Irvine Ranch Water District

Water Operations Manager

Onsite - Irvine, CA
Application Deadline: 11/30/23

We are excited to announce that we are accepting applications for the position of Water Operations Manager!

The District

Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) is a progressive, values-driven agency, with an international reputation for its leading-edge financial management practices, water recycling program, water use efficiency practices, water banking, urban runoff treatment, and energy generation and storage. Established in 1961 as a California Water District under the provisions of the California Water Code, IRWD is an independent special district serving central Orange County. IRWD provides high-quality drinking water, reliable sewage collection and treatment, ground-breaking recycled water programs, and environmentally sound urban runoff treatment to its customers. As an independent, not-for-profit public agency, IRWD is governed by a publicly elected five-member Board of Directors. The Board is responsible for the District’s policies and decision-making. Day-to-day operations are supervised by the General Manager. Additional information can be found at the District’s website:

The Water Operations Manager, under general administrative direction, is responsible for managing, directing, and safely integrating the planning, operation and maintenance, budgeting, and personnel of the District’s water treatment facilities and distribution infrastructure.

This position receives administrative direction from and reports to the Director of Recycling Operations, directs the work of subordinate supervisors and employees assigned to the Water Operations department and is responsible for operations and federal and state regulations regarding the water treatment, production, storage, and water and recycled water distribution. As a management position, this position will also interface and coordinate with other departments and other members of the IRWD Management Team. Irvine Ranch Water District practices shared values that drive the character, culture, and capacity of our organization, and all managers are expected to champion these values.

Excellent Benefits Package

  • Generous educational reimbursement
  • 100% District-paid medical premium options for employee and family
  • CalPERS pension plan
  • 457 benefit plan with up to a 4% District match
  • Commuter benefits
  • Exercise studio on-site
  • Plus more!

Summary of Duties

The following is a non-exclusive list of essential duties and responsibilities. The duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar or related as determined by the incumbent’s supervisor. 

Manage domestic and recycled water system operators in the operation and maintenance of turnouts, wells, pipelines, valves, pumps, control structures, chlorination stations, treatment plants, hydroelectric power stations and reservoirs. 

Oversee the operation and management of advanced treatment systems, including but not limited to Reverse Osmosis, Nanofiltration, and Micro Filtration treatment plants. 

Ability to analyze the District’s treatment facilities and implement operational changes as required to ensure safe and efficient operation. 

Supervise and oversee the use of the water treatment and distribution system control and monitoring systems. 

Provide input and direction on the development and administration of system reports, graphics, alarm points, control schemes, etc. 

Assist in the management of the District’s groundwater pumping and imported water programs. 

Provide on-going training of operators in the operation of the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. 

Plan, organize, analyze, and evaluate domestic and recycle water system operational modes. 

Plan and implement operational changes to ensure system reliability, acceptable water quality, water conservation and minimize cost of service. 

Develop annual Potable Water and Recycled Water reservoir management plans to forecast usage, demands, manage reservoir elevation and storage, water supply available, and the purchase of treated and untreated water. Responsible for the implementation and updating of the plan.  

Prepare various weekly, monthly, and semi-annual reports including reservoir surveillance, water, and energy usage regarding System Operations.

Prepare technical and non-technical reports on plant operations, flows, and plant parameters. Prepare and present operational plans and special studies as needed. Oversee and manage the monitoring, tracking, and historicizing of required operational and process data from SCADA and other sources needed to develop regulatory compliance and process performance reporting. This includes but is not limited to the District’s Operational database, Enterprise Asset Management software, and reporting systems (WIMS, Maximo, etc.). 

Supervise major pipelines, pump station, reservoir and turnout shutdowns and tests. 

Coordinate major operational changes with the Engineering, Water Recycling, and Customer Service Departments. 

Safety is a key Value at IRWD, and this position will support and advocate for safe practices. Ensure appropriate safety training for work being performed by assigned staff. Ensure safety meetings (tailgates) are held bi-weekly. Conduct planned visual safety inspections and report findings to the Safety office monthly. All employees are required to notify their supervisor and the Safety Office of any sub-standard working conditions. 

Train System Operators in procedures and system operations techniques, including adjustment of pressure control structures, handling of chemical systems, maintenance of system monitoring and control equipment and testing and repair of system components.

Assist in the development, administration, and enforcement of District policies and procedures as approved by the General Manager and the Board of Directors, including assisting Operations management team in the interpreting of existing and new policies and procedures. 

Assist in preparation of the District’s bi-annual operating budget for Water Operations. 

Preparing data for quarterly and annual O&M budget performance reporting. 

Initiate requests and follow all District procurement policies for purchase of chemicals, supplies, parts, materials, tools, and equipment required to efficiently operate the department. Prepare and present justifications for large purchases of equipment as needed. Review and approve invoices for materials purchased. 

Ensure an effective communications log regarding plant procedures and maintenance is maintained. 

Conduct regular department meetings. 

Participate in regular managerial and supervisory meetings. 

Participate in the recruitment, selection, counseling, and training of employees. 

Review and evaluate performance of assigned personnel on a timely basis; recommend salary adjustments, promotions, and disciplinary action for assigned staff. Review and prepare feedback comments on preliminary construction project plans from Technical Services and consulting engineering firms as needed. 

Attend pre-construction and planning/design meetings for water treatment infrastructure and distribution system facilities. 

Respond to emergencies and participate in the scheduled emergency standby program as needed. Responsible for all other work-related duties. 


A combination of education and experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in one of the following areas: Environmental Science, Chemistry, Water Utility Science, Water Treatment, or a closely related field. Six years of progressively responsible experience in water utility systems operation and management, with four of those six years in a supervisory capacity.

Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office suite (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Microsoft Access, Microsoft Project, Enterprise Asset Management software (Maximo), and budgeting software is highly desirable.


Valid Class C California Driver’s License. 

Valid Grade T5 Water Treatment Operator Certificate issued by the State of California State Water Resources Control Board.

Valid Grade D5 Water Distribution Operator Certificate issued by the State of California State Water Resources Control Board.

Recruiter Information:

Shanna David