, such as torches, drill and bench presses, grinders, and a variety of saws, including electric, chain, reciprocating, table and jigsaw. Also must be able to use specialized equipment, such as welder and electrical test equipment, may be used under close supervision only after considerable training.

1. As an absolute condition of employment, employees are required upon hire to sign a drug-free workplace agreement and an agreement not to use tobacco products in any form while on the job.

2. The statements contained in this job description reflect general details as necessary to describe the principal functions of this job, the level of knowledge and skill typically required and the scope of responsibility. It should not be considered an all-inclusive listing of work requirements. Individuals may perform other duties as assigned, including work in other functional areas to cover absences or relief, to equalize peak work periods or otherwise balance the work load.

3. Following an offer of employment and prior to starting work, individuals may be required to have a pre-employment physical examination by a physician designated by the City of Anacortes. The City will pay for the examination. Satisfactory clearance to perform essential job functions will be required for employment.

This position is a full time position requiring a minimum of 40 hours per week. The nature of the position excludes outside or added employment.

Job Category
Local Government
Career Level
Entry Level

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