Wastewater Laboratory Chemist Specialist

Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation | Tucson, AZ

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Posted Date 11/05/2018

This position is in the Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department.

Salary Grade: 52

Supervises, coordinates and participates in analyzing wastewater, storm water, and solid waste samples for organic, inorganic, and biological constituents. This classification requires specialized knowledge of environmental laboratory functions and supervises the staff and activities of an operational unit of the laboratory. This classification is also responsible for accuracy and for following accepted testing methods as established by local, state and federal regulatory agencies.

An assessment may be administered.


(Work assignments may vary depending on the department's needs and will be communicated to the applicant or incumbent by the supervisor.)
Supervises, coordinates and participates in the work of laboratory staff performing laboratory testing of wastewater, ground water, storm water and solid waste samples in compliance with local, state and federal standards;
Supervises, assigns and coordinates analytical work performed by staff in laboratory unit;
Performs specialized chemical, bacterial and physical testing on raw, partially-treated and treated wastewater and by-products to measure efficiency of plant processes to meet effluent requirements of local, state and federal regulatory agencies;
Coordinates sampling and testing schedules with wastewater operations personnel;
Prepares and submits lists of needed equipment, chemicals and supplies to upper management for budgetary purposes;
Prepares chemical reagents, standards, test solutions and bacteriological media;
Develops new methodologies and refines existing methodologies used for testing complex sample matrices;
Performs various specialized tests involving wastewater for other Pima County Departments and public agencies;
Maintains physical facilities and conducts preventive maintenance programs on analytical equipment to insure validity of test results;
Adheres to and enforces established safety procedures;
Ensures QA/QC of laboratory testing as stipulated by testing standard operational procedures and the laboratory's Quality Assurance Plan (QAP);
Prepares performance plans to evaluate laboratory technique, accuracy and precision;
Analyzes and identifies staff training needs and recommends solutions;
Determines the course of action to resolve complex or unusual analytical objectives or concerns;
Performs statistical analysis;
Trains, evaluates and certifies the performance of laboratory personnel.
Knowledge of:

  • principles and practices of biology, chemistry, wastewater treatment and water pollution technology employed in a laboratory setting;
  • standard laboratory practices, techniques, equipment, testing and analyses;
  • local, state and federal requirements for compliance testing of wastewater, ground water and solid waste;
  • principles and practices of supervision, training and evaluation in a laboratory environment;
  • principles and applications of statistics;
  • principles and practices of operating systems and instrument control;
  • Pima County Merit system rules, personnel policies and procedures.
 Skill in:
  • performing complex laboratory tests;
  • using laboratory equipment and sophisticated analytical instruments;
  • communicating effectively, both orally and in writing;
  • preparing statistical documentation and reports;
  • analyzing and evaluating data
  • prioritizing, leading and evaluating the work of others;
  • use of automated information systems for acquiring data and report generation;
  • promoting teamwork.

Minimum Qualifications

(1) A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in chemistry, microbiology, biology or a closely related science and four years of specialized chemical and bacteriological testing of raw, partially-treated and treated wastewater and by-products and industrial wastes, including at least one year of experience in an environmental laboratory.
(Additional relevant education from an accredited university, college or trade school may be substituted for up to two years of the required experience.)
(2) Two years of experience with Pima County as a Wastewater Laboratory Chemist.

Qualifying education and experience must be clearly documented in the "Education" and "Work Experience" sections of the application.  Do not substitute a resume for your application or write "see resume" on your application.
Preferred Qualifications (Be specific in describing your experience in your application. Ensure the descriptions provided illustrate your competencies, specifically addressing the required and preferred qualifications.):

  1. Professional experience performing analyses in a licensed environmental or municipal laboratory, producing data for compliance permits on water or wastewater matrices, particularly in accordance with the Clean Water Act, AZPDES & APP permits.
  2. Up-to-date knowledge, within the past 5 years, of quality control requirements for EPA methods and "Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 22nd Edition" and experience reviewing data produced by other lab staff.
  3. Two (2) or more years of supervisory experience.
  4. Experience operating, within the past 5 years, ICP-OES, ICP-Mass Spec.
  5. Experience performing Inorganic digestions/distillations on Elemental Metals, Mercury, Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN), Total Phosphorous, or Cyanide.
  6. Experience with Laboratory Information Management Systems.
  7. Experience with Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel.
  8. Knowledge of/experience handling chemicals and acids in a laboratory setting.
Selection Procedure:
Pima County Human Resources Department reserves the right to admit to the selection process only those candidates that meet the minimum/desired qualifications. All applications will be assessed based on an evaluation of the listed education and experience.  Candidates meeting the minimum/desired qualifications may be further evaluated/scored against any advertised Preferred Qualifications.  The hiring authority will interview and select the successful candidate from a referral list provided by Human Resources. Additional assessments/testing may be required as part of the selection process.

Supplemental Information

Licenses and CertificatesValid driver license is required at time of application.  Valid AZ driver license is required at time of appointment. The successful applicant will be subject to a 39-month DOT Motor Vehicle Record review to determine applicant's suitability to operate county vehicles in accordance with Pima County administrative procedures.  Failure to obtain and maintain the required licenses and certifications shall be grounds for termination. Any offer of employment resulting from this recruitment is contingent upon Risk Management's review and approval of the candidate's driving record.
Physical/Sensory RequirementsA post offer physical will be required. Some positions may require the ability to: lift and carry up to fifty pounds; work with or in the presence of obnoxious odors; work with noxious or potentially hazardous chemicals, compounds or wastewater products.  Safety training and equipment will be provided by Pima County.

Pima County offers a wide range of employee benefits.  Read more about our benefits program by clicking here (Download PDF reader).

Job Category
Local Government
Career Level
Mid Level

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