2481 Water Quality Technician

Recruitment #CBT-2481-109057


San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC)
Headquartered in San Francisco, we have 2,300 employees working in seven counties with a combined annual operating budget of over $900 million.

Our Mission: To provide our customers with high quality, efficient, and reliable water, power, and wastewater services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care.
Our Vision: We are an innovative utility leader, recognized for excellent results in service, safety, stewardship, and inclusiveness.

We are an award-winning and industry-leading utilities organization committed to our customers and the environment. We are proud of our infrastructure and programs, but most importantly, we value our highly qualified and dedicated workforce which ensures that this vision becomes a reality. As you explore career opportunities with us, download our career guideTo learn more about our organization, please visit our website at www.sfwater.org


Under general supervision, performs field and laboratory technician duties related to water and wastewater treatment plant operations, industrial discharge compliance pretreatment and source control program; performs chemical and microbiological analyses, keeps detailed and accurate records and enters laboratory data into information management systems; conforms to laboratory safe practices.


  • Perform complex physical, chemical and microbiological laboratory analyses of drinking and wastewater samples. Prepares reports evaluating treatment plant performance, distributes data summaries to laboratory clients, works with laboratory clients to provide specialized services.
  • Prepares samples for the analysis of trace elements using filtration and acid digestion techniques, operates complex inorganic chemical instrumentation under close supervision; assists inorganic section chemists to complete analyses.
  • Prepares samples for the analysis of trace organic constituents using solvent extraction, evaporation and filtration techniques; operates complex organic chemical instrumentation under direct supervision; assists organic section chemists to complete analyses within client stipulated completion deadlines.
  • Conducts fee constituent analyses [BOD, TSS, and Oil/Grease] as necessary on samples of industrial discharges to the sewer system collected by the source control and pretreatment field section to determine the effectiveness of water or wastewater treatment plant. 
  • Assists microbiologists as necessary to conduct coliform analyses on water, wastewater and seawater samples. Prepares reagents, sterilizes glassware, materials and equipment, filters samples, uses sterile technique to minimize contamination, records and enters data as appropriate.
  • Receives samples for the Laboratory Control section, creates batches, performs analyses according to certified EPA methods, enters data generated analysis, submits data for review to Senior Chemists, returns samples for archiving as necessary to the Sample Control sections.
  • Conducts analyses in accordance with established QA/QC protocols, records accuracy and precision measurements, evaluates contamination through blank analyses, works with QA/QC section to improve technique.
  • Conducts analyses following all laboratory or field safe practices, wears personnel protective equipment as required; provides guidance to less experienced personnel on the use of safe laboratory/field practices; works with laboratory/field safety section to create a safe and healthy working environment.
  • Collects water samples for chemical and microbiological test and filter water samples for parasite analyses (e.g. Cryptosporidium, Giardia) from various water sources.
  • Collects water samples from various sources including drinking water reservoirs, transmission lines, tanks, outlets, systems, groundwater,  water and wastewater treatment plants, wastewater collection systems, beaches, marine and estuarine waterbodies using approved procedures for regulatory monitoring and studies.
  • Performs monthly field equipment calibration checks; prepares standard solutions for calibrating colorimeters, turbidimeters, and pH meters.
  • Calibrates field equipment using specialized field or laboratory instruments, such as 2100 ANT Turbidimeter, HACH SL1000, HACH DR900, HORIBA Multiparameters, HACH 2100Q Turbidimeter, HACH MP6,DR2000 spectrophotometer, and Microprocessor lonanalyzer/90.
  • Follows methods, procedures, rules, and regulations pertaining to customer water services and applicable water conservation programs.
  • Maintains appropriate inventory of materials, supplies, and equipment to support the field services section in performing its assigned duties.
  • Conducts special sampling in remote areas of the watershed.
  • Provides instructions and training to staff in the procedures and techniques of sampling, field documentation, field quality assurance practices, and interpretation of requirements and regulations.
  • Performs maintenance and calibration of all portable field equipment and instrumentation. Operates all field monitoring equipment. Performs diagnostics of inoperative equipment.
  • Evaluates field sampling and documentation for conformance with quality assurance standards. Conducts field analyses in accordance with established QA/QC protocols; conducts quality assurance audits and prepares reports and summaries as required. Records accuracy and precision measurements. Works with QA/QC section to improve techniques.
  • Performs complex physical chemical, microbiological, and parasite sampling and field tests such as Free/Total Chlorine, Free Ammonia, Nitrite, pH, Conductivity, Turbidity, Temperature and other parameters.
  • Performs other related duties as required of 2481 class.

Equal Employment Opportunity:  The City and County of San Francisco encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to apply. Applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (associated with cancer, a history of cancer, or genetic characteristics), HIV/AIDS status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category under the law.

Minimum Qualifications

  1. Valid Driver's License AND;
  2. Completion of high school or its equivalent AND eighteen (18) months (equivalent to 3,000 hours) verifiable experience in a water or wastewater utility performing laboratory and/or field technician duties as described in Note A and Note B, OR
  3. Possession of an associate degree from an accredited college or university with coursework in biology, chemistry, microbiology, engineering or a related field OR
  4. Participation in the 9916 Public Service Aide Training Program with twelve (12) months of laboratory experience performing laboratory and/or field technician duties as described in Note A or Note B.
Notes on Qualifying Experience:
A: Qualifying laboratory experience must include conducting routine analyses such as turbidity, total suspended solids and pH; or assisting chemist or biologists conducting more advance analysis such as bioassays.

B: Qualifying field experience must include collecting water samples; conducting analyses such as free and total chlorine, free ammonia and nitrite; and completing sample documentation and chain of custody records. 

Additional qualifications (i.e. special conditions) may apply to particular positions.
Certification as a Water Distribution Operator - D1 may be required for certain positions.  

Applicants must meet the minimum qualification requirement by the final filing date unless otherwise noted. All information substantiating how you meet minimum qualifications must be included in the “Education” and “Employment Record” sections of the City and County of San Francisco application. A resume does NOT substitute for this section of the City application and will NOT be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Verification: Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process.

Note: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.
If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at http://sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=456. 

Verification of required work experience typically must be on the employer’s letterhead, and must include the applicant’s name, job title, description of job duties, dates of employment, hours per week, and signature of the employer, supervisor, or appropriate representative.

Employees of the City and County of San Francisco may submit performance evaluations showing duties performed to verify qualifying City experience. City employees will receive credit for the duties of the class to which appointed. Credit for experience obtained outside of the employee's class will be allowed only if recorded in accordance with the provisions of Civil Service Commission Rules. CCSF employees will not receive credit for experience obtained outside of their classification unless recorded in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Rule 110.9.1/111A.11.2.

Experience claimed in self-employment will only be accepted if supported by documents verifying income, earnings, business license and experience comparable to minimum qualifications above. Copies of income tax papers or other documents listing occupation and total earnings must be submitted.

How To Apply

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit http://www.jobaps.com/sf to register an account (if you have not already done so) and begin the application process.

  • Selection desired job announcement  
  • Select "Apply" and read and acknowledge the information
  • Select either "I am a New User" if you have not previously registered, or "I have Registered Previously"
  • Follow instructions on the screen

In line with the Official Public Health Order to slow the spread of COVID-19, “shelter-in-place” has been issued for all San Francisco residents that is expected to be in effect until further notice. As a result, Department of Human Resources (DHR)’s office (located at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103) is currently closed to the general public. If you have any questions, please feel free to email the Human Resources Analyst listed on this announcement.

Applicants may be contacted by email about this announcement and, therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure that their registered email address is accurate and kept up-to-date. Also, applicants must ensure that email from CCSF is not blocked on their computer by a spam filter. To prevent blocking, applicants should set up their email to accept CCSF mail from the following addresses (@sfgov.org, @sfdpw.org, @sfport.com, @flysfo.com, @sfwater.org, @sfdph.org, @asianart.org, @sfmta.com, @sfpl.org, @dcyf.org, @first5sf.org). Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file. Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records. Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received.

Word of advice:
All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline. Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Applications completed improperly may be cause for ineligibility, disqualification or may result in lower scores. If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the exam analyst, Michelle Chee, by email at mchee@sfwater.org.

Selection Procedures

Minimum Qualifications Supplemental Questionnaire (MQSQ - Qualifying)
Applicants must complete the Supplemental Questionnaire along with the application by the final filing deadline. The information provided on the Minimum Qualifications Supplemental Questionnaire (MQSQ) must be consistent with the information on the application and is subject to verification. Responses to the questionnaire will be used to assist in determining if applicants meet the minimum qualifications.

Supplemental Questionnaire Exam (100%)
In order to be ranked and scored on the eligible list, all applicants must complete the Supplemental Questionnaire Exam. The exam will evaluate the experience, knowledge, skills and abilities that candidates possess in job-related areas.  They include, but are not limited to:  knowledge of QA/QC procedures and requirements, knowledge of laboratory practices, ability to operate water testing laboratory or field equipment, technical abilities, analytical abilities, and communications skills.   

A passing score must be achieved on the Supplemental Questionnaire Exam in order to continue in the selection process and be placed on the eligible list.

Candidates will be placed on the eligible list in rank order according to their final score. Candidate scores on this examination may also be applied to other announcements involving other job titles, when directed by the Human Resources Director.

Certification Rule:
The certification rule for the ranked eligible lists resulting from this examination will be Rule of Ten (10) Scores. The department may administer additional position-specific selection procedures to make final hiring decisions.

Eligible List/Score Report:
A confidential eligible list of applicant names that have passed the civil service examination process will be created and used for certification purposes only. An examination score report will be established, so applicants can view the ranks, final scores and number of eligible candidates. Applicant information, including names of applicants on the eligible list, shall not be made public unless required by law. However, an eligible list shall be made available for public inspection, upon request, once the eligible list is exhausted or expired and referrals resolved. The eligible list/score report resulting from this civil service examination process is subject to change after adoption (e.g., as a result of appeals), as directed by the Human Resources Director or the Civil Service Commission.

The duration of the eligible list resulting from this examination process will be 12 months, and may be extended with the approval of the Human Resources Director.

Upon approval of the Human Resource Director (see Civil Service Rule 111A.26.5), the eligible list/score report resulting from this announcement may be used by other departments that also use this classification or a similar classification. To find other Departments which use this classification, please see https://sfdhr.org/sites/default/files/documents/ASO-Level-Chart.pdf?documentID=21246.

Conviction History

As a selected candidate for a job, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction (or arrest, in limited circumstances) conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you are a selected candidate. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances, such as:

  • Candidates for positions with the Unified School District and the Community College District may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under the California Education Code.
  • Candidates for positions with the Recreation and Park Department may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under California Public Resources Code 5164.

Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with the City.

If you are a selected candidate, the hiring department will contact you to schedule a fingerprinting appointment.

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.


Terms of Announcement and Appeal Rights

Applicants must be guided solely by the provisions of this announcement, including requirements, time periods and other particulars, except when superseded by federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations.  [Note: The correction of clerical errors in an announcement may be posted on the Department of Human Resources website at www.jobaps.com/sf.] The terms of this announcement may be appealed under Civil Service Rule 110.4.  Such appeals must be submitted in writing to the Department of Human Resources, 1 S Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103-5413 by close of business on the 5th business day following the issuance date of this examination announcement.  Information concerning other Civil Service Commission Rules involving announcements, applications and examination policies, including applicant appeal rights, can be found on the Civil Service Commission website at http://sfgov.org/civilservice/rules.

General Information concerning City and County of San Francisco Employment Policies and Procedures
Important Employment Information for the City and County of San Francisco can be obtained at http://sfdhr.org/information-about-hiring-process or hard copy at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor.

Copies of Application Documents:
Applicants should keep copies of all documents submitted, as these will not be returned.

Right to Work:
All persons entering the City and County of San Francisco workforce are required to provide verification of authorization to work in the United States.

Applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum eligibility requirements for this job announcement can find information on requesting a reasonable ADA Accommodation at: 

Information regarding requests for Veterans Preference can be found at: 

Seniority Credit in Promotional Exams:  
Information regarding seniority credit can be found at: 

Exam Type:  Entrance 
Issued:  January 12, 2021
Carol Isen
Acting Human Resources Director
Department of Human Resources
Recruitment ID Number: 109057


All employees hired on or after January 10, 2009 will be required (pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section A8.432) to contribute 2% of pre-tax compensation to fund retiree healthcare. In addition, most employees are required to make a member contribution towards retirement, ranging from 7.5%-13.25% of compensation. For more information on these provisions, please contact the personnel office of the hiring agency.

For more information about benefits, please click here.


Click on a link below to apply for this position:

Fill out the Supplemental Questionnaire and Application NOW using the Internet.
View and print the Supplemental Questionnaire. This recruitment requires completion of a supplemental questionnaire. You may view and print the supplemental questionnaire here.

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