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Plant Operator Trainee

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Reviewed Date: April 14, 2021

Original Author: 
Date of Material: 
Sep 27, 2002


Plant Operator Trainee

Job description for the position of Plant Operator Trainee in Water and Wastewater.



Under the immediate supervision of the Pre-treatment Coordinator, this is an entry level trainee position in the fundamentals of water and wastewater treatment plant operations. After instruction, training and orientation, the employee will be eligible to carry out those routine duties as performed by a treatment plant operator and will be eligible to take the required examination for a certified plant operator.


Trainee assists a certified water and/or wastewater plant operator in a variety of job functions.
Assists in regulating rate of flow of water to and from filters, put filters into and out of lines, washes filters, generally regulates machines adding chemicals to water under treatment as directed, replenishes machines with activated silica, lime and chlorine as directed, reads and changes a variety of charts, meters and keeps log sheets.
Participates in making minor repairs to mechanical equipment.
Collects grab samples, conducts tests and reports results as required by state regulations.
Adds proper chemical dosage to disinfect, deodorize and clarify water.
Performs maintenance on pumps and other equipment including packing bearings on motors, changing or adding oil, reports major breakdowns to proper officials.


Performs general ground maintenance such as mowing grass, spraying and weed-eating, picking up debris and performs other related duties as assigned.


Knowledge of the implications of improper water or sewage treatment for community health and well-being.
Knowledge of occupational hazards and safety precautions.
Knowledge of basic custodial procedures.
Knowledge of the layout of piping and valves at the water plant and storage facilities.
Ability to learn to read meters and charts accurately, to maintain simple records of shift operations, and to perform simple chemical analyses accurately.
Ability to learn to adjust treatment procedures to meet requirements of volumes to be treated.
Ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions.
Ability to learn the methods and practices of modern water or sewage treatment and of standards and normal operating procedures applicable to treatment.
Ability to learn of the functions and mechanics of pumps and other plant mechanical equipment.
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with city officials, employees and the general public.
Ability to diagnose and alleviate pumping, treatment, storage and water condition problems.

Any combination of training and experience equivalent to:

Graduation from a standard high school, preferably supplemented by courses in chemistry, engineering and mechanical repair.
At least six months experience in mechanical repair work.
Must possess a valid Tennessee driver's license.
Applicant must demonstrate the ability to obtain State of Tennessee Water Plant Operator Certification required by the State for this plant within an agreed upon time frame with the city.
Applicants must be in such physical condition as not to impair their performance of the required duties of the class and may be required to take a physical examination given by a physician licensed to practice medicine in the State and designated by the City.

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