Chief Plant Operator

South Tahoe Public Utility District   South Lake Tahoe, CA   Full-time     Maintenance
Posted on July 21, 2022
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South Tahoe Public Utility District is recruiting for a Chief Plant Operator, (CPO) is responsible for the overall operation of a 24/7 wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) including compliance with effluent limitations established in the WWTP’s waste discharge requirements. The CPO position supervises, operates, and maintains wastewater production facilities and equipment.

Salary: $8,937/month-$11,407/month DOQ.

Job Summary

Under the general direction of the Manager of Plant Operations, plans, coordinates, directs, and supervises and participates in treatment plant operations, maintenance, and improvements, and is responsible for regulatory, procedural, and policy compliance for Operations personnel, activities and conditions within the treatment plant, and compliance with SWRCB Waste Discharge Permit Requirements.

Essential Functions

In addition to Operations Supervisors' duties:

1. Assists and coordinates with the Manager of Plant Operations on the planning, organization, direction, performance, efficiency, effectiveness, and reliability of the operation of the treatment plant.

2. Provides leadership and directs staff to ensure a work environment that supports achievement of the departments and District’s mission, strategic goals, plans, objectives, and values.

3. Coordinates predictive, preventative, and corrective maintenance projects with appropriate departments.

4. Makes regular inspections of the treatment plant.

5. Reviews and ensures shift coverage for all shifts and oversees and approves shift extension/change requests. Ensures adherence to departmental schedule policy.

6. Orders supplies, tools, equipment, instrumentation, and chemicals as needed to run the treatment plant.   

7. Recruits, selects, trains, supervises, evaluates, disciplines, develops, and promotes teamwork among support personnel.

8. Prepares and submits reports, provides information for planning, and maintains records and documentation relevant to the operation of the treatment plant.

9. Supervises and coordinates Operations Department use of computerized radio telemetry and plant and field SCADA systems operation.

10. Assumes command of all procedures related to emergencies at the WWTP such as power outage, fire, spill, etc., and assists in coordinating District personnel during same.

11. Participates and fulfills roles at the appropriate level within the Emergency Response Plan utilizing National Incident Management System concepts during emergencies.

12. Adheres to and enforces stated safety policies and procedures.

13. Oversees and coordinates operator attendance in mandatory training courses.

14. Undertakes special assignments related to development and implementation of plant modifications and/or improvements.  Participates on treatment plant project design and review team. Helps coordinate Operations Department support efforts for plant and field construction projects.

15. Understands and ensures compliance with SWRCB Operator Certification regulations.  Understands and ensures compliance with SWRCB Waste Discharge Permit Requirements. Serves as the District’s Legally Responsible Person per regulations.

Education & Experience Requirements


1. High school graduation or equivalent with emphasis on knowledge of mathematics and chemistry.

2. Education or experience equivalent to two years of college, and/or a two-year college degree, with emphasis in mathematics and/or science, is desirable.


1. Requires six (6) years experience in operation and maintenance of wastewater treatment plant, including three (3) years of supervisory experience.

2. See Proficiency Requirements section for applicable Certification requirements.

Proficiency Requirements



1. Must possess a California State Grade V Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Certification, or ability to obtain same within 18 months of hire date.

2. Requires knowledge of the methods, material, and equipment used in wastewater treatment, and the necessary methods of evaluating treatment results.

3. Requires ability to remain familiar with the Confined Space Program and the duties of Confined Space Supervisor, Entrant, and Attendant, as provided during annual training. Requires HAZMAT First Responder Operations Certification.

4. Must have current, valid CPR and First Aid certificates or ability to obtain within 2 years of hire.

5. Requires ability to maintain updated safety knowledge and/or certification in HAZMAT handling and respiratory protection requirements.

6. Requires the ability to supervise and direct the overall operation of the treatment plant.

7. Requires ability to recruit, train, instruct, supervise, evaluate, motivate, appropriately discipline, and develop staff.

8. Requires the ability to produce, maintain, evaluate, and utilize technical and administrative reports, using a computer and related software programs.

9. Requires working knowledge of computers, word processing, spreadsheet, computerized maintenance management system, and SCADA software.

10. Requires the ability to exercise individual judgment and take prompt and decisive actions when emergency situations arise.

11. Requires ability to establish and maintain job-specific employee safety program.

12. Requires the ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing.

13. Requires the ability to read, understand, and follow written or verbal instructions.

14. Requires the ability to establish and maintain cooperative and respectful relationships with co-workers and supervisors.

15. Requires a valid, current drivers' license, acceptable by the State of California, with a driving record which enables insurability.


1. High degree of responsibility including responsibility for the operation of the treatment plant.

2. Assumes responsibilities of the Manager of Plant Operations in his absence.


Completed applications must be received by 12:00 pm on August 12, 2022.