Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Treatment Plant Operator III (#20006623)

General Statement

Under general supervision, has responsibility for the control of the routine sewage treatment process and the coordination of sewage pumping and disposal operations with this process at plants throughout the District, but primarily at the Stickney, North Side and Calumet plants.

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.

  • Using independent judgment, assigns, supervises and supervises and reviews work related to wastewater processing.  Rewards disciplines, directs or adjusts grievances of other employees or effectively recommends their transfer, suspension, promotion or discharge.  Normally acts in the capacity of shift supervisor.
  • Supervises or assists in the supervision of shift operators controlling the routine wastewater treatment process, including training, and the coordination of wastewater pumping and treatment plus solids processing operations associated with the overall treatment process, including tours of the wastewater facility and inspection of operating equipment.
  • Directs or coordinates the wastewater process, normally on a shift basis, seeing that proper adjustments are made in order to maintain quality of effluent and to insure continuous operation of the plant.  Must understand safety procedures and policies.
  • Directs the collection of process samples.  Determines or recommends process changes based upon current conditions and/or trends to insure an efficient and effective treatment process.  Must understand applicable effluent regulations and standards.
  • Coordinates or assists in the coordination of plant maintenance and construction project schedules to minimize tank outages and to insure the safety of all employees.
  • Completes written assignments including record keeping, budget preparation, description of malfunctioning equipment, performance appraisals, and daily operational and administrative records in a timely and proper manner.
  • Reacts in timely and efficient manner to treatment plant upsets and/or emergency conditions.  Determines cost-effective modes of treatment.

Other Job Functions

  • Coordinates sample transport including the operation of motorized vehicles.
  • Conducts special sampling and treatment evaluation programs as needed.
  • Occasionally manually operates gates, and valves.
  • 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

  • Thorough knowledge of routine sewage treatment processes and equipment in a computerized environment.
  • Thorough knowledge of wastewater treatment standards according to EPA and NPDES guidelines.
  • Thorough knowledge of the operation and adjustment of mechanical pumps.
  • Thorough knowledge of the principles, procedures and processes of scum removal.
  • Considerable knowledge of laboratory measuring devices, instruments and sampling equipment.
  • Considerable knowledge of safety practices and procedures.
  • Ability to read and understand a variety of dials, meters and gauges.
  • Ability to prepare and submit detailed operating reports of the sewage treatment process.
  • Ability to plan and supervise the work of others in a manner conducive to full performance and high morale.
  • Ability to identify noxious gases and oxygen deficiency.
  • Ability to make routine mathematical computations as specified by instructions.

Absolute Requirements

Certification by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency as a Class 1 wastewater treatment facility operator; candidates not possessing the required certification must have obtained it by the end of the probationary period.

Minimum Qualification Requirements

Graduation from a standard senior high school or the equivalent and seven years of experience in sewage 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 to a combined maximum of four years:

  • Credit for wastewater courses, to a maximum of two years;
  • Full-time study at an accredited college or university majoring in engineering or allied science to a maximum of two years; or laboratory or maintenance experience at a wastewater treatment facility to a maximum of one year; or a combination to a maximum of two years; and/or
  • Successful completion of a college program, one or more years in length, which includes actual operation of a wastewater treatment works, to a maximum of one year.

Promotional Requirement

  • One year of service with the District as a Treatment Plant Operator II.
  • Civil service status as a Treatment Plant Operator II.

CLASS: 20006623; EST: 1/1/1900; REV: 7/1/2013;