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Recruitment #23-MT3-AA





THE JOB: This is the journey level in the Treatment Plant Operator series. Under general supervision, to perform difficult and complex operations and maintenance functions for the County’s wastewater and water treatment plants; to function as a lead worker to trainee operators; may act as chief plant operator for a class II or I wastewater treatment plant; and to perform other duties as required.

Employment Standards

THE REQUIREMENTS: Any combination of education and experience which would provide the required knowledges and abilities is qualifying, unless otherwise specified. A typical way to obtain these knowledges and abilities would be:


Two years of experience comparable to a Treatment Plant Operator in Training in Santa Cruz County. One year as a Sanitation Maintenance Worker II may be substituted for one year of experience as a Treatment Plant Operator in Training.




License Requirement: Possession upon hire, of a valid California Class C driver license and a Grade I or higher Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Certification issued by the California State Water Resources Control Board. Within two years, possession of a Grade II Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Certificate.


Special Working Conditions: Exposure to: variable temperatures and weather conditions; confined work spaces; heights, such as on ladders; high level of noise; strong, unpleasant odors; infections which might cause chronic disease or death; electrical hazards; raw sewage; dust; and the possibility of experiencing burns, bodily injury or contact with toxic substances or chemical irritants.


Other Special Requirements: Availability to work irregular hours, including weekends and holidays, as well as responding to 24- hour emergency calls.


Knowledge: Working knowledge of regulations related to confined space entry requirements; the methods, materials and tools used to operate maintain, monitor and repair water and wastewater treatment plants; safety practices required in water and wastewater treatment operations; and regulations related to the treatment, transmission and disposal of water and wastewater. Some knowledge of the application of data processing to sanitation operations.


Ability to: Operate a microscope and recognize the organisms pertinent to an activated sludge plant; perform appropriate analytical tests as required to operate a plant and collection systems; maintain and operate a standby generator; diagnose malfunctions in wastewater and water treatment plants and determine appropriate corrective action; read, understand, interpret and apply regulations relating to water and wastewater treatment standards; operate a computer to input, access, and analyze data; assist in estimating equipment, material and labor needs; maintain records and prepare reports and correspondence; establish effective working relationships; lift items weighing up to 75 pounds; perform tasks requiring strength, such as lifting equipment onto trucks, climbing over rough terrain and pulling hoses up embankments; drive and operate vehicles and equipment necessary for operating a treatment plant; and distinguish colors, such as color-coded wires or chemical test.  




ANNUAL LEAVE - 22 days first year, increasing to 37 days after 15 years of service.  Available for vacation and/or sick leave.

HOLIDAYS - 14 paid holidays per year.

BEREAVEMENT LEAVE - 3 days paid in California, 5 days paid out-of-state.

MEDICAL PLAN - The County contracts with CalPERS for a variety of medical plans.  For most plans, County contributions pay a majority of the premiums for employees and eligible dependents.

DENTAL PLAN - County pays for employee and eligible dependent coverage.

VISION PLAN - County pays for employee coverage. Employee may purchase eligible dependent coverage.

RETIREMENT - Pension formula 2% at age 60 or 2% at age 62 as determined based on provisions of the CA Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013(PEPRA). Pension benefit determined by final average compensation of three years.  County participates in Social Security. 

LIFE INSURANCE - County paid $20,000 term policy.  Employee may purchase additional life insurance.

DISABILITY INSURANCE - Employees in the General Representation Unit participate in the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. This program is funded 100% by employee payroll deductions.

DEPENDENT-CARE PLAN - Employees who make contributions for child or dependent care may elect to have their contributions made utilizing “pre-tax dollars.”

H-CARE PLAN - Employees who pay a County medical premium may elect this pre-tax program.

HEALTH CARE FLEXIBLE SPENDING ALLOWANCE (HCFSA) - Employees may elect this pre-tax program to cover qualifying health care expenses.

DEFERRED COMPENSATION - A deferred compensation plan is available to employees

Selection Plan

THE EXAMINATION: Your application and supplemental questionnaire will be reviewed to determine if you have met the education, experience, training and/or licensing requirements as stated on the job announcement. If you meet these criteria and are one of the best qualified, you may be required to compete in any combination of written, oral and/or performance examinations or a competitive evaluation of training and experience as described on your application and supplemental questionnaire. You must pass all components of the examination to be placed on the eligible list. The examination may be eliminated if there are ten or fewer qualified applicants. If the eligible list is established without the administration of the announced examination, the life of the eligible list will be six months and your overall score will be based upon an evaluation of your application and supplemental questionnaire. If during those six months it is necessary to administer another examination for this job class, you will be invited to take the examination to remain on the eligible list.


HOW TO APPLY: Apply Online Now!  Click on the link below; or print out an application and supplemental questionnaire and mail/bring them to: Santa Cruz County Personnel Department, 701 Ocean Street, Room 510, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060.  For information, call (831) 454-2600.  Hearing Impaired TDD/TTY: 711.  Applications will meet the final filing date if received in one of the following ways:  1) in the Personnel Department by 5:00 p.m. on the final filing date, 2) submitted online before midnight of the final filing date. 

Women, people of color and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. If you have a disability that requires test accommodation, please call (831) 454-2600.


To comply with the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, Santa Cruz County verifies that all new employees are either U.S. citizens or persons authorized to work in the U.S.


Some positions may require Fingerprinting and/or Background Investigation.



Note: Provisions of this bulletin do not constitute an expressed or implied contract.


County of Santa Cruz



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