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Town of Hadley Assistant Chief Wastewater Plant Operator


June 6, 2024

Grade Level:


Position Title:

Assistant Chief Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator

Union Negotiated Wage Range:



DPW (Wastewater)

FLSA Status


Reports to:

Chief Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator



Statement of Duties: The Assistant Chief Wastewater Operator is responsible for assisting in the Chief Wastewater Operator with the management of the operation and maintenance of a wastewater treatment facility and collection system (i.e. pumping stations) to ensure that safe effluent is discharged into a receiving stream in accordance with State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Federal E.P.A. regulations. The employee is required to perform all similar or related duties.

Supervision Required: Under the general direction of the Chief Operator, the employee plans, prioritizes, and carries out the regular work in accordance with standard practices and previous training. The employee interprets instructions and/or adapts methods to resolve particular problems. Instructions for new assignments usually consist of statements of desired objectives, deadlines, and priorities. Technical and policy problems or changes in procedures are discussed with the supervisor. Work is generally reviewed only for technical adequacy, appropriateness of actions or decisions, and conformance with policy, or other requirements

Supervisory Responsibility: The employee, as a regular part of the job, will assist the Chief Operator in all operational duties which may consist of ensuring all departmental needs are met in the event the Chief Operator is absent. The employee also performs non-supervisory work that is of the same kind and level as is done by subordinates being supervised. The employee is not responsible for taking any disciplinary action. Work operations are subject to frequent, abrupt and unexpected changes in work procedures, volume which can be reasonably anticipated in advance. The employees supervised work at the same location and the same work shift, a few may be dispersed to other locations as necessary.

Confidentiality: The employee does not have regular access to confidential information in accordance with the State Public Records Law.

Judgment: Numerous standardized practices, procedures, or general instructions govern the work and, in some cases, may require additional interpretation. Judgment is needed to locate, select and apply the most pertinent practice, procedure, regulation or guideline.

Complexity: The work consists of a variety of duties which generally follow standardized practices, procedures, regulations or guidelines. The sequence of work and/or the procedures followed vary according to the nature of the transaction and/or the information involved, or sought, in a particular situation.

Work Environment: The employee performs work in a wastewater treatment facility, laboratory, and shop conditions with frequent exposure to moving and pressurized equipment such as air compressors or pumps, machinery, light and heavy trucks and automobiles, loud noise, odors, biohazards, chemical fumes, dust, smoke, heat, cold, oil, gases, dirt or grease, and airborne particles, infectious diseases and pathogenic bacteria and associated electrical hazards; some work is performed outside with exposure to variable weather conditions. The employee is required to work beyond normal business hours in accordance with the plant’s work schedule and on a 24/7, 365 days per year basis in response to man-made or natural emergencies.

Nature and Purpose of Relationships: Relationships are primarily with co-workers, other town departments and personnel and equipment and supply vendors doing business with the department incidental to the purpose of the work involving giving and receiving factual information about the work being performed. Ordinary courtesy and tact are required. Contact with the public takes place on an occasional basis.

Accountability: Consequences of errors, missed deadlines or poor judgment may include slowdowns in the processing of the work, missed deadlines, monetary loss, adverse public relations, legal repercussions, labor/material costs, personal injury, and danger to the public safety.

Occupational Risk: Duties regularly present potential risk of personal injuries including loss of life from improper exposure to wastewater treatment chemicals, steam, fire, toxic fumes, work in confined spaces, severe muscular strains from working with department equipment and pressurized hoses, falls from heights, and illness from exposure to toxic fumes and biohazards. Special safety precautions, training, or protective clothing such as gowns, coats, gloves, glasses, or safety boots are required.

Essential Functions:

The essential functions or duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may 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.

Oversees and participates in the daily operation, repair, maintenance, and cleaning of the wastewater treatment facility including department equipment and machinery including but not limited to gas chlorinators, mopping floors, emptying trash, calibrating meters, pumps, tools, and alarm systems in order to provide for the safe and effective treatment and discharge of wastewater in accordance with Federal and State regulations.

Performs skilled and semi-skilled duties required for the proper operation of a public wastewater treatment facility; operates controls and electric motors, pressurized hoses, pumps and valves to regulate and control wastewater flow rates and treatment levels.

Coordinates electrical repairs as needed on belt drives, plant lighting, pumps, and aerators. Performs laboratory analysis and tests of samples for wastewater and make adjustments as necessary to treatment procedures in accordance with department operating guidelines and state protocols; refills chemical hoppers, loads and unloads chemicals to machines as necessary to ensure the proper treatment of wastewater in accordance with regulatory requirements.

Keeps detailed and accurate written and computer records of testing and maintenance activities; removes equipment and makes repairs as needed.

Ensures that all employees understand and follow safety operating procedures of the wastewater treatment facility; act as Chief Operator as required. Monitors the “on-call” phone for the treatment plant and collection system.

Participates in the cleaning and general maintenance of the wastewater treatment plant facility and immediate grounds and walkways performing general landscaping as well as snow and ice removal from entrances and walkways.

Orders supplies and parts as necessary to ensure on-going plant operation and maintenance.

Maintains a stable treatment biomass, removes waste activated sludge from the system as needed and arranges for the disposal of solids and sludge in accordance with department and state regulations.

Attends training sessions as required to keep abreast of updates or changes in occupational safety and treatment requirements in order to maintain required certifications and/or licenses.

Recommended Minimum Qualifications

Education and Experience: Position requires a minimum of a master craftsman level of trade knowledge in a related field; three to five (3-5) years of prior work experience at Grade 4 wastewater treatment plant; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Special Requirements: Position requires the employee to possess a valid Massachusetts CDL with tanker endorsement, Hoister’s 2A license, OSHA-10 certification, Grade 4 or higher certified Wastewater Treatment Operator’s License. The employee must participate in continuing education courses as required by the State D.E.P. As a condition of employment, the employee is required to participate in the Town's Random Drug and Alcohol Drug Testing Program.

Knowledge, Abilities and Skill

Knowledge: In depth knowledge of State and Federal regulatory laws and guidelines as well as department standard operating, maintenance, collection, laboratory testing and pretreatment guidelines associated with the provision of waste water treatment facility and collection systems consistent with the Grade Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator’s license as required by the State DEP; knowledge of the materials, methods and techniques relative to the construction, maintenance, and repair of wastewater treatment facilities and pumping station infrastructure; knowledge of wastewater treatment operation safety practices. Knowledge of the principles and practices pertaining to the administration of operating and capital budgets. Knowledge of chemistry, biology, electricity, hydraulics, engineering principles, technology including office software (i.e. word processing, database management and spread sheet applications) and the Internet.

Abilities: Ability to plan, assign and supervise the work of groups of employees who are engaged in a variety of wastewater treatment and plant maintenance activities; ability to deal with employees tactfully and effectively in a union environment, and maintain effective public relations; ability to communicate effectively and efficiently verbally and in writing; ability to work effectively including the ability to trouble shoot in response to emergency situations and under time constraints and adverse working conditions; ability to prepare to interpret the WWTP operational status and operational condition of plant equipment technical data to solve operational problems in a timely manner. Ability to conduct laboratory tests in a detailed and accurate manner in accordance with state guidelines.

Skill: Effective organizational skills. Proficient mechanical and mathematical skills; proficient oral and written communication skills.

Physical and Mental Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the position’s essential functions.

Physical Skills: Work requires agility and physical strength, such as moving in or about construction sites or over rough terrain or standing or walking most of the work period. Occasionally, work may require lifting heavy objects and carrying them. There may be a need to stretch and reach to retrieve materials. Usually, the work will require extended physical effort over a significant portion of the workday.

Motor Skills: Duties may involve assignments requiring application of hand and eye coordination with finger dexterity and motor coordination. Examples may include operating a personal computer, using pressurized power tools, working in confined spaces or climbing a ladder.

Visual/Auditory Skills: The employee is required to constantly read documents, personal computer screens and written reports for general understanding and routinely for analytical purposes. The employee must have the auditory ability to listen and comprehend. The employee is regularly required to determine color differences.

This job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee, and is subject to change by the employer, as the needs of the employer and requirements of the job change.

Mass Rural Water Association

781 Millers Falls Road, Northfield, MA 01360

Phone: 413-498-5779

Fax: 413-498-9943