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Town of Ashfield Chief Operator

Chief Operator Job Description

SUMMARY: The Chief Operator has responsible charge and maintains plant operations to process wastewater in an environmentally safe and efficient manner according to standard operating procedures and regulatory requirements. They are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the treatment plant, pumping station, and collection system. The Chief Operator supervises Asst. Operators.

The position requires demonstrated ability to perform the full range of wastewater treatment plant maintenance and repair duties and to perform laboratory analysis of the Wastewater Treatment Plant operations and have direct charge of the operation of the wastewater treatment facility.


  • Utilize tools and equipment associated with the operation and maintenance of the treatment system, collection system and pumping station
  • Perform laboratory analysis for process control and DEP reporting. Plans, organizes, directs, and reviews all wastewater treatment plant operations.
  • Read meters, charts, gauges, and other operating equipment, perform calculations involved in lab work and process monitoring, enter lab and process information into Excel.
  • Prepares, reviews, and maintains a wide variety of electronic/online and written reports, periodic progress reports
  • Prepares budget requests for wastewater treatment operations, maintenance and capital activities
  • Participates in long-term planning to assess future needs; researches new operation methods, techniques, and equipment and makes recommendations
  • Procures and maintains an adequate inventory of necessary tools, materials, equipment and supplies
  • Reviews or prepares plans and specifications for contract work; inspects work performed to ensure compliance to standards
  • Prepares, reviews, and updates maintenance instructions and schedules
  • Perform readings at pumping station and confined space entry of wet well and collection system maintenance.
  • Monitor activated sludge process and nutrient removal, adjust as needed.
  • Clean tanks, clarifiers, and head works.
  • Respond to facility for operational emergencies Perform ground maintenance including lawn mowing, snow removal, and housekeeping.
  • The chief operator oversees processing of bills, keeping an eye on the budget, and working with the collector (after approval from the commission) to bill customers.


  • Maintains all administrative and regulatory records and reports.
  • Reviews plans for plant upgrades, meets with consultants and contractors.
  • Trains or ensures training and updating of skills for all the Wastewater Plant employees.
  • Gives monthly presentations to Sewer Commission.
  • Perform miscellaneous duties and other general maintenance functions.
  • Respond to citizen questions and complaints and refers unresolved matters to sewer commission.
  • The essential functions or duties listed above are intended as illustrations of the various types of work that should be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.


  • Duties require knowledge of wastewater treatment plant operation, laboratory analysis, mechanical/electrical experience; completion of 1-2 years of college in environmental science and/or related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience. Grade 4 Municipal Wastewater Treatment License or better
  • Knowledge of the principles, practices, and methods in the operation of a wastewater treatment plant.
  • Knowledge of the functions and servicing requirements of mechanical equipment and machinery common to wastewater treatment plants. Ability to perform repairs and routine preventative maintenance work on mechanical and electrical equipment.
  • Knowledge of and skill in the use of laboratory equipment, instruments, procedures, and terminology.
  • Ability to operate a variety of treatment and control equipment.
  • Ability to read meters and charts accurately and to maintain required records.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Must be vaccinated and or willing to receive vaccinations for Tetanus, polio, typhoid fever, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B.


The Chief Operator supervises Asst. Operators

Mass Rural Water Association

781 Millers Falls Road, Northfield, MA 01360

Phone: 413-498-5779

Fax: 413-498-9943