Water Quality & Operations Division

Recruitment #2303-4053-001


The City of Tucson is seeking an energetic, skilled, and passionate individual to join the Water Systems Operator team.  Tucson Water is recognized internationally as a leader in water conservation, sustainability, and service. Our employees are proud stewards of our community's most precious natural resource, working to embody the utility's motto of "Pride in Service." 

The Water system Operators perform daily monitoring and control of staffed and non-staffed waterworks facilities through a central computerized system, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), in a state-of-the-art control room. Duties include monitoring drinking water storage and flows throughout the city's distribution system and remote water facilities. Operators determine water production and pumping needs, interacting with supervisors regarding current water demands to determine daily plant production requirements, communicating with outside agencies, and monitoring operational setpoints and alarm levels. The ideal candidates should know about large water distribution systems, including water treatment plants and remote pumping facilities. This position is classified as Safety Sensitive and is subject to pre-employment and random drug testing. Rotating 12-hour shifts, weekends, and holidays are mandatory.

Water System Operators require independent judgment in managing construction activities, problem resolution, and personnel. Work in this position includes close coordination with all sections of the water department. Our employees are appreciated individually for their contributions and embrace safety as a core value.  We embrace diversity and a collaborative approach with each other and the public. Our work is efficient, innovative, and adaptive. 

Tucson Water is the second-largest water utility in Arizona, serving over 730,000 customers over a 390 square mile service area. With 350 days of sunshine a year, Tucson offers an array of activities, including parks, hiking trails, entertainment, recreation, local breweries, resorts, golf courses, restaurants, and ample shopping opportunities make Tucson one of Arizona's great places to live.


The City of Tucson offers a wide range of generous benefits for eligible employees. Some of those benefits include:

  • Medical: Choice between a high deductible plan (HSA or HRA), or Network plan
  • Dental: Choice between a national dental PPO and a local dental HMO
  • Vision: Coverage for annual eye exam and glasses or contacts, plus LASIK
  • Life: City-paid coverage for you & dependents, plus option to buy more
  • Long-Term Disability: Income replacement of up to 60% of your base salary in the event of a qualifying disability
  • Employee Assistance Program: Enhance your wellbeing when life doesn’t go as planned
  • Flexible Spending: Pay for qualified health and dependent care expenses using pretax dollars
  • Colonial Voluntary Benefits: Financial help in the event of cancer, hospitalization, accident, and more


Your Security and Future

  • Pension: Generous pension plans that help both civilian and public safety employees retire more comfortably
  • Deferred Compensation: Save more toward a comfortable retirement with a 457(b) plan
  • Training & Tuition Assistance: Pursue your dream through internal training or financial help toward a degree
  • Back-Up Care: Care for your loved ones when your regular care is unavailable


Your Peace of Mind

  • Paid Parental Leave: Six (6) weeks paid leave when you welcome a child, plus other generous leave policies for FML, Medical and USERRA
  • Paid Time Away: New hires enjoy 37 days of paid time off in the first year, with time increasing steadily thereafter (In year one: 13 accrued days of vacation, 13 accrued days of sick leave, and 11 paid holidays)
  • Employee Discounts: Generous discounts, ranging from car rentals to computers, gifts to groceries, electronics to entertainment
  • Social Connectedness: Forge connections with the community we serve through paid volunteerism and payroll-deducted charitable giving

For a full description of benefits offered to eligible employees, or to inquire further about the City of Tucson's benefits options, please visit: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/hr/employee-benefit-snapshot

General Description

Operates, monitors, and controls water treatment facilities, distribution systems, and related equipment. Makes necessary adjustments to ensure appropriate water supply, quality and pressure, and to maintain the integrity of the water system.

Essential Functions

The essential duties include but are not limited to:

  • Utilizing SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) the operations staff monitors and controls treatment plants, recharge facilities, and distribution systems by operating systems remotely from the Central Control Room, making repair and operation decisions, responding to alarms and emergencies, performing facility checks for any unusual operations, monitoring and conducting, and controlling equipment associated with production, distribution, potable and non-potable water systems by dispatching maintenance personnel.
  • Monitors and operates various facilities by reading and adjusting levels, calculating flows and chemical dosage, opening and closing gates and valves, operating and controlling pumps, recording meter readings and analyzing and adjusting plant flow requirements.
  • Schedules and tracks personnel, generates reports, extracts data from reports, stores and archives data, creates hard copies of data, handles customer complaints and maintains electronic logs.
  • Collects and analyzes data by collecting samples for analysis, reading meters and monitors, writing forms, performing lab analyses on samples for various parameters, determining when or if process changes are necessary and calibrating lab instruments and chemical pumps. Performs maintenance functions at plants and well sites.
  • Coordinates activities with appropriate agencies during emergencies affecting the water system such as fires or power outages.
  • Receives customer telephone calls regarding water system problems, water quality concerns and responds with appropriate action. Prepares written reports and responds to claims.  

Minimum Qualifications

Minimum Education Level & Type: 6 months post High School

Minimum Experience Qualifications: At least 2 years operating water treatment facilities and/or distribution systems

Valid and Unrestricted D - Driver's License

Required at the time of application:

  • Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Water Treatment Grade 2 Certification or equivalent state certification
  • Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Water Distribution Grade 2 Certification or equivalent state certification

Special Job Requirements

Required within 12 months of hire:

  • ADEQ Grade 3 certification in Water Treatment 
  • ADEQ Grade 3 certification in Water Distribution

Both are required within 12-months of hire. Failure to obtain both certifications will result in failure of probation and employment will be terminated effective immediately.

Applicants with water certifications from other states will be accepted only if the certification is eligible for reciprocity. However, applicants are required to check with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) regarding reciprocity eligibility/requirements.

Selection Plan

**You are encouraged to print this bulletin because it contains important dates and information that will not be available online once this position closes.**

All applicants will be required to submit a resume under the "Resume" tab as part of the online application, as your resume will be reviewed and scored during the testing process.  Please ensure your application contains the required resume prior to submission. 

Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will be evaluated on the education and work experience in their employment profile and the responses to their supplemental questions. The highest scoring applicants will then be invited to participate in an Oral Board interview.   

  • In-Person Oral Board Interviews will be held April 19, 2023

Upon completion of all examination processes, the highest scoring applicants will be placed on the Civil Service Employment List.  An applicant's ranking on the Civil Service list will be based on their final score which will be calculated as:      

  • 10% of your rating for education and work experience
  • 90% of your oral board interview   

This recruitment will establish a civil service list that may be utilized to fill vacancies occurring at Tucson Water within the next 6 months.

Veterans, Native American, or Disability preference points will be added to the final score for those that are placed on the Civil Service Employment List.  If you qualify for preference points as outlined in the Employment Profile, you must upload your documentation as part of the application process. You may also email the documentation to Roxie.Escarcega@tucsonaz.govThe DD 214 must be a copy that indicates characterization of service.  

If you are in need of an Americans with Disabilities Act-related accommodation during the testing process, please contact Roxie.Escarcega@tucsonaz.gov at least 48 hours prior to the evaluation.


Communication during this process will be sent via email to the email address on file, so please ensure your browser accepts emails from jobs@tucsonaz.gov and check your email account regularly; this may include your junk box/spam filter.  Failure to respond or follow instructions may result in disqualification.

Pre-employment Medical Testing Requirements

Basic Physical

Non-NIDA Drug Test

Respirator Physical

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To ensure accurate payroll information for tax purposes, the successful candidate will need to provide their original Social Security Card or original letter from the Social Security Administration with their social security number prior to beginning work with the City of Tucson.

The City of Tucson hires lawful workers only - US citizens or nationals and non-citizens with valid work authorization - without discrimination. Federal immigration laws require all employers to verify both the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States. In its efforts to meet the law's requirements, the City of Tucson participates in the E-Verify program established by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to aid employers in verifying the eligibility of workers.

Retired City of Tucson employees receiving benefits from the Tucson Supplemental Retirement System who are considering reemployment with the City should be aware that pursuant to Section 22-37(g) of the Tucson City Code, retirement benefits shall be suspended during the period of reemployment with the City of Tucson unless you have been separated at least twelve consecutive months before returning to work AND you return to a non-permanent employment classification. Creditable service does not accrue during any reemployment period.