Established: 08/83
Revised: 07/94; 06/07; 05/15
FLSA: Non-Exempt
EEO: 7



Under general supervision, to assist in the inspection, monitoring and process control of a wastewater treatment plant; to clean and maintain wastewater plant facilities; to learn to participate as a member of a self directed work team overseeing plant operations; and to do other work as required.


Water Environment Services manages and operates the County's utility service districts, including sewage facilities, collection systems, pumping stations, treatment plants and surface water management. The Department also administers street lighting services to unincorporated areas of the County.

The Wastewater Plant Operator 1 assists in monitoring plant operations and performs general building maintenance at a wastewater treatment plant. Incumbents also participate in work planning, training, and problem solving as part of a self directed work team.

The Wastewater Plant Operator 1 differs from the Wastewater Plant Operator 2 which operates plant equipment and maintains appropriate treatment processes in compliance with permit specifications.


Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Maintains wastewater treatment plant buildings; scrubs and washes down pumps, pipes, floors, restrooms, stairwells, concrete structures, fixtures, equipment, machinery and windows; sweeps, mops, strips and waxes floors; vacuums carpet, flushes sump pumps; empties garbage.
  2. Assists in plant equipment operation and process control; inspects equipment and monitors gauges and instruments; collects and runs process control tests on liquid and solid waste samples; operate biosolids equipment including digested sludge thickening, digested sludge dewatering, and waste activated sludge thickening.
  3. Performs general building security; unlocks and locks doors at beginning and end of business hours; raises and lowers flag.
  4. Serves as project or team leader on routine assignments; plans, schedules and assigns work to other team members; monitors and coordinates the work of contracted services; trains and leads the work of new and temporary employees; provides group safety training; demonstrates safe working practices in the field.
  5. Assists in providing public and customer service support to County operations and other municipalities; responds to complaints and inquiries; conducts facility tours and provides assistance at public information meetings; explains wastewater collection and processing systems.
  6. Learns to participate in the management of plant operations with other self directed work team members; provides input on annual work plan and budget, including contracted services; monitors expenditures; assists in coordinating special projects; analyzes and resolves work problems; coordinates operations with other teams and personnel within and outside of the Department.
  7. Learns to participate in personnel administration for plant operations; facilitates team participation in work activities; plans, develops and presents training and development programs for Department personnel; makes recommendations on personnel actions, such as hiring, training and development and performance evaluations.


Working knowledge of: Methods and practices of building and grounds maintenance; maintenance practices related to treatment plant equipment and machinery; occupational hazards and safety precautions at a wastewater treatment facility; standard office equipment, including microcomputers.

Some knowledge of: Mechanical operation of equipment in primary, secondary and advanced wastewater treatment facilities; standard processes and chemicals used in testing and treating wastewater and sewage samples; state laws, regulations and permit requirements applicable to wastewater treatment.

Skill to: Learn to coordinate completion of projects within established budget and time guidelines; incorporate team participation in decision making; promote individual agreement and group consensus on issues and problems; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; monitor wastewater treatment plant equipment; perform routine tests of wastewater and sewage samples; make accurate readings and keep accurate records; use algebraic formulas to calculate volume and flow; safely operate building maintenance equipment, including vacuum cleaners, floor polishers, hand truck, light pickup truck, winches, painting equipment, pressure washer and related janitorial tools and equipment; train and direct the work of temporary personnel; establish and maintain effective working relationships with the public, vendors and other County employees; provide tours and explain basic wastewater treatment processes to schools and community groups; learn to operate computer software applications and programmable logic controllers used in plant operations.


Duties require physical labor, including walking, reaching, squatting, kneeling, bending, balancing, climbing, shoveling, fine motor control, and ability to lift up to 50 pounds, carry, and push/pull up to 70 pounds. Duties also involve exposure to bacteria, viruses and toxins in wastewater, chemicals, exhaust fumes and dust, loud noises, and vibration. Some duties involve exposure to adverse weather conditions and hazardous locations, such as streets, live sewers, confined underground areas and on elevated platforms.


Within three (3) months of hire: Certification by the State of Oregon as Wastewater Treatment Provisional Grade 1.

Within twelve (12) months of hire: Certification by the State of Oregon as Wastewater Treatment Grade 1.

Incumbents may perform after-hours emergency response on a call-out basis.

Driving is required for County business on a regular basis or to accomplish work. Incumbents must possess a valid driver's license, and possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.

Employment is contingent upon passing a post-offer physical assessment. Accommodation requests will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation.


A High School Diploma or GED is required for State of Oregon certification as Wastewater Treatment Provisional Grade 1.

Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.


The Wastewater Plant Operator series is part of a promotional career path within Water Environment Services Department. Incumbents in the Wastewater Plan Operator 1 classification will be promoted to the Wastewater Plant Operator 2 classification upon satisfactory completion of an approved training and development plan. Possession of the required knowledge, skills and abilities at the higher level must be documented in an approved promotional evaluation.

Edited: 06/16