Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Supervising Environmental Chemist (#20003654)

General Statement

Under direction, is responsible for the work of the laboratory at a major sewage treatment works or supervises chemistry-related research and analyses, analytical studies applied to water, sewage, effluent, sludge, purchased or processed materials and supplies in any of the laboratories of the District.

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.

  • Assigns, supervises, and reviews work of subordinate personnel; rewards, disciplines, directs, or adjusts grievances; recommends their hiring, transfer, suspension, layoff, recall, promotion or discharge.
  • Oversees subordinates' safety and work rule compliance.
  • Evaluates work methods; establishes analytical methods; establishes rules and general laboratory policies.
  • Plans, directs, and supervises laboratory quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) program to ensure validity of laboratory test results.
  • Participates in training of subordinates.
  • Checks analyses and computations made in laboratory.
  • Forecasts material and personnel requirements through the budgeting process; plans and forecasts additional laboratory space requirements.
  • Participates in the functioning as necessary with the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) committee.

Other Job Functions

  • Prepares reports and transmits data.
  • Tests various purchased materials for adherence to contract specifications.
  • Represents the District at legal proceedings relative to validity of laboratory results.
  • Oversees requisition and proper use of laboratory supplies.
  • May perform the functions of the 90-day Hazardous Waste Storage Area Steward (Waste Steward) which involves maintaining the inventory, segregating chemicals based on compatibilities, conducting weekly inspections and notifying the Emergency Coordinator of any leaking containers, spills or releases.
  • 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.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Thorough knowledge of wastewater treatment processes and environmental regulations.
  • Thorough knowledge of environmental chemistry, laboratory and quality assurance policies and procedures, and chemistry-related research methodology.
  • Thorough knowledge of statistical methods used in data analysis and interpretation.
  • Considerable knowledge of environmental monitoring and chemistry-related research relative to the land application of municipal sludge.
  • Considerable knowledge of hazardous waste regulations and emergency procedures such as that obtained through 24-hour Hazardous Materials Specialist-level training (and annual 8-hour refresher training).
  • Considerable knowledge of District waste handling procedures.
  • Knowledge of computer systems used at the District to perform analyses and store data, particularly laboratory information management systems (LIMS).
  • Knowledge of analytical instruments and instrumentation systems.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to manage several projects concurrently.
  • Ability to plan and supervise the work of others in a manner conducive to full performance and high morale.

Minimum Qualification Requirements

Graduation from a four-year accredited college or university majoring in chemistry or chemical engineering, and six years of full time professional work making chemical analyses of water, sewage or industrial wastes, of which at least two years must have been in chemical work in problems of sewage treatment control and stream pollution, and of which at least two years must have been in responsible supervision of chemists.


Graduate study in chemistry or chemical engineering may be substituted for the required experience on a year-for-year basis to a maximum of three years. Experience overseeing quality systems of an analytical laboratory may be substituted for the required supervisory experience on a year-for-year basis.

Promotional Requirement

  • One year of service with the District as a Senior Environmental Chemist.
  • Civil service status as a Senior Environmental Chemist.

CLASS: 20003654; EST: 1/1/1900; REV: 1/1/2023;