City of Sacramento, Department of Utilities

Plant Operator

Onsite - Sacramento, CA
$50K - $75K Annually
Application Deadline: 5/11/24


To perform skilled work in the operation of the City’s drinking water treatment plants, wells, reservoirs and distribution system; combined wastewater control system, primary wastewater treatment plants and pumping stations; and to assist in monitoring and directing the pumping of storm water, wastewater, and potable water.


The Plant Operator is the journey-level classification in the Plant Operator series. Positions assigned to this class are expected to independently perform the full range of drinking water treatment and wastewater plant operations and monitoring duties on an assigned shift. This class is distinguished from the next higher class of Senior Plant Operator in that the latter is the responsible shift lead operator. The next lower class of Junior Plant Operator is the entry-level class in the series assigned routine maintenance duties and plant equipment

operational duties.


General supervision is provided by a Superintendent and/or the Supervising Plant Operator. Technical or functional supervision and lead direction is provided by a Senior Plant Operator. Assignments may require technical direction of lower-level plant personnel.



Depending upon assignment, duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

– Perform and interpret standardized water quality tests such as chlorine residual, pH, turbidity, alkalinity, total suspended solids, settleable solids, chlorine residual, pH, dissolved oxygen and jar tests, and calculate and make dosage and related chemical feed equipment adjustments based upon the results from such tests.

– Operate and monitor the combined wastewater control system, potable and nonpotable water facilities, and outlying pumping stations on an assigned shift.

– Monitor water quality during treatment process through visual inspection and the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system and adjust influent flows, chemical dosages and filtration rates based on observations.

– Inspect and operate plant equipment and intake facilities including computer controls, telemetry systems, microprocessors, flow control devices, power-driven machinery, and chemical feed equipment.

– Adjust pump speeds and/or activate or deactivate pumps as necessary to regulate flows.

– Monitor and adjust water pressures in the City-wide water distribution system and operate finished water reservoirs and water treatment plant influents and effluents to maintain adequate water supplies.

– Monitor and inspect plant equipment and respond to treatment process and equipment alarms.

– Assist in performing various filter tests as part of the filter surveillance program.

– Perform efficiency tests on pumps, compressors, and related equipment.

– On a rotating basis, act as a trouble-call operator and assist a Supervising Plant Operator and/or Senior Plant Operator in monitoring and interpreting telemetry board, dispatching an assigned crew to inspect designated installations, and to take corrective action on problems identified including hazardous or toxic material spills that affect water supplies.

– Monitor the status of flows and equipment, using technical information such as force main pressure, wet well elevation, wastewater elevation in the flow control structure, electrical system voltages, and computer system outputs.

– Maintain control and water treatment system logs and records.

– Use SCADA and computerized maintenance management systems.

– Assist in performing efficiency tests on pumps, compressors, and related equipment.

– Troubleshoot and correct a variety of electrical and mechanical problems or potential problems involving pumping and measuring equipment and recalibrate equipment as required.

– Perform preventive maintenance duties, including painting equipment, cleaning of trash screens, filters, and custodial and grounds maintenance.

– Operate equipment, such as engine-driven pumps, generators, compressors, hoists, forklifts, cranes, and other heavy equipment as necessary.

– Work in confined spaces, on temporary scaffolding, and on high structures; using breathing apparatus and/or Level I Hazmat suits.

– Other related duties may also be performed; not all duties listed are necessarily performed by each individual holding this classification.


Knowledge of:

– Principles, applications, functions, operation and maintenance requirements of pumps, motors, compressors, generators, valves, internal combustion engines, flow control devices and measuring instruments.

– General principles of water and wastewater treatment processes, including coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, disinfection, fluoridation, corrosion control, and sludge handling.

– General mechanical principles and practices relating to plant equipment and machinery.

– Principles of mathematics, algebra, chemistry, and hydraulics as they apply to plant operations.

– Safe and efficient work practices.

– Hazardous materials related to plant operations.

Ability to:

– Understand and apply the principles, theories, and operations of process control computers.

– Operate and monitor large pumps, compressors, generators and automated control equipment.

– Read instruments, measuring devices, and pressure gauges.

– Learn and interpret water-related trends, schematics, charts, prints, and specifications.

– Work with considerable independence and initiative.

– Perform a variety of physically demanding tasks on a regular basis.

– Work any shift (e.g., day, swing, relief, night), weekends, holidays, and standby that is mandatory for some assignments.

– Understand and carry out oral and written instructions.

– Establish and maintain effective working relationships with others.

– Maintain accurate and up-to-date records and operation logs.

– Understand the location, function, operation, preventive maintenance and troubleshooting procedures for pumps, motors, chlorinators, alum, polymer and fluoride feeders, lime slakers and other associated equipment and machinery.

– Understand basic personal computer programs including inter/intranet access, word processing, spreadsheets and databases.

– Understand SCADA and computerized maintenance management systems operation.

Experience and Education:

Any combination equivalent to experience and education that could likely provide the required knowledge and abilities would be qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:


One year of progressively responsible experience in the operation of a drinking water treatment plant or wastewater facility.


Should education be used to qualify for this position, then proof of education such as, but not limited to, university/college transcripts and degrees should be submitted with your application and will be required at the time of appointment. Unofficial documents and/or copies are acceptable.

An applicant with a college degree obtained outside the United States must have education records evaluated by a credentials evaluation service. Evaluation of education records will be due at time of appointment.


Driver License:

Possession of a valid California Class C Driver License is required at the time of appointment. Ability to obtain a valid California Class A or B Driver License with required endorsements during the probationary period is required for some assignments. Loss of the license is cause for discipline. Individuals who do not meet this requirement due to physical disability will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.


Assignments to surface water treatment require a T-2 Water Treatment Operator Certificate from the California Department of Health Services. Assignments to groundwater operations require a T-2 certificate. For assignments to the combined wastewater control system, a T-2 certificate is desirable.


  Proof of the required certificate and/or license should be submitted with your application and will be required at the time of appointment. Unofficial documents and/or copies are acceptable.


If considered for appointment, candidates must pass a pre-employment drug test for some assignments.

Respiratory Protective Equipment:

Work in this class may require wearing respiratory protective equipment at times. When assigned to such assignments, individuals must act in accordance with the regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.


Employees must complete twelve (12) months of probation at a satisfactory performance level prior to gaining permanent status.558