Wastewater Utility Manager

Recruitment #18-M21-001


Are you an environmental leader with proven success in managing the many facets of a wastewater system operation? Are you a skilled professional with broad expertise in wastewater collection systems, environmental compliance, water quality laboratories and wastewater treatment facilities?  The City of Ventura is accepting applications for the Wastewater Utility Manager vacancy in our progressive Ventura Water Department.  To be considered for this rewarding career opportunity, apply online at www.cityofventura.ca.gov/jobs as soon as possible as this recruitment may close at any time. 

Initial screening of applications will done on Monday, 7/29/2019.

Ventura Water is dedicated to providing our community with quality water and wastewater services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  As environmental stewards, our goal is to integrate water management to create long-term health and economic benefits for our community.  As financial stewards, our goals are to operate and invest wisely in maintenance and renewal projects.  To learn more about the Ventura Water Department, visit https://www.cityofventura.ca.gov/885/Ventura-Water.


Under general direction, directs the operation and maintenance of the City's wastewater collection system, water quality laboratory, and wastewater treatment facilities as Chief Plant Operator.

This position is designated as "at will."  At will employees serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority and are subject to discharge without cause and without the right of appeal. 


  • Leads by example with uncompromising integrity and reliability
  • Creates an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust
  • Is a strategic thinker who demonstrates initiative and sound judgment in recommending solutions and resolving issues
  • Possesses strong technical and troubleshooting skills for wastewater treatment processes
  • Has outstanding communication, interpersonal and customer service skills
  • Successfully completes multiple concurrent projects with strict deadlines and frequent interruptions
  • Stays abreast of  best practices related to wastewater industries
  • Actively encourages staff development and fosters a professional and collaborative working environment
  • Possesses a valid Grade V Wastewater Treatment Operator certificate issued by the California Water Resources Control Board

    Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

    Plans, directs and supervises the activity of all assigned personnel in the operation and maintenance of the City's wastewater treatment plant, environmental compliance, water quality testing lab, collection system, and sewer lift stations. Effectively manages the assigned resources (staffing, materials, finances, etc.) through administration of approved City policies, practices and programs.  Establishes performance expectations and goals for employees; coaches and motivates staff; evaluates and reviews employee job performance.  Recommends, subject to higher approval, appointments, promotions, transfers, demotions, suspensions, reinstatements, and terminations of staff. 

    Provides leadership and works with other managers and supervisors to develop and retain highly competent customer service-oriented staff through proper selection and training; fosters a professional and collaborative working environment.

    Ensures compliance with the City's safety program and OSHA requirements; devises and implements efficient, safe and effective work schedules for a continuous, around-the-clock operation.  Conforms with and adheres to applicable state and federal laws and regulations such as Equal Employment Opportunity, Labor Relations, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Actively participates in the planning for emergency responses related to the sewer collection system and wastewater treatment plant; assumes the lead role and is responsible for overseeing corrective actions to pending or active sewer system overflows and treatment plant malfunctions during both emergency and non-emergency events.

    Assists in the design and inspection of plant and system replacements and modifications. Confers with other City divisions/departments on matters related to wastewater activities; acts as technical advisor in areas of wastewater.  Directs the continuous preventative maintenance and repair program on the wastewater system to ensure reliability and optimum performance.

    Commissions studies to optimize the performance of the system.  Analyzes trends, such as population and growth within the service area to determine adequacy of current facilities; identifies and defines short and long-range operational and capital improvement needs.  Prepares and monitors bi-annual operations budget for the Wastewater Division.  Participates in the development of the Capital Improvement Program.

    Conducts field inspections to evaluate the efficiency of the wastewater program; collects data/information to support alternative recommendations.  Determines material, equipment and supplies to be used in the department's activities. Directs the activities of the water quality testing laboratory for both the wastewater and potable water systems and maintains effective control over the types of testing performed; modifies the testing procedures as new regulations are adopted.

    Reviews wastewater processes to ensure compliance with Federal, State and local regulations. Enforces local ordinances relating to the discharge of wastes into the sewerage system, insures that required chemical and bacteriological tests are made of raw and treated sewage.  Notifies individuals and businesses of violations.  Initiates actions to obtain compliance with regulations.  Handles or delegates the investigation of complaints and collection of delinquent accounts when user assessments are imposed.

    Maintains working relationship with public works engineers, outside consultants, and other agencies to ensure the wastewater system meets the City's needs and complies with all laws.  Maintains awareness of new developments of wastewater processes for possible adoption to City needs.  Prepares related recommendations including support documentation.

    Coordinates and monitors work related to new installations; collaboratives with other City departments for the planning and implementation of capital improvement projects; ensures that maintenance work activity by staff or contractors is completed in a timely manner and within scope and budget.

    Represents the City as the Chief Plant Operator, attends meetings, and negotiates with the State Regional Water Quality Control Board and other regulatory agencies and non-governmental organizations related to discharge requirements and permit renewals; manages and implements action plans from legal settlements.  Performs other related duties as required.


    Knowledge of: principles and practices of wastewater collection and treatment plant operations, control and maintenance including primary, secondary, activated sludge, nitrification, denitrification, tertiary treatment and disinfection of nitrified effluent; chemistry and biological principles; record-keeping and report writing; Federal, State and other agency rules and regulations governing wastewater systems, including reclaimed water; laboratory procedures used in conducting testing; financial report interpretation, budget development and implementation, occupational hazards and safety precautions associated with wastewater systems, administrative and personnel principles associated with the wastewater industry.

    Ability to: plan, organize and direct the work of wastewater system operations; prepare and present comprehensive, clear and concise oral and written reports and recommendations; interpret plans, specifications and engineering data; act decisively in diagnosing treatment plant and collection system issues that could jeopardize permit compliance; use basic computer programs including Word, Excel, Exchange or similar software; establish and maintain professional and collaborative working relationships with other divisions and departments,  public officials, employees and the general public; foster a strong work ethic within the Wastewater Division; work on multiple, concurrent projects with strict deadlines and with frequent interruptions; learn and apply new skills as necessary.


    License:  Depending on assignment, possession of a valid California Class C driver's license may be required.

    Certificates:  Possession of a valid Grade V Wastewater Treatment Operator certification issued by the California Water Resources Control Board is required.


    Environment:  works in indoor office conditions and at construction sites with some exposure to outdoor conditions, traffic, wastewater treatment plants; may drive a vehicle to different locations; attends evening meetings; works under pressure, in potentially stressful situations, and with media scrutiny.  Physical Abilities:  hearing and speaking sufficient to exchange information in person, at formal presentations, or on the telephone; vision within normal range with or without correction; sitting or standing for extended periods of time, walking on uneven surfaces; uses hands to handle, feel or operate standard office equipment including personal computer; mental capability to use and apply mathematical reasoning and abstract statistical and engineering concepts and to read and interpret financial and statistical data and documents; observe and interpret people and situations, perform highly detailed work on multiple concurrent tasks, work under intensive deadlines and with media scrutiny.  Hazards:  exposed to traffic, fumes, dust, dirt, sewage, and computer screens.


    A combination of education, training and experience equivalent to a minimum of five years of progressively responsible supervisory/management experience in wastewater system operations.  A Bachelor's Degree in sanitary engineering or other related field, plus training in special areas related to wastewater collection, is highly desirable.


    Employment Information:  Right to Work:  Before employment, candidates must submit documentation verifying their legal right to work in the United States.  Background Check:  A pre-employment verification of background, references, and medical examination will be conducted.  A drug screening may be required for some positions.  Applicants for positions using a City vehicle may be required to submit a DMV report.  Probationary Period:  This is an 'At Will' position, subject to discharge without notice or right to appeal.

    Deferred Compensation: The City contributes $442 per year to at 457 Plan, and will match $1650 per year contributed by the employee, for a total benefit of $2092 per year.

    Medical & Dental Insurance: Up to $665 monthly towards a selection of plans.  Medical insurance is effective the first of the month after date of hire.  Dental insurance is effective the first of the second month after date of hire. 

    Optional Benefits: $495 monthly, which may be applied toward medical insurance premiums.  Cash-out option is not available.

    Vision Insurance:  City paid coverage provided for employees and their dependents.  Vision insurance is effective the first of the month after date of hire.

    Life Insurance: City paid term life insurance equal to the employee's annual salary, and dependent life insurance of $2,000 per dependent.

    Disability Insurance: City paid short and long-term disability coverage.

    Retirement:  Tier I - 2% @ 55/Single Highest Year of Compensation for Classic CalPERS members who worked for the City prior to December 31, 2012 and are returning to City employment.  Employees make a 7% member contribution, and may be subject to compensation limits per Section 401(a)(17) of the IRC.  Tier II - 2% @ 60/3-Year Final Compensation Period for Classic CalPERS members with less than a six-month break in service from another CalPERS or CalPERS'-reciprocal agency.  Employees make a 7% member contribution, and may be subject to compensation limits per Section 401(a)(17) of the IRC.  Tier III - 2% at 62/3-Year Final Compensation Period for New CalPERS members.  Employees make a 6.25% member contribution, and are subject to compensation limits per Government Code Section 7522.10.  Additional details regarding the City’s retirement plan will be provided to candidates during the job offer process.

    Social Security: CalPERS members do not participate in Social Security retirement so there is no payroll deduction. Receiving a CalPERS benefit may affect your Social Security upon retirement. For further information contact a Social Security office or www.socialsecurity.gov/form1945.

    Medicare: Employees participate only in the Medicare portion of Social Security. There is a 1.45% payroll deduction for this benefit.

    Vacation: 3 weeks per year, increasing to 4 weeks after 5 years of service, for managers. Four weeks per year for Department Heads.

    Holidays: 12 paid holidays per year.

    Administrative Leave: 10 days per year.

    Sick Leave:  96-hour-bank upon employment and additional accruals of 2 hours semi-monthly after 6 months of employment.

    Annual physical examination:  City-paid annual physical examination.

    Auto allowance: $250 per month for Managers.

    Tuition Reimbursement: $2,500 per fiscal year for tuition and books for course taken at accredited institution.

    Flexible Workweek:  A 9/80 workweek is available for some positions.

    Wellness Program:  A comprehensive program is available, including on-site gym, exercise classes, downtown/beach-walking routes, weight loss, and tips on nutrition and healthy lifestyle

    Selection Plan

    Submit a City application, cover letter and supplemental questionnaire by the filing deadline. The preferred method of application is online and you are highly encouraged to apply at www.cityofventura.ca.gov/jobs. If you are unable to apply electronically, you may request paper application materials by calling (805) 654-7853 during regular business hours. Paper applications can be FAXed to (805) 648-4467, or mailed, or hand delivered to City Hall at: 501 Poli Street, Room 210; Ventura, CA 93002. If you FAX, it is highly recommended that you also send the original documents. The Eligibility List established may be used to fill other regular and temporary vacancies at the discretion of the City.

    Once your application has been submitted, all future correspondence from the City will be via e-mail. Please keep your contact information up-to-date and ensure that your email spam filter allows you to receive messages from recruitment@cityofventura.ca.gov. You may also view notices send to you by the City in the "My Applications" tab at www.cityofventura.ca.gov/jobs.

    Department Selection Interview
    A select number of candidates will be invited to a department selection interview being held in August 2019, date to be determined.


    The City of Ventura is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We promote equal employment opportunity to all qualified applicants without regard to age, race, color, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, gender, gender identity, gender expression, and military and veteran status.

    In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), if you need an accommodation in a selection process, please notify the Human Resources Department in writing by the final filing date of the position you are interested in. The Human Resources address is: 501 Poli Street, Room 210, Ventura, CA 93001, (805) 654-7853, e-mail: recruitment@cityofventura.ca.gov.