Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Treatment Plant Operator I (#20006621)

General Statement

Under supervision, controls and coordinates the routine wastewater treatment process operation at a wastewater treatment plant.

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.
  • Coordinates the wastewater treatment process and/or individual sections of the wastewater facility, seeing that proper adjustments are made to maintain quality of effluent and to ensure continuous operation of the plant.  Includes the manual operation of valves, gates, etc.  Must understand safety procedures and policies.
  • Conducts first-hand inspection of all operating equipment during rounds to check operating performance and reports deficiencies.
  • Conducts or oversees the collection of process samples, including transportation, and laboratory tests to ensure an efficient and effective treatment process.
  • Completes daily treatment information sheets and prepares process data reports.
  • Reacts in timely and efficient manner to treatment plant upsets and/or emergency conditions.

Other Job Functions

  • Conducts special sampling and treatment evaluation programs as needed.
  • Conducts tours. 
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Environmental Conditions

May involve exposure to a variety of operating mechanical equipment and loud noise and/or noxious odors.  May include working in all types of weather conditions throughout the plant facility and collection system.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Some knowledge of the operating equipment used in the wastewater treatment process.
  • Some knowledge of wastewater treatment standards according to EPA and NPDES guidelines.
  • Some knowledge of the operation and adjustment of mechanical pumps.
  • Some knowledge of safety principles and practices.
  • Some knowledge of laboratory measuring devices, instruments and sampling equipment.
  • Ability to read and understand a variety of dials, meters, gauges and DCS equipment status and trends.
  • Ability to prepare and keep detailed logs of activities. 
  • 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 standard senior high school or the equivalent and two years of sub-professional experience in engineering, scientific or treatment plant operations activities or two years of laborer experience in wastewater treatment plant operations at a facility with a Group 1 designation by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.


The following may be substituted for the required experience:
  • Full time study at an accredited college or university majoring in engineering or science may be substituted for the required experience on a year-for-year basis.          
  • Completion of the one-year full-time certificate program for wastewater treatment system operators such as that offered by the Environmental Resources Training Center (ERTC) may be substituted for the required experience.    
  • Completion of comprehensive wastewater treatment plant operations courses as defined in the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency wastewater operator certification guide may be substituted for three months of the required experience for each course taken to a maximum of one year.
  • Possession of a Class 4 or higher certificate of competency in wastewater treatment works operations issued by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency may be substituted for one year the required experience.

Promotional Requirement

  • None

CLASS: 20006621; EST: 1/1/1900; REV: 6/30/2023;