Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator III

City of San Mateo | San Mateo, CA

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Posted Date 9/09/2019

$7,572.00-$8,638.00 Monthly

San Mateo is a city of approximately 104,000 residents, strategically located midway between San Francisco and San Jose, and is within the Silicon Valley.  One of the City’s strengths is its diversity, both in the ethnic makeup and the physical development of the community.  San Mateo has a vibrant business and retail environment with national and international businesses, two major shopping centers and an active downtown.  The community values its historic and new residential neighborhoods and recently approved a major new Transit Oriented Development that will add 1,500 new homes, 300,000 square feet of new retail and as much as 1.5 million square feet of commercial office space.  


The City organization has a culture of innovation, collaboration and strong customer service.  The City’s annual budget is $191 million and is staffed by over 540 full time employees.  The City is continually evaluating new and innovative ways of providing high quality services to its residents while acknowledging the competing demands for the limited funds available. Find out more interesting facts at:  www.cityofsanmateo.org.


This position will receive general direction from the Chief Plant Operator and instruction from their Shift Supervisor to provide daily guidance to lower level operators and trainees. The WWTP Operator III will be responsible for supporting these efforts to guide, develop and mentor staff on their assigned shift, act in a supervisory capacity in the absence of the Shift Supervisor, and is the assigned lead in getting both scheduled and unscheduled work completed. Those who have prepared themselves and are ready for the challenge to use their skills as a journey-level wastewater professional should seriously consider this opportunity.


This position is assigned rotating shifts working nights, weekends, and holidays with on-call emergency response 24 hours per day.  However, along with this challenge is the benefit of working  a 12-hour shift that results in a very favorable work/life balance and requires the minimum commuting days as compared to other standard 8-hour shifts.


The Department

The Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is a 15.7 MDG sub-regional facility that serves an estimated 164,545 customers  administering the annual operation and maintenance budget over $12.8 million with a staff of 34 professional and technical personnel.  The City of San Mateo is building a team tasked with the safe and continuous operation of the current expansion of this conventional activated sludge plant by introducing new facilities including; preliminary treatment, primary treatment, enhanced biological nutrient removal/membrane bioreactors (BNR/MBR), biological and chemically enhanced treatment (BioACTIFLO), and additional upgrades to existing process equipment. A vital and instrumental member of this team is the WWTP Operator III.


The Duties

Depending upon assignment, duties may include, but are not limited to the following.

Operate wastewater treatment facilities to control flow and processing of wastewater, sludge and effluent; monitor gauges, meters and control panels; observe variation in operating conditions, interpreting meter and gauge readings and test results to determine process requirements.

  • Operate valves and gates; start and stop pumps, engines and electric motors to control and adjust flow and treatment processes; operate and maintain boilers; perform routine maintenance work on valves, tanks, related equipment and facilities to optimize performance.
  • Maintain appropriate plant records to support water quality goals.
  • Perform the duties of the Designated Operator-in-Charge when required in accordance with State regulations.
  • Operate rolling vehicles and stationary machinery as required to perform essential job functions.
  • Foster and maintain good working relationships and provide excellent customer service in the course of their work.
  • Assist in the inventory, requisition, and purchase of supplies and materials.
  • Supervise and train less experienced operators on assigned shift.



Ideal Candidate

What You Bring

Any combination of experience and training that would likely provide the required knowledge skill and abilities is qualifying.  A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

Training and Experience

  • Equivalent to the completion of the twelfth grade.
  • Three years of progressively responsible experience in the operation of a wastewater treatment plant.
  • Possession of a valid Grade III WWTP Operator Certificate issued by the State of California.
    • Note: Please attach a copy of your Grade III WWTP Operator Certificate.  Failure to provide a copy of the Certificate will result in not meeting the minimum qualifications and your application will not be considered for the position.
  • Possession of, or ability to obtain an appropriate valid California driver's license.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of:

  • Principles and practices necessary in the operation of a wastewater treatment plant including the        operation and maintenance of wastewater plant machinery.
  • Hazardous gases associated with treatment of wastewater.
  • Automated equipment as applied to treatment plant operation.
  • Wastewater plant operator policies and procedures.
  • Safe work practices with high-pressure piping, vessels, gases, steam, corrosive liquids, electricity and chemicals.

Skill to:

  • Operate wastewater valves, gates, pumps, engines, electric motors, hydraulic equipment, generators, filters, and other plant equipment.

Ability to:

  • Clean, clear, maintain and adjust motors, pumps and other equipment.  Read meters and gauges correctly and to act quickly and competently.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing. Prepare simple written reports.
  • Collect samples and perform routine laboratory tests.
  • Troubleshoot operational problems with plant process equipment.
  • Perform all plant operations without direct supervision.
  • Troubleshoot operational problems with plant processes and equipment.
  • Lead, train and provide input in evaluation of Operators.




  • Insurance:  A choice of medical plans with City paid single coverage of 100% of the lowest cost Kaiser single coverage or City paid two party or family coverage up to 90% of the Kaiser family plan or $160 per month if waived.  City Paid dental, vision, and life insurance premiums.
  • Retirement:  Enrollment in PERS. Classic Members: 2%@55 with 3 year average final comp plus employee paid PERS of 7.84%.  New Members: 2%@ 62 with 3 year average final comp plus employee paid PERS of 6.75%.  Participation in the Social Security Program
  • Vacation: 11-25 working days annual vacation, depending on length of service
  • Leaves: 12 sick days per year earned; extended sick leave and family sick leave
  • Holidays: 13 paid holidays per year (includes 3 floating days)
  • Programs: Credit Union, Employee Assistance, Deferred Compensation, Free Fitness classes through City of San Mateo Parks and Recreation Department
  • Differential: $195 per month (if applicable)
  • Unit: This classification falls within the SEIU Maintenance bargaining unit, employees  of which may elect to join or pay an equivalent service fee.


HIRING REFERRAL BONUS: Candidates hired from this recruitment will receive a signing bonus of $1,500.00 upon successful completion of probation. If an eligible merit City employee refers a candidate who is subsequently hired from this recruitment, he/she shall receive a $1,500.00 referral award in accordance with the City’s Targeted Recruitment Program Policy. The candidate must note the referring employee’s name on the City’s official employment application at the time he/ she submits it.

Job Category
Local Government
Career Level
Entry Level

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