Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Chief Operating Engineer I (#20006859)

General Statement

Under direction, has charge of and supervises the operation and maintenance of all operating equipment, buildings and property at an assigned sewage treatment plant complex, including small plants, TARP structures and pumping stations.

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.
  • Plans, schedules and supervises the work of plant operating employees under his/her immediate jurisdiction, giving operating personnel instructions and training in job duties and safety practices; checks work and work reports for adherence to orders.
  • Prepares operating work schedules and orders to meet operating requirements at the water reclamation plant or pumping station; checks and approves time records.
  • Inspects and analyzes the operation and operating condition of plant equipment; diagnoses faulty equipment operation; investigates equipment failures; determines specified maintenance and repair requirements; revises operation production as required to ensure safe, efficient and continuous operation.
  • Interprets and enforces collective bargaining agreements pertaining to subordinate staff.
  • 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

  • Participates in special projects involving operational processes.
  • Diagnoses the electrical and mechanical malfunctions of operating equipment.
  • Inspects various causes of malfunctions in operating equipment; inspects piping, reviews changes in process flows.
  • Trouble-shoots causes of plant or equipment outages.
  • Requisitions and distributes materials and supplies required to accomplish tasks within the treatment plant or pumping station.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Environmental Conditions

Work is performed in a typical office environment and requires the use of standard office equipment including computers. Some duties may require field work that involves exposure to a variety of operating mechanical equipment and loud noise and/or noxious odors.  Field work may include working in all types of weather conditions, including extreme heat or cold, throughout the plant facility and collection system and may involve working in close proximity to or in conjunction with construction activities and heavy equipment.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Extensive knowledge of the operating characteristics and maintenance requirements of a wide variety of pumps, blowers, motors, boilers, and related mechanical and electrical equipment typical of sewage treatment plants and pumping stations.
  • Thorough knowledge of the occupational hazards and safety precautions of the work.
  • Knowledge of SCADA and DC process control systems.
  • Skill in diagnosing electrical, mechanical and related malfunctions of equipment and programming corrective action.
  • Ability to plan and supervise the work of others in a manner conducive to full performance and high morale.
  • Ability to supervise, schedule and coordinate work at several locations.
  • Ability to work cooperatively in groups.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing.

Absolute Requirements

Must possess a City of Chicago Stationary Engineer’s License.

Minimum Qualification Requirements

Graduation from a standard senior high school or the equivalent and eight years of experience in mechanical operating work at a sewage treatment plant or pumping station, two or more years of which shall have been equivalent to that of an Assistant Chief Operating Engineer.


Additional experience may substitute for the required education on a year-for-year basis.

Promotional Requirement

  • One year of service with the District as an Assistant Chief Operating Engineer.
  • Civil service status as an Assistant Chief Operating Engineer.

CLASS: 20006859; EST: 1/1/2016;