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Process Control Engineer

Effective: 10/18/05
Range S-81
Respirator Class: 2


Perform responsible professional engineering and operations work in the planning, design, investigation, construction, and operation of District wastewater treatment plant, pumping stations, and related facilities; perform project management responsibilities during an engineering project; perform technical and functional supervisory duties in the operation of an assigned District function.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Assignments are general and of a continuing nature requiring the exercise of independent judgment and initiative, coordinating with Operations, Maintenance, Engineering, and Contractors. Work in this class is distinguished from that of the Associate Engineer class by the greater complexity of assignments received, by the greater independence with which an incumbent is expected to operate, by the greater knowledge of treatment plant processes, equipment, and process control required, and by the specialized skill required in the area of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) and other process control equipment, and of plant and pumping station processes and system optimization. In addition, the Process Control Engineer may be responsible for project management during the course of an engineering project and/or for technical and functional supervision over an engineering or operations-related District function.

The use of respiratory equipment [including self-contained breathing apparatus (S.C.B.A.)] may be required for this position. Therefore, the Process Control Engineer will be required to be free of facial hair that would interfere with the use of a respirator for annual fit tests and for any occasion, which requires the use of respiratory equipment to comply with the District's respiratory program and Cal/OSHA standards.

Supervision Received and Exercised

  • Receive general direction from higher-level management personnel.
  • May exercise technical and functional supervision over other District personnel.

Examples of Essential Duties

Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Design and implement complex control systems for treatment plant and pump stations processes, and diagnose and correct PLC system problems.
  • Maintain existing and develop new PLC programs to reflect changes in current operations and new user needs; write new programs or modify existing programs in PLC ladder logic and higher level languages.
  • Conduct start up of new unit processes and investigations of new processes and modifications to existing processes to improve performance and reduce operating costs by making treatment plant process changes to optimize performance.
  • Design or prepare District and/or consultant contract documents, drawings and specifications and monitor construction for a variety of District engineering projects involving the wastewater treatment plant, pumping stations, or related facilities; recommend change orders as necessary.
  • Review and check engineering plans for District projects prepared by consultants for conformance with District standards and specifications.
  • Prepare and review cost estimates and engineering calculations.
  • Review and evaluate plant control data and reports, work with the Plant Computer and Operations staff to make process control adjustments; evaluate the effectiveness of Plant process changes and make appropriate adjustments to assure compliance with discharge requirements and process optimization.
  • Ensure that plant processes and products are in compliance with environmental and health requirements.
  • Assist in the planning and preparation of the budget requests; administer approved budget allocations.
  • Negotiate and administer contracts for a variety of routine and complex consulting engineering projects; schedule and approve progress payments; monitor and review progress.
  • Prepare reports for presentation; as assigned, make public presentations.
  • Enforce District policies and appropriate state and federal laws, codes, and regulations.
  • As assigned, provide supervision over less experienced engineering and technical staff.
  • Perform related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Knowledge of:

  • Principles, practices, and methods related to the design and implementation of large-scale Programmable Logic Controller systems, PLC programming, and troubleshooting techniques.
  • Process control principles and methods and the range of equipment and field instrumentation used at the District.
  • Applicable laws and regulatory codes relevant to wastewater system design, construction, and plant operation of wastewater treatment facilities, equipment, and systems.
  • Design and operation of wastewater treatment unit processes.

Ability to:

  • Continuously analyze, identify, and interpret engineering plans and data; problem solve technical problems and prepare recommendations and solutions, observe others' work, know and understand regulations, and remember and explain procedures.
  • Sit for long periods of time, write, or use a keyboard to communicate through written means, walk through project and field sites, perform simple grasping and fine manipulation, and lift or carry weight of 10 pounds or less; and for confined space entry, lift or carry weight of 50 pounds. May be required to communicate via mobile communication device.
  • Make complex engineering computations and check, design, and supervise the preparation of engineering plans and studies.
  • Enforce District policies and appropriate state and federal laws, codes, and regulations.
  • Perform project management responsibilities on routine and complex engineering projects.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Perform complex engineering work with a minimum of supervision.
  • As assigned, supervise subordinate staff assigned to a major District function.
  • Learn and observe all appropriate safety precautions as required by the District including, but not limited to, Cal/OSHA General Industry Safety Orders, the District's Respiratory Protection Program, and District Safety Directives.

Special Physical Requirements:

  • May be required to enter confined space and/or respond in an emergency.  When required to wear respiratory protection equipment, must be able to wear SCBA and perform confined space entry and emergency response duties in protective clothing and equipment including SCBA weighing 32 pounds.

Experience and Education

Any combination equivalent to experience and education that could likely provide the required knowledge and abilities would be qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:


  • Five years of experience in professional engineering, preferably in District engineering projects.


  • Equivalent to a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major work in engineering or a closely related field.

Licenses and Certificates

  • Possession of a valid Certificate of Registration as a professional engineer issued by the State of California.
  • Possession of a valid California Driver's License.

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