Wastewater Collections Operator
Wastewater Collections Operators are responsible for skilled tasks in the construction, maintenance, and repair of wastewater system facilities; operating a variety of light and moderately heavy power driven equipment; and ensuring public health and safety by preventing and/or responding to sewage overflows and blockages.
Wastewater Collections Operators are responsible for skilled tasks in the construction, maintenance, and repair of wastewater system facilities; operating a variety of light and moderately heavy power driven equipment; and ensuring public health and safety by preventing and/or responding to sewage overflows and blockages. They inspect, clean, maintain, construct, and repair wastewater collection systems including sanitary sewers, storm drains, pump stations, pipes, manholes and catch basins.
Performs a full range of general maintenance and cleaning duties related to the wastewater collection system; cleans and rods sewer mains and laterals; operates a high pressure rodder, manual power rodder, and hand rodder to remove debris from inside pipe; vacuums debris from lift stations and related structures; cleans storm drains using high pressure water sprayer and vacuum.
Inspects large main sewers for necessary repairs; inspects for proper sewer lateral connections; builds dams in sewer lines to divert flow during maintenance operations; examines and tests sewers to determine causes of street depressions
Performs a full range of general repairs duties related to the wastewater collection system; performs trenching, shoring, and backfilling; repairs gravity mainline and force mains; repairs laterals; removes roots; repairs infiltration sealing and grouting; installs and maintains manholes; raises manhole to proper grade; installs and rebuilds airvacs; removes weeds and debris from pump stations, easements, grounds, and outfall lines.
Repairs asphalt and concrete after repairs to wastewater collection system; repairs concrete sidewalk panels; assists patch crews in laying new asphalt in the streets; makes temporary street patches as necessary.
Operates closed circuit televising inspection system; televises underground sewer lines, storm drains, and sewer laterals; identifies any sings of blockage/debris that may interrupt flow of the sanitary sewer or storm drains; identifies major problems with pipes including cracks, damage, holes, and collapsed pipe; tests sewer systems for faulty connections or leaks as well as for illegal connections.
Locates sewer lines including to utilize a magnetic locator; provides assistance to contractors and other utility companies in the field.
Operates a variety of vehicles, equipment, and tools including service trucks, dump trucks, water trucks, vacuum trucks, skiploader, backhoe and related attachments, large trailers, trench tamper, hydro tamper, concrete and asphalt cutting saws, root saws, jackhammer, and hand and power tools; loads and unloads vehicles and equipment.
Inspects and maintains assigned equipment and vehicles; performs safety checks and checks fluid levels of vehicles and equipment; inspects and maintains safety related equipment including air monitoring devices, signs used for traffic control, shoring jacks and pumps, fall protection gear, and first-aid kits; cleans assigned vehicles and equipment.
Performs work in confined spaces; performs necessary precautions prior to entering confined spaces with potential hazardous atmospheres; use air quality monitors and ventilators.
Sets traffic control including safety devices, signs, and barricades; ensures safety of public and work crew.
Serves in emergency standby capacity; provides customer service and performs all aspects of collection system maintenance and repair during after hours periods including holidays and weekends.
Provides courteous customer service in a variety of conditions; responds to questions and inquiries from the general public; contacts property occupants in connection with sewer maintenance work, responds to customer problems or complaints.
Maintains records of basic operations, maintenance and work performed; calculates quantities of materials and supplies used; maintains records related to the time and cost of jobs and man hours; inputs work activities into asset management program.
May serve as crew leader as assigned over a small crew including temporary workers and lower level employees; participates in training new employees in work practices and in how to apply policies, procedures, and standards to specific situations.
Knowledge of: operational characteristics of wastewater collection systems; materials, methods, techniques, and terminology used in maintenance and repair activities related to the maintenance and repair of wastewater collection system infrastructure including how repair parts are applied to the wastewater system including couplings, stainless steel bands, and types and grades of pipes; operational characteristics of maintenance and construction equipment and tools used in work activities; proper procedures used in the maintenance and repair of hand and power tools; practices and procedures of traffic control; basic mathematical principles; pertinent federal, state, and local codes, laws, and regulations; basic principles and practices of record keeping; occupational hazards and standard safety practices including those associated with working in confined spaces; principles and practices of customer service.
Ability to: perform a variety of manual and semi-skilled tasks involved in the maintenance and repair of the wastewater collection system; perform a variety of tasks for extended periods of time and in unfavorable weather conditions; perform heavy manual labor; work in closely confined spaces while wearing a respirator; read maps, blue prints, and diagrams; ensure adherence to safe work practices and procedures; ensure safety around work areas in high traffic; prepare and maintain records including time and material use records; interpret and apply policies, procedures, and standards to specific situations; perform mathematical calculations; respond to collection system maintenance/repair emergencies; safely drive and skillfully operate equipment and machinery including service trucks, dump trucks, water trucks, vacuum trucks, skiploader, backhoe, large trailers, trench tamper, hydro tamper, concrete and asphalt cutting saws, root saws, jackhammer, and hand and power tools; understand and follow oral and written instructions; demonstrate an awareness and appreciation of the cultural diversity of the community; communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing; establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.
Example Experience and Training
Wastewater Collections Technician I
Education/Training: Equivalent to the completion of the twelfth grade.
Experience: One year of general maintenance and construction experience.
License or Certificate: Possession of a valid Class C driver’s license at time of appointment and ability to obtain an unrestricted Class B driver’s license with tank and air brakes endorsements within first six months of employment. Possession of a Grade 1 CWEA Collections System Maintenance certificate.
Wastewater Collections Technician II
Education/Training: Completion of progression criteria established by Department.
Experience: One to two years of responsible experience performing duties comparable to a Wastewater Collections Technician I or comparable experience performing wastewater collection system maintenance and repair duties.
License or Certificate: Possession of a Grade 2 CWEA Collections System Maintenance certificate. Possession of a valid Class B driver’s license with tank and air brakes endorsement. Possession of, or ability to obtain, CPR certification, Backhoe training certification, Confined Space Entry certification.
WASTEWATER COLLECTIONS SUPERVISOR
Education/Training: Many cities and agencies will require a bachelor’s degree or completion of leadership courses. Completion of progression criteria established by Department.
Experience: Three to four years of responsible experience performing duties comparable to a Wastewater Collections Technician II or comparable experience. Experience as a crew leader.
License or Certificate: Possession of a Grade 3 CWEA Collections System Maintenance certificate.
Steps to Become a Collection System Professional
- Take a tour of a wastewater treatment plant and talk with wastewater collection system professionals.
- Attend a CWEA local section event to get to know wastewater professionals.
- Apply for job openings on the CWEA job board
- Complete the knowledge, skills and abilities gap analysis tool on the CWEA website and find out what you need to study to prepare for the exam
- Study for and take the CWEA Collection System Maintenance certification exam (after you are hired cities and agencies will typically set a deadline for the candidate to successfully pass the certification)
- Continue to gather contact hours to keep your knowledge, skills and abilities current
Example Monthly Salary Range
- Apprentice/Trainee $4,800 to $5,600
- Journey-level $5,200 to $6,700
- Supervisory $6,900 to $8,600