County of Alameda

Water Plant Operator I, Zone 7 (#4942)

Bargaining Unit: SEIU 1021 - Zone 7/Clerk (059)
$52.59-$57.95 Hourly / $4,207.20-$4,636.00 BiWeekly /
$9,115.60-$10,044.67 Monthly / $109,387.20-$120,536.00 Yearly


Under general supervision, to operate, inspect, and maintain water treatment plant, well field and distribution system equipment and facilities; and to perform related duties as required.  


Water Plant Operator I/II/III is a flexibly-staffed class series with work normally performed at the III level, but with initial selection possible at either the I, II or III level.    

Water Plant Operator I is the first-level trainee classification in the series.  Under close supervision, individuals receive on-the-job training in treatment plant, well field and distribution system operations.   Water Plant Operator I’s are expected to gain experience and demonstrate proficiency which qualifies them to flexibly promote to the Water Plant Operator II.  Upon successful completion of six (6) months as a Water Plant Operator I, the incumbent may be considered for potential flexing up to a Water Plant Operator II based on demonstrated ability to perform at the higher level and possession of the required certification.  Appointment at the I level will not be extended beyond 24 months.


NOTE:    The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification.  However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level.  Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

  1. Utilizes Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to ensure efficient operation of the water treatment and distribution systems including water treatment plants, wells, water storage tanks, pump stations, and related facilities; monitors flow and pressure; and responds to alarms.
  2. Operates and monitors pumps, valves, and related equipment to regulate the flow of water through a treatment plant or other portions of a water distribution system; starts, adjusts and shuts down plant operations, and/or adjusts well field and distribution system flows to meet production and storage requirements and water quality standards.
  3. Takes water samples and performs standardized laboratory testing, such as chlorine residual, pH, turbidity, temperature, taste and odor; calculates chemical dosages and adjusts chemical feeders as necessary to maintain water quality.
  4. Controls filter operations; removes from service and backwashes filters as needed.
  5. Reads and interprets meters, gauges, charts, and instruments; logs plant operations, test results, unusual operating conditions, maintenance work performed, and related information; enters data into computer; prepares routine and special oral and written reports as required.
  6. Periodically inspects and tests motors, pumps, valves, chemical feeders and related equipment; reports unusual conditions and/or the need for maintenance and repair of equipment, buildings and grounds.
  7. Takes inventory of chemicals and other treatment supplies; orders chemicals according to standard procedures; receives chemicals and supplies delivered during assigned shift and assists in their safe unloading and storage; handles hazardous materials in accordance with safety rules and procedures.
  8. Lubricates and makes limited repairs and adjustments to equipment; maintains the plant and operating equipment in clean and orderly condition; assists in periodic cleaning of basins and pulsators, flushing of lines and related maintenance.
  9. Answers and relays or responds to incoming telephone calls; provides information and assistance to customers, other agencies and the general public.
  10. May perform routine housekeeping tasks and/or supplemental painting and grounds maintenance tasks.
  11. May operate radio communication equipment, motor vehicles, forklifts and/or hoists in the performance of duties.
  12. Observes safe work methods and makes appropriate use of related safety equipment as required.
  13. Performs related duties as assigned.



The equivalent of six (6) months of full-time experience involving the operation and maintenance of mechanical equipment.  


  • Possession of a valid California driver’s license.
  • Possession of a valid Grade I Water Treatment Operator Certificate issued by the California Department of Health Services.


  • Work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions.
  • Work rotating shifts, weekends, holidays, and in emergencies.
  • Work with and around hazardous chemicals.
  • Wear respiratory protection equipment, including self-contained breathing apparatus.
  • Wear respiratory protective equipment including remaining sufficiently clean shaven to safely facilitate the donning of specified equipment.
  • Complete necessary Continuing Education (CEU) as required to obtain, maintain, and renew requisite California Department of Public Health Certification.
  • Requires sufficient physical strength and agility to perform equipment operation, inspection and maintenance tasks, and to unload, store and transfer supplies and equipment.
  • Requires repetitive use of feet and hands to operative vehicles, equipment, and tools.    

NOTE:   The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.


NOTE:    The required level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities relate to the level of the position as defined in the distinguishing characteristics.      

Knowledge of:         

  • Water treatment principles, practices, methods, tools, and equipment.
  • Operation, basic maintenance and cleaning of water treatment plant and distribution system equipment and facilities, including centrifugal pumps, electrical motors, and piping and control systems.
  • Mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic principles.
  • Safety rules, regulations, and work practices, particularly in reference to hazardous chemicals.
  • Standard chemical and physical tests of water. 
  • Basic arithmetical calculations.  

Ability to:

  • Performing treatment plant and distribution system operations and maintenance activities, using sound independent judgment within established guidelines.
  • Recognizing unusual, inefficient, or dangerous operating conditions and taking appropriate action.
  • Making operating and maintenance adjustments to water treatment and distribution equipment and facilities.
  • Work within confined spaces (underground, inside buildings, etc.)
  • Performing general mechanical tasks.
  • Performing standard water quality tests.
  • Reading, interpreting, and recording data from charts, gauges, and meters.
  • Keeping accurate records and preparing simple reports.
  • Making basic arithmetical calculations quickly and accurately.
  • Using a computer keyboard to enter and retrieve information.
  • Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.
  • Lifting sacks of chemicals weighing up to 55 pounds.
  • Speak to verbally exchange ideas and information.
  • Hear and receive verbal detailed information and instruction. 
  • See at arm’s length to twenty feet with a sufficient field of vision.
  • Distinguish basic colors.
  • Walk, stand, and climb for sustained periods of time.
  • Finger dexterity and hand strength to operate and grasp tools and equipment on a daily basis.


Old document:  4942h


New document:  Jobspecs/4942-4943-4944


CSC Date:  1/20/99

DR:sa Revised 05/18/2021

CSC Date: 07/14/2021


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees) 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 12 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.


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