Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Senior Environmental Microbiologist (#20003614)

General Statement

Under general direction, supervises, assigns, reviews, performs, participates in the microbiological monitoring and research to meet regulatory objectives and support wastewater treatment operations, water quality monitoring and public health protection.

Essential Job Functions

Essential job functions are fundamental, core functions common to positions in a classification.  They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all job duties for any one position in the class.  Since class specifications are designed to be descriptive and not restrictive, incumbents may complete one or all of the job duties listed or tasks of similar kind not specifically listed here.

  • Supervises Virology, Wastewater Microbiology and Molecular Microbiology Laboratory groups and provides support to the Bacteriology and Parasitology Laboratory groups.
  • Addresses and implements microbiological analytical methods and related applied research studies to support water quality regulatory development and treatment system improvements.
  • Ensures adherence to the established policies and procedures; instructs and provides training; performs technical tasks such as routine monitoring for permit compliance, ambient water quality monitoring, treatment plant operations assessment, and applied research projects.
  • Participates in the preparation and administration of the analytical microbiological laboratory program budget; submits budget recommendations; monitors laboratory equipment preventative service and repair contract.
  • Maintains valid laboratory certification, and audit and safety records.
  • Provides microbiological technical assistance to internal and external customers.
  • Prepares analytical and statistical reports summarizing and interpreting the microbiological results. As appropriate, submits for publication in professional journals.
  • Recommends and develops innovative ideas for projects to improve understanding of District treatment operations and service area waterways in support of the District mission/goals.
  • Develops microbiological training manual/program for laboratory staff.
  • Reviews proposed drafts of pending regulations for impact on District operations. Reviews current scientific literature as it pertains to District.
  • Participates and makes presentations at meetings, workshops and seminars.
  • Upon request serves on program/project task force committees and participates in outreach events.
  • Schedules, assigns, supervises and reviews work; ensures staff compliance with District policies and procedures including Personnel Rules and Administrative Procedures; completes performance reviews; addresses employee complaints and grievances; may recommend employment actions such as hiring, transfer, suspension, promotion or discharge.

Other Job Functions

  • Prepares annual budget for own groups, ensuring sufficient materials are on hand to carry our daily functions.
  • Writes purchase requisitions.
  • Responds to plant problems. Provides consultation and technical assistance to other District Divisions regarding microbiological methodologies and data interpretation as requested.
  • Responds to citizen complaints related to water quality.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Environmental Conditions

May involve exposure to a variety of chemical and biological materials, some of which may be hazardous or toxic. May involve exposure to fumes and noxious odors. May involve field work.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Considerable knowledge of the principles, practices and procedures of microbiology, molecular biology, bacteriology and virology.
  • Knowledge of emerging trends in the field of microbial water quality and procedures of environmental science and wastewater treatment processes.
  • Knowledge of the principles of laboratory safety, data integrity, and interpretation.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of effective supervision and administration.
  • Knowledge of budgeting and financial management.
  • Ability to prepare comprehensive technical reports.
  • Ability to plan and supervise the work of others in a manner conducive to full performance and high morale.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, orally and in writing.

Minimum Qualification Requirements

Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university majoring in microbiology, bacteriology, virology, biology or a closely related field and four years of experience in microbiology or a closely related field.


Graduate study in an appropriate academic specialty may be substituted for the required experience on a year-for-year basis.

Promotional Requirement

  • One year of service with the District as an Environmental Microbiologist or Associate Environmental Microbiologist.
  • Civil service status in one of the foregoing classifications.

CLASS: 20003614; EST: 1/1/1900; REV: 5/1/2017;