Definition Water Distribution Operator

Under general supervision, monitors and controls water system  facilities and equipment manually and/or using information technology to regulate raw water supply and treated water distribution, control hydroelectric power generation and monitor and control water quality; and performs related work as required.

Profiles of Water Distribution Operators in the water industry
Steve AlbergProfile
Joe CarderaProfile
Jason FernandesProfile
Evan FrankProfile Video
Shelley MaysProfile Video
Daniel McVeyProfile Video
Derek TaylorProfile
Bert WeissProfile
Matt WoodworthProfile
Example Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Working knowledge of:  The operation and maintenance of water distribution systems including major components of pumping plants, reservoirs and rate control valves; principles, methods and practices of water distribution and energy management within a multiple, complex cascade system; related equipment servicing and repair; mechanical, electrical and hydraulic principles; safety rules, codes, and regulations including confined space procedures.

General knowledge of:  Uses and principles of computerized electronic equipment in the collection, storage and interpretation of operational data related to monitoring and control of raw water and treated water distribution facilities and equipment; routine operating report generation; principles and practices of servicing, repairing and calibrating water distribution system equipment; current technological developments in water distribution and water quality.

Skill in:  Operating water distribution system equipment including automatic control devices and distribution system equipment using advanced SCADA systems techniques and complex analyses or water distribution system requirements; maintaining safe and reliable water supply to customers; servicing, repairing and calibrating plant equipment; actively participates in multi person operation by giving feedback and offering constructive recommendations for operational problems; operating without immediate or detailed supervision.

Ability to:  Recognize unusual, inefficient, or dangerous operating conditions and take appropriate action, compile, evaluate and analyze operational data and information and take appropriate actions; work effectively with others.

Example Experience and Training

Completion of the twelfth grade, or its equivalent, supplemented by completion of six college semester units (or two 36 hour courses) in the fundamentals of water supply principles or other specialized training accepted by the California Department of Public Health towards the D3 Operator Certificate and either:

  1. 30 months of experience in water distribution system operation, at least 6 months of which was as a D3 certified Water Distribution Operator; or,
  2. Three years of distribution system operation experience, at least 6 months of which must have been as a D3 certified operator at a D3 or higher facility.

An Associates Degree with a major in water or wastewater technology or distribution that included at least 15 units physical, chemical, or biological science may be substituted for one year of the required general distribution system operator experience under either of the above qualifying experience patterns.  A Bachelor’s degree with a major in civil, environmental, or sanitary engineering, one of the physical, chemical, or biological sciences, or other closely related field may be substituted for two years of the required general distribution system operator experience under either of the above qualifying experience patterns.

Must possess a valid California driver’s license and have a satisfactory driving record.

Special Requirements:  Must be physically able to do the critical and important duties of the job. Must be willing to work shifts, weekends, holidays, and overtime as needed. Must be willing to work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions.

Example Monthly Salary Range

Apprentice/Trainee $6,479 to $8,378
Journey-level $7,815 to $9,460
Supervisory $9,762 to $12,033

Source: BAYWORK Salary Survey, 2022.

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