Wastewater Operator Trainee

This classification participates in the City’s work-training program. The purpose of the work-training program to create a career path enabling incumbents to receive on-the-job training to develop the skills and experience (i.e., learn the trade) of the Wastewater Operator. Incumbents are required to obtain the necessary certificates in order to progress through the work-training program. In order to advance to the next step of the pay scale, incumbents must successfully complete 26 pay periods, obtain the next grade-level certificate in their assigned area of Wastewater Treatment and/or Wastewater Collections, and receive the recommendation of the Department Head.

Incumbents may be assigned to Wastewater Treatment and/or Wastewater Collections. Under general supervision, incumbents perform unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled work in the operation, maintenance, inspection, repair, and monitoring of wastewater treatment and/or collection system inspection, maintenance, and repair; participate fully in the work of an assigned crew; and perform other duties as assigned.

Incumbents in this classification actively participate in the City’s work-training program to learn the necessary skills and gain the required experience to become a Grade II certificated wastewater operator.

As part of this work-training program, incumbents are required to obtain, at minimum, a Grade II certificate in Wastewater Treatment (issued by the State Water Resources Control Board) or Collection System Maintenance II certificate (issued by the California Water Environment Association) within 30 months of appointment.

Failure to obtain the required certification and/or meet the requirements of the work-training program may result in dismissal from the work-training program by the City. Incumbents who successfully obtain the required certification and complete the work-training program may, with the recommendation of the Department Head, advance to Wastewater Operator.


The following duties are typical of this classification and are intended only to describe the various types of work that may be performed, the level of technical complexity of the assignment(s), and are not intended to be an all-inclusive list of duties. The omission of a specific duty statement does not exclude it from the position if the work is consistent with the concept of the classification, or is similar or closely related to another duty statement to address business needs and changing business practices.
Duties and responsibilities include the operation and maintenance of the wastewater treatment plant and sewer collection system for the purposes of containing waste materials and rendering them harmless to human, animal, and fish life. This includes the operation and maintenance of a wide variety of equipment, such as large capacity pumps, heavy duty motors and engines, chemical feeders, large valves, and specialized equipment such as computer-based telemetry recorders and indicators, computer control systems, electrical equipment, vacuum trucks, and various kinds of hydraulic systems; this also includes inspections of assigned facilities and evaluations of equipment and work performed by other operators.
Additional duties and responsibilities include surveillance of the operating efficiency of mechanical and electrical systems; inventory and maintenance of written data including equipment malfunctions, facility condition, pumping rate, chemical usage and inventory, water quality reports, and equipment lubrication requirements; interpreting and making required adjustments to specialized instruments such as recorders, gauges, meters, charts, and dials; surveying facilities on a regular basis to ensure that equipment is clean and in good operating condition; performing water-quality tests and making necessary dosage and related adjustments; ordering supplies and materials; preparing cost estimates and assisting in the development of equipment specifications; maintaining work time, equipment, and material records; creating reports of work performed; reading drawings and maps; cleaning and repairing wastewater pipes; maintaining facilities and grounds; being available for standby emergency call-back duty as assigned; making every reasonable effort to continually improve the manner in which the job is performed and increasing the quality of service to the public; and performing other duties as assigned.


Education :
High School Graduate or General Education Diploma.

Experience :
Operation of light power-driven equipment.
OR any combination of education, training and/or work experience to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and abilities to meet the above minimum requirements.

Knowledge of : Maintenance and repair of mechanical equipment such as pumps, gas engines and electric motors; principles and processes of wastewater treatment plant operation; simple laboratory tests used in checking on the effectiveness of treatment processes; basic math and simple recordkeeping; common safe work practices; Federal, State and local standards for maintaining water quality; occupational hazards and standard safety precautions necessary in wastewater facilities; and principles and practices of exemplary customer service.

Ability to :
Communicate effectively in both oral and written form; understand and follow oral and written instructions; operate and maintain equipment used in a wastewater treatment plant; perform maintenance on electrical pumps and equip­ment; recognize and evaluate the results of the operation of various segments of a wastewater treatment plant and collections system; identify system problems or potential problems and take effective corrective action in an efficient manner; read and interpret plant diagrams, charts, blueprints, specifications, gauges and recording devices reflecting plant operations; understand and apply the principles, theories, and operations of process control computers; prepare reports and develop and maintain accurate and up-to-date records and operation logs; deal cooperatively with other people; use good judgment; take a proactive approach to problem solving; establish and maintain effective working; effectively supervise subordinate staff; learn the organization, procedures, and operating details of the City department to which assigned; collaborate with a variety of diverse interest groups in reaching a consensus for the betterment of the community; attend work, as scheduled, on a regular basis, to effectively perform the position’s required duties and responsibilities; demonstrate an awareness and appreciation of the cultural diversity of the community; practice and exemplify the City of Santa Maria’s Mission Statement; and be available for standby emergency call-back duty as assigned.

License :
Possession of a valid Class “C” California Driver’s License upon appointment. Possession of a valid Class “B” California Driver’s License within 12 months of employment. Must have and maintain a satisfactory driving record and be insurable to operate City vehicles.

Certificate :
Within 30 months of appointment, depending upon assignment to Wastewater Treatment or Wastewater Collections as determined by the department, possession of a valid Grade II Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Certificate issued by the State of California Water Resources Control Board OR a valid Collection System Maintenance II Certificate issued by the California Water Environment Association (or the equivalent level of state certification after the establishment of a state certification program).



Requirement :
Under the Department of Transportation Drug and Alcohol Program, incumbents may be required to successfully complete a pre-employment drug and alcohol screening and submit to random drug and/or alcohol testing throughout employment with the City.

Incumbents may be required to obtain, at no cost to the incumbents, immunizations for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.




Large capacity pumps, heavy duty motors and engines, chemical feeders, large valves, and specialized equipment including computer-based telemetry recorders and indicators, computer control systems, electrical equipment and various kinds of hydraulic systems; motorized vehicles, mobile radio, telephone, personal computer including word processing and other software, and copy and fax machines.

SELECTION PROCESS: ***Once a recruitment has been open for ten (10) calendar days, the City reserves the right to stop accepting applications prior to the initially posted deadline if a sufficient number of qualified applications are received. To ensure review of application materials, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible in the process. The recruitment is officially closed once it has been removed from the City’s web site.

The completed electronic application packet will include the online application and supplemental questions, and electronic attachments of a resume and cover letter. For any technical difficulties or help with attaching documents to your application, please contact NEOGOV at 1-855-524-5627.

As you complete your online application, please provide complete and accurate information for each employment during the past 10 years. Although a resume is required, it does not substitute for providing the information requested on the electronic application. Do not write “See resume” or “See attached.” Failure to provide complete information will cause forfeiture toward employment with the City.

As you complete your supplemental questionnaire, please provide length of experience as of the date the recruitment closes, not as of the date you are submitting your application.
Applicants are required to apply online. Hard copy application packets will not be accepted in lieu of applying through the online process. However, persons who believe they are qualified under the Americans with Disability Act ( ADA ) or California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) may request a reasonable accommodation to participate in the recruitment process. The request must be received by Human Resources with sufficient time prior to the final filing deadline, to allow for the request to be considered through the interactive process.

Applications will be prescreened for minimum qualifications to determine eligibility to participate in mandatory written tests. Those applicants invited to the tests will be notified electronically at the e-mail address provided by each candidate through application process. Therefore, it is the applicant’s responsibility to provide an accurate email address and to allow their inbox to receive emails in regard to this recruitment. In order to be considered for this position there will be a state-certified exam you must successfully pass. The e xam (approximately three and one half hours is allotted for the process) is a written general comprehension exam; and an exercise that is not weighted. This exam (approximately forty-five minutes is allotted for the process) is directly related to the ability to learn and use basic math concepts and skills necessary for successful completion of probation a tentative test date for both exams, has been scheduled for 6/8/17 in the morning. The exam will be handed out first and the exercise will immediately follow. Only candidates who pass the exam may be eligible for review of application documents for a possible oral interview. A limited number of top candidates will be invited to an oral interview , which has been tentatively scheduled for 6/29/17. The oral board will recommend a limited number of candidates to the eligibility list from which the new Wastewater Operator Trainee may be selected. This recruitment may also establish an eligibility list for future Wastewater Operator Trainee openings.

If at any time during the recruitment any portion of your application packet does not meet the requirements you may be disqualified from further consideration in this recruitment.

The City of Santa Maria is a participant in the E-Verify program through the Department of Homeland Security. Upon hire, the candidate must produce original documents according to the Department of Homeland Security Form I-9 List of Acceptable Documents. If you have any questions, please contact Human Resources staff at (805) 925-0951 extension 2203.

Although you are unable to make changes to a completed application or add additional documents once you initially submit your packet, if you need to make corrections or attach a document you missed, you may only do so by submitting an entire new application packet prior to the final filing deadline. Please note if you reapply, ONLY your most recent application will be reviewed; all portions of previous applications submitted will be automatically archived without review. It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit a fully completed application for Human Resources review; incomplete applications will be subject to disqualification.

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT: Employees in this classification are under an Agency Shop agreement that requires the employee to either join or pay a service fee to the Service Employees’ International Union Local 620.
As a condition of employment with the City of Santa Maria, all employees are required to be in compliance with the terms and requirements of the City’s Dress Code Policy, CAM 2008-02; which includes restrictions regarding tattoos and piercings.
Upon hire, the candidate must submit a Department of Motor Vehicles printout summarizing their driving record covering the last 30 days from the closing date of this recruitment. Upon hire, candidate must possess a bank account to accommodate the City of Santa Maria’s direct deposit for bi-weekly pay.

If a diploma/certificate/degree is required to meet minimum qualifications for the position, proof must be submitted to department staff and received during the reference check process, prior to offer of employment or promotion.
PLEASE NOTE: Please note that once minimum qualifications have been reviewed, those applicants who are still being considered for employment will receive a supplemental questionnaire via email regarding criminal convictions. It is the applicants’ responsibility to respond timely in order to move forward with the recruitment process.

A “No Smoking” policy has been adopted in all City facilities to promote a health-based, smoke-free work place as part of the City’s commitment to a pollution-free environment.

Minorities, women and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Interested parties may request a copy of the City of Santa Maria Equal Employment Opportunity Plan by contacting the Human Resources Division.

Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, persons desiring a reasonable accommodation to compete in the recruitment process may contact the Human Resources Office at 805-925-0951, Extension 2203, or the California Relay Service at 1-800-735-2920 or 1-888-877-5378 for TDD (Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf), prior to the final filing deadline.

In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, if you are selected for employment with the City of Santa Maria, you will be required to provide proof of identity and work eligibility.

The provisions contained in these job postings do not constitute an expressed or implied contract and any provisions contained herein may be modified or revised without notice.

Once a recruitment has been announced for ten (10) calendar days, the City reserves the right to stop accepting applications prior to the initially posted deadline if we receive a sufficient amount of qualified applications. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible in the process, to ensure review of their application materials. The recruitment is officially closed once it has been removed from the City’s web site.






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