Water Treatment Operator II

  • Wastewater Treatment Operator
  • Rancho Santa Fe, CA
  • $73,222.16 - $95,188.81 Annually USD / Year
  • Salary: $73,222.16 - $95,188.81 Annually

Santa Fe Irrigation District

Under general supervision or direction, performs a wide variety of skilled and semi-skilled duties in the operation and maintenance of the District’s water treatment plant, lake management and water conveyance systems, facilities and equipment using the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to monitor, regulate, perform and evaluate water flows and treatment processes; collects water samples and performs laboratory analyses to ensure water quality standards are met; and performs related duties as assigned.


Water Treatment Plant Operators perform a range of routine to complex skilled duties involved in operating the District’s water treatment plant, lake management system and water conveyance facilities.


Water Treatment Operator I is the entry-level, operator-in-training class in the class series. While being trained and learning operations of SFID’s treatment plant and related facilities and systems, employees in this classification perform the most routine tasks associated with plant operations as allowable with a Water Treatment Operator Grade 1 certification.


Water Treatment Operator II is the first full working level in the class series. Employees perform a range of duties allowable with a Water Treatment Operator Grade 2 certification. Duties require greater knowledge of treatment processes and equipment operations together with demonstrated proficiency to perform such duties with less direct supervision.


Water Treatment Operator III is the skilled journey-level class in the class series. Work is performed independently with only the most unusual problems being referred to the Chief Water Treatment Operator. Work is typically reviewed by checks of logs, reports and periodic inspections of the plant and facilities. Operator IIIs perform a variety of skilled duties such as inspecting plant and system equipment and performing preventative and corrective maintenance including calibration of treatment plant analyzers and collecting samples and performing laboratory analysis duties.


On a rotational basis, Operator IIIs also serve as the shift operator for an assigned shift, with full responsibility for monitoring and operating the treatment plant and associated facilities on that shift. Work performed employees in this classification require a Water Treatment Operator Grade 3 certification.


Positions in this class series are flexibly staffed and are normally filled by advancement from lower class levels once required certifications are obtained and experience requirements met.


Examples of Duties



The duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to this class.

  • Operates water treatment plant facilities, including disinfection, coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation and filtration equipment including reservoirs, pumps, valves, motors and feeders; using SCADA system controls, adjusts pumps, flow valves and feeder systems to regulate the flow of water through the treatment plant to meet water quality standards in the most cost-effective manner; monitors plant inflows, water demands and upcoming weather conditions to ensure adequate water levels in plant clearwell and storage reservoirs to meet distribution system requirements.
  • Regularly monitors treatment processes by interpreting charts, graphs, gauges, meters and test results to determine treatment process requirements and ensure water quality standards are met; responds to treatment process changes; makes dosage adjustments to ensure chlorine residual and disinfection activation levels are maintained throughout the treatment process and in the distribution system; monitors filter performance to ensure stability and maintenance of turbidity levels; monitors analyzer data and troubleshoots fluctuations to identify root causes and required actions; informs the Chief Water Treatment Operator, co-workers and others of potential problems or hazards as required.
  • Collects samples of raw, partially treated and treated water; using various types of laboratory test equipment, performs process control laboratory analyses of chlorine residuals, turbidity, pH, conductivity, temperature, Langlier Saturation index, alkalinity, and total and calcium hardness; determines chemical dosing changes to ensure water quality standards are met for varying source water blends.
  • Using SCADA systems, monitors distribution system operations; notifies systems maintenance and distribution personnel in the event of communications interruptions and changes in flows due to potential main breaks, fire hydrant damage or other abnormalities.
  • Conducts regular plant inspections and performs preventative and corrective maintenance and calibration of plant analyzers, chlorine residual meters, turbidimeters and particle counters; adjusts flows to ensure chemical reagents are feeding properly; flushes and rotates sample lines and pumps; rebuilds analyzers; schedules and maintains records of quarterly and annual servicing by manufacturers; maintains records of instrument maintenance and calibration as required by state and federal regulations.
  • Monitors and adjusts dewatering facility processes and equipment, including sedimentation basins, chemical dosages, mixing pumps, holding tanks, sludge thickener and centrifuge equipment; responds to alarms and adjusts processes based on water sources and blends; operates skip loaders to clean sludge from sedimentation basins and arranges for sludge removal.
  • Communicates with maintenance personnel regarding maintenance and repair issues with plant, lake and conveyance system facilities and equipment and SCADA system operations; makes inspections and may participate in performing preventive maintenance and servicing of mechanical and electric/electronic equipment and facilities.
  • Monitors lake management system equipment and facilities and the filling and recycling of reservoirs; records lake temperatures and clarity; inspects pump stations and facilities including motors, compressors and chemical feed systems; monitors flows; applies algae control and other water quality methods; ensures water storage meets fire flow requirements.
  • Generates purchase orders for parts and chemical reagents for review and approval by the Chief Water Treatment Operator.
  • Completes and maintains a variety of logs and reports including daily water quality reports.
  • Acts for the Water Quality Laboratory Analyst in that individual’s absence; receives plant and distribution system water samples and sets up and conducts chemical and biological testing and analyses; mixes and prepares laboratory chemicals; may participate in performing annual proficiency testing required for the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program.
  • Responds during emergency situations, as required, including occurrences after normal working hours and HAZMAT-related events such as hazardous release incidents.
  • May perform standby duty and follow the standby duty procedures including the response time requirement of sixty (60) minutes.
  • Performs assigned duties while observing District safety policies and procedures and following safe working practices.

Water Treatment Operator III – Shift Operator Assignment

  • Serves as the Shift Operator for an assigned shift; while on shift, regularly monitors plant analyzers and performs process control laboratory analyses to identify any changes in titration requiring changes in flows and/or chemical dosing; monitors and responds or dispatches other operators to respond to SCADA alarms for plant and distribution system equipment, communications and other systems and facilities.
  • Confers with the Chief Water Treatment Operator if process parameters may not be maintained and changes in treatment operations may be needed to meet water quality standards and varying levels of demand.
  • Coordinates activities with other District staff and agencies during scheduled and emergency plant shutdowns, ensuring water quality parameters are achieved.


  • Conducts annual filter surveillance inspections to identify any inadequacies in filter conditions, detect mudballs and analyze other filter-related issues requiring actions.
  • Receives delivery and monitors the offloading and storage of chemicals, ensuring safety procedures are followed; updates inventory records; tests shipments for standards compliance.
  • Manipulates intakes at the Lake Hodges Dam; participates in annual and periodic dam inspections.
  • Responds to customer calls regarding water quality and related matters; conducts tours of the treatment plant.
  • Performs related duties as assigned.


Typical Qualifications



Any combination of experience and training that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:


  • Education as required by the State of California Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to obtain and retain required certifications:
Class Applicable SWCRB Certification Required
Water Treatment Operator I Water Treatment Operator, Grade I
Water Treatment Operator II Water Treatment Operator, Grade 2
Water Treatment Operator III Water Treatment Operator, Grade 3


  • Experience in the operations of a water treatment plant comparable in size and complexity to Santa Fe Irrigation District:
Class Required Experience
Water Treatment Operator I Some experience in the operations of a potable water treatment plant
Water Treatment Operator II Two years of experience as a water treatment operator, Grade 1
Water Treatment Operator III Two years of experience as a Water Treatment Operator, Grade 2



For each of the classifications in the Water Treatment Operator class series, the expected scope and level of detail for each of the knowledges and the degree of demonstrated skills and abilities required are based on the certifications required for each of the levels.

Knowledge of:

  • Treatment processes, equipment and systems used in water treatment facilities including chemical feed systems, pumping systems, water quality monitoring instrumentation and other mechanical and electrical/electronic systems.
  • Principles, practices and procedures used in conducting chemical and biological water quality laboratory analyses as applicable to the treatment of surface water for municipal use.
  • Local, state and federal laws and regulations regarding the production, treatment, storage and transmission of potable water, including the Safe Drinking Water Act and relevant EPA regulations.
  • Principles, practices, methods and techniques in the use of supervisory process control (SCADA) systems for the monitoring and management of water treatment and conveyance processes.
  • Use and operations of business and specialized computer applications and other office equipment required for the work.
  • District safety policies, procedures and safe work practices applicable to the work, particularly as related to hazardous materials.

Skills and Abilities to:

  • Operate a wide variety of pumping, treatment and control equipment, using SCADA systems, for the treatment and distribution of potable water to District customers while consistently meeting or exceeding water quality standards.
  • Operate and maintain a variety of hand and power tools used in the work.
  • Accurately read meters, gauges, valve books, blueprints and schematic drawings.
  • Conduct laboratory tests and analyses accurately and efficiently and prepare and maintain logs and records to meet operating and regulatory requirements.
  • Make proficient use of business applications including word processing and database software and other specialized and technical computer systems required to carry out assigned duties.
  • Prepare complete and accurate records and reports and other written materials; maintain accurate records and files.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively orally and in writing.
  • Understand and follow written and oral instructions.
  • Exercise sound judgment within established policies and procedures.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with District managers, employees, customers, the public and others encountered in the course of work.


A valid California driver’s license and the ability to maintain insurability under the District’s vehicle insurance program.

Certifications issued by the State Water Resources Control Board are required:


Class Certification Required
Water Treatment Operator I Water Treatment Operator, Grade I
Water Treatment Operator II Water Treatment Operator, Grade 2
Water Treatment Operator III Water Treatment Operator, Grade 3


Training to operate an off-road fork truck is required for certain assignments.

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