Definition Wastewater Treatment Operator

Under general supervision, operates, inspects, and maintains a variety of plant equipment in connection with the continuous operation of a large metropolitan wastewater treatment plant; directs lower level operators; and performs related work as required.


Video of machinists and mechanics in the water/wastewater industry

Profiles of Machinist/Mechanics in the Water/Wastewater Industry
Name Profile Video Espanol
Meryl AbramsonProfile Video  
Darrell Andrews Profile    
Laurie BrennerProfile  
Steve Chavis Profile Video  
Frank Favalora Profile Video  
Levi Fuller Profile Video  
Anna Garcia Profile Video  
Maurice Harper Profile Video  
Brice Hy Profile Video  
Andrew Jellison Profile Video  
Starlin Jones Profile Video  
Melissa Lovallo Profile Video  
Jose Flavio Medina Profile Video  
Janet OdomsProfile Video  
Laura ReeseProfile  
Alex Rodriguez Profile  
Gabe SnookProfile Video Espanol
Michelle TarantinoProfile Video  
Sinzee Tran Profile Video  
Lolita Wilkins Profile Video  
Example Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Working knowledge of:  The operation, maintenance and cleaning of primary and secondary wastewater treatment equipment and facilities; wastewater treatment principles, methods, and practices; arithmetic; safety rules, codes, and regulations pertaining to the work; basic first aid; the methods and precautions in storing and handling chlorine and other hazardous gases and chemicals; wastewater sampling and routine process control tests.

General knowledge of:  Routine facility and equipment maintenance and cleaning methods.

Skill in:  Operating wastewater treatment plant equipment, including automatic control devices performing routine maintenance and making operating adjustments to wastewater treatment equipment; cleaning and painting facilities and equipment; operating assigned plant equipment without immediate or detailed supervision.

Ability to:  Recognize unusual, inefficient, or dangerous operating conditions and take appropriate action; accurately read and record data from gauges and meters; instruct and direct the work of lower level employees; interpret plant, piping, and distribution diagrams; perform routine control tests and adjust plant equipment accordingly; keep records and make oral and written reports of work performed; and establish and maintain effective working relationships.

Example Experience and Training

Four years journey-level Operator and/or Stationary Engineer experience in the maintenance, repair and operation of a variety of mechanical and electrical pumping and related plant machinery of a water or wastewater treatment plant; or four years journey-level experience as a Marine Engineer performing duties in the areas of maintenance, repair and operation of a variety of mechanical and electrical pumping and related machinery; or completion of a recognized four year Stationary Engineer apprenticeship program.

Special Requirements:  Must possess physical characteristics to perform the critical and important duties of the class.  Must be clean shaven at all times as required to wear respiratory protection equipment.  Must have sufficient strength to lift sacks of chemicals weighing up to 50 pounds.  Must be willing to work with and around chemicals used in the wastewater treatment process.  Must be willing to work shifts, weekends, holidays, and overtime as needed.  Must be willing to work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions.

Example Monthly Salary Range

Apprentice/Trainee $4,500 to $5,600
Journey-level $5,800 to $7,100
Supervisory $8,200 to $9,900

Source: BAYWORK Salary Survey, 2014.

Format Options:

Meryl Abramson, Lead Wastewater Treatment Operator, City of Hayward

Steven Chavis, Wastewater Treatment Operator III, Napa Sanitation District

Frank Favalora, Wastewater Treatment Operator, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District

Levi Fuller, Operations Supervisor and Chief Plant Operator, Dublin San Ramon Services District

Anna Garcia, Wastewater Treatment Operator, Dublin San Ramon Services District

Maurice Harper, Wastewater Treatment Operator at San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

Brice Hy, Wastewater Treatment Operator, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

Andrew Jellison, Operator-in-Training, Napa Sanitation District

Starlin Jones, Wastewater Treatment Operator, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District

Melissa Lovallo, operator-in-training at the City of Hayward Water Pollution Control Facility

Jose Flavio Medina, Wastewater Treatment Operator at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

Janet Odoms, Wastewater Treatment Operator, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

Gabe Snook, Wastewater Treatment Operator, Napa Sanitation District

Gabe Snook, Operador de Tratamient, el Distrito Sanitario de Napa- Spanish version

Michelle Tarantino, Wastewater Treatment Operator, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District

Sinzee Tran, Wastewater Treatment Operator 1, Dublin San Ramon Services District

Lolita Wilkins, Wastewater Treatment Operator, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission