County of Alameda

Water Quality Chemist, Zone 7 (#4950)

Bargaining Unit: SEIU 1021 - Zone 7/Clerk (059)
$56.71-$68.93 Hourly / $4,536.80-$5,514.40 BiWeekly /
$9,829.73-$11,947.87 Monthly / $117,956.80-$143,374.40 Yearly

Under general supervision, to conduct a variety of physical, chemical and microbiological testing and analysis of water; to prepare and maintain laboratory standard operating procedures, records and reports; to test, calibrate and maintain laboratory equipment; and to perform related work as required.


This is a fully-qualified journey-level water quality chemist classification performing standard and complex tests and analyses to ensure water quality and compliance with regulatory requirements for Zone 7's water treatment and distribution system. In addition to shared responsibilities for water quality testing and analysis, incumbents may have individual accountability for an area of laboratory operations, such as quality assurance, or instrumentation and supplies. Incumbents in this classification may provide direction to Laboratory Technicians. This classification is distinguished from the next higher level of Water Quality Laboratory Supervisor, Zone 7, which is a full supervisory classification with overall responsibility for the Zone 7 water quality laboratory.

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. Conducts inorganic chemical analyses such as chlorides, nitrites, nitrates, bromides, sulfates, alkalinity, hardness and related parameters using ion chromatography, flow injection analysis, and wet chemistry techniques.

2. Conducts organic chemical analysis for volatile and semi-volatile organic, pesticides, disinfection by-products and other EPA "500 Series" drinking water analyses using gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, and high-performance liquid chromatography.

3. Conducts trace metals analysis by atomic absorption and emission spectroscopy (graphite furnace, flame and cold vapor mercury analyzer, potentiometric stripping).

4. Conducts bacteriological tests of water samples such as colilert method coliform testing, multiple tube fermentation, and heterotrophic plate counts.

5. Conducts gravimetric and physical tests of water samples, such as turbidity, conductivity, pH, and suspended and dissolved solids.

6. Reduces, analyzes and validates data.

7. Maintains various records and prepares a variety of periodic and special reports of data and results as required by Standard Methods, sound operations, Water Resources Section, and regulatory agencies.

8. Adapts published analytical methods for Zone 7 laboratory operations; prepares and maintains laboratory operating procedures and quality assurance manuals.

9. Verifies equipment functioning using known standard samples; troubleshoots, adjusts, calibrates and maintains equipment; determines need for further repairs; sets up and tests new laboratory equipment.

10. Monitors stock levels and maintains laboratory supplies; changes gas tanks.

11. Conducts special analyses and studies to support operations and modifications projects.

12. Trains and provides direction to Laboratory Technicians.

13. Maintains current knowledge of new techniques and equipment, the requirements and recommendations of American Water Works Association, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Health Services, and other organizations; and analyzes performance evaluation samples to maintain laboratory certification.

14. Collects water samples in field; operates Zone 7 vehicles.


Graduation from an accredited college or university with specialization in chemistry, microbiology, or a similar science, which included courses in analytical chemistry or microbiology.

The equivalent of two years of full-time experience performing analytical chemistry in a regulated laboratory setting, which has included experience in wet chemistry techniques, atomic absorption, flow injection, gas and liquid chromatography, and ion chromatography.


Possession of a valid California driver's license.

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

NOTE: The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the “Examples of Duties” section of this specification.

Knowledge of:

• Principles of organic and inorganic chemistry, and basic microbiology.
• Methods and techniques of chemical, physical, and microbiological water quality testing and analysis, including wet chemistry techniques, atomic absorption and emission, flow injection, gas and liquid chromatography, and ion chromatography.
• Operation, testing, calibration, minor maintenance and set up of sophisticated water quality laboratory equipment, including computer operated equipment.
• American Water Works Association, EPA, California Department of Health Services and other standards and regulations applicable to water quality testing, record keeping, reporting and compliance.
• Statistics and computer applications applicable to water quality laboratory work.
• Laboratory precautions and safe working practices.

Ability to:

• Perform standard and complex organic and inorganic chemistry and microbiological testing and analysis.
• Interpret and explain results.
• Analyze and validate data.
• Operate and care for sophisticated water quality laboratory equipment.
• Prepare and maintain a variety of records and reports.
• Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of the work.

Old document: 1250h
New document: Jobspecs/4950
CSC Date: 5/18/94


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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