Senior Plant Operator
Respirator Class: 2
Inspect, operate, and maintain the District’s wastewater treatment facility including primary, secondary, tertiary, and solids treatment processes; assume lead responsibility for shift, as appropriate, including training operators as necessary, reviewing work of subordinates, and acting as Shift Supervisor as required; handle all complex problems that may arise within the treatment plant operations.
This is the advanced level class in the Plant Operator series and is distinguished from the II and III level by having lead responsibility during the shift and ability to handle the most complex problems that may arise within the treatment plant operations including, but not limited to, start-up and shutdown of major unit processes. The Senior Plant Operator will assist the Shift Supervisor in guiding, training and mentoring other operators, as necessary, for safe and productive operations. Positions in this class also maintain a higher level of technical expertise regarding all plant equipment, processes, and operations, enabling them to handle all complex problems that may arise within the treatment plant operations.
The use of respiratory equipment (including self-contained breathing apparatus (S.C.B.A.)) may be required for this position. Therefore, the Senior Plant Operator 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 supervision from the Shift Supervisor.
- Exercise indirect supervision over subordinates in the Plant Operator series.
Examples of Essential Duties
Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Inspect, operate, and maintain the District’s wastewater treatment facility including primary, secondary, tertiary, and solids treatment processes; operate all complex treatment processes within the facility.
- Perform routine procedural checks, samplings, and analyses to ensure proper performance of treatment processes and facility equipment; troubleshoot operational problems including recommending process changes to stay within process control limits.
- Assist in the start‑up, maintenance, operation, inspection, and shutdown of all major plant equipment.
- Handle all complex problems that may arise within the treatment plant operations.
- Assume lead responsibility for assigned shift; assign, direct, and review the work of subordinate operators in the operation and routine maintenance of wastewater treatment equipment under the general operating instructions of the Shift Supervisor; train, mentor and assist operators as necessary.
- Maintain appropriate records and logs.
- Assume role of Shift Supervisor as necessary.
- Perform related duties as required.
- Advanced wastewater treatment processes including primary, secondary, tertiary, and solids processes and recycled water.
- Operation of the components of a highly automated wastewater treatment facility.
- Equipment and its usage found in the District’s wastewater treatment operation including centrifuges, steam turbines, centrifugal blowers, multiple hearth furnaces, and watertube and firetube boilers, gas turbine co-generation, ultra-violet disinfection, diesel engines, and electrical distribution.
- Safety hazards and appropriate precautions applicable to work assignments, including the safe handling of hazardous chemicals.
- On a continuous basis know, observe, and analyze furnace operations, and understand and remember various plant systems. Intermittently problem solve furnace malfunctions, and explain problems to Shift Supervisor.
- Sit for long periods of time when operating furnace control panel, and walk around while conducting equipment checks and running samples on a continuous basis.
- Intermittently sit when performing computer work, bend, squat, climb, kneel and twist while making rounds and conducting inspections, perform simple and power grasping, pushing and pulling, fine manipulation, and lift or carry weight of 75 pounds or less.
- Train and supervise assigned personnel.
- Inspect plant equipment and recognize inefficient, unusual, or dangerous operating conditions.
- Perform routine process control tests and adjust plant operations accordingly.
- Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
- 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.
- Work shift, on‑call, weekends, and holidays as assigned.
Special Physical Requirements:
- May be required to respond in an emergency. Must be able to wear and perform emergency response duties in a Level A full-body protection suit and S.C.B.A. weighing 32 pounds; must be able to hear audio alarm and/or see flashing alarm lights.
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:
- Three years of experience as a Plant Operator III at the District.
- Equivalent to the completion of the twelfth grade.
- 40 hours of initial mentoring at the main computer console followed by 16 hours of annual follow-up training.
- Supervisory training as appropriate.
Licenses and Certificates
- Possession of a California State Water Resources Board Grade III Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator’s Certificate.
- Possession of a valid California Driver’s License.
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