Lead Water Distribution Operator

  • Type: Direct Hire
  • Job #462

Operational Technical Services (OTS) is one of the fastest growing private water and wastewater utility staffing providers in the country. We provide certified water treatment, distribution, wastewater treatment, collections, engineering, laboratory, water quality, maintenance, and training professionals to municipalities, special districts, and private utilities throughout the country. OTS offers temporary, temp to hire, direct hire and emergency on-call opportunities including great benefits.

POSITION: Lead Water Distribution Operator 

SALARY: Up to $94K

SUMMARY:  Under direction, leads, oversees, reviews, and participates in the more complex and difficult work of staff responsible for the installation, maintenance, and repair of the water distribution system and non-potable water system; ensures an uninterrupted supply of quality potable and non-potable water to the customers of the City; operates and maintains a variety of heavy equipment and hand and power tools and equipment; ensures work quality and adherence to established policies and procedures; and performs a variety of technical tasks relative to assigned areas of responsibility.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS:  This is the advanced journey level class in the Water Distribution Operator series. Positions at this level are distinguished from other classes within the series by the level of responsibility assumed and the complexity of duties assigned. Employees perform the most difficult and responsible types of duties assigned to classes within this series including providing lead supervision to assigned staff. Employees at this level are required to be fully trained in all procedures related to assigned area of responsibility. This class is distinguished from the Water Distribution Supervisor in that the Water Distribution Supervisor is the first-line supervisory level.


The following duties are typical for this classification. Incumbents may not perform all of the listed duties and/or may be required to perform additional or different duties from those set forth below to address business needs and changing business practices.

  1. Lead, plan, train, and review the work of staff responsible for installation, maintenance, and repair of the water distribution system and non-potable water system; discuss work to be performed with supervisors; plan and implement crew assignments; assist maintenance staff in troubleshooting and performing the more complex maintenance and repair activities.

  2. Train assigned employees in their areas of work including water distribution maintenance methods, procedures, and techniques.

  3. Supervise the use, care, and operation of water distribution equipment including trucks, power tools and equipment.

  4. Verify the work of assigned employees for accuracy, proper work methods, techniques and compliance with applicable standards and specifications; ensure adherence to safe work practices and procedures.

  5. Oversee and participate in the installation, repair, and maintenance of the water distribution system and non-potable water system including system mains, valves, service lines, pipes, meters, hydrants, fittings, and other related apparatus; monitor and ensure compliance with City, state, and federal regulations regarding water system operations.

  6. Oversee and participate in the installation of cathodic protection on copper service lines.

  7. Oversee and participate in marking and/or locating City utilities including water, collection, storm, and electrical lines; communicate with USA and outside utilities for routine and emergency evacuations.

  8. Oversee and participate in exercising and maintaining distribution system valves using a variety of manual and motorized tools and equipment; modify and maintain air relief and blow off valves.

  9. Oversee and participate in recording and performing unidirectional flushing of water distribution system water mains.

  10. Oversee and participate in installing, inspecting, repairing, and maintaining all backflow devices; test devices as assigned.

  11. Operate and maintain a variety of tools and equipment including backhoes, dump trucks, jack hammers, pavement saws, compressors, locaters, pneumatic tools, and hand and power tools; loads and unloads vehicles and equipment.

  12. Oversee and participate in excavating and backfilling trenches; cut, break, and remove surfaces; dig, shovel, hauls, loads, and unloads materials.

  13. Oversee and participate in assessing soil, trench, and surrounding conditions and installing proper shoring when required.

  14. Create and implement traffic control plans; conduct traffic control when working in high traffic areas of the City; install street barricades and cones prior to the performance of maintenance or repair activities; direct and control traffic around work sites.

  15. Coordinate and perform system shut downs for contract work and emergency situations; notify public with service interruption information.

  16. May remove and make minor repairs to fences, landscaping, brick and concrete, and other private property affected by City easement work.

  17. Perform emergency repairs as necessary; respond to emergency calls at irregular hours.

  18. Respond to public inquiries and request in a courteous manner; provide information within the area of assignment including explaining water distribution procedures; resolve complaints in an efficient and timely manner.

  19. Oversee and participate in preparing, maintaining, and/or submitting a variety of written records and reports.

  20. Read maps and interpret plans, specifications, and maintenance manuals.

  21. Perform after-hours emergency work and on-call duties as assigned.

  22. Estimate time, materials and equipment required for jobs assigned; requisitions materials as required.

  23. Work within a budget; code invoices for payment.

  24. Perform related duties as required.


The following generally describes the knowledge and ability required to enter the job and/or be learned within a short period of time in order to successfully perform the assigned duties.

Knowledge of:

  • Operational characteristics of the City’s water distribution systems.

  • Principles of lead supervision and training.

  • Advanced materials, methods, techniques, and terminology used in maintenance and repair activities related to the maintenance, installation, and repair of water distribution infrastructure.

  • City construction details as they pertain to AWWA and/or other applicable standards.

  • Tools and equipment used in the maintenance and repair of water distribution systems.

  • Practices and procedures of traffic control including proper placement of cones, barricades and warning devices.

  • Safety requirements for operation of trucks and other equipment.

  • Industry mathematics.

  • Basic principles and practices of record keeping.

  • Occupational hazards and standard safety procedures.

  • Pertinent federal, state, and local codes, laws, and regulations.

Ability to:

  • Lead, organize, and review the work of staff.

  • Instruct and direct proper work methods.

  • Identify and implement effective courses of action to complete assigned work.

  • Interpret, explain, and enforce department policies and procedures.

  • Provide input on employee performance.

  • Oversee and perform a variety of semi-skilled and skilled duties involved in the maintenance, installation, and repair of the City’s water distribution infrastructure.

  • Use and operate vehicles and equipment, hand tools, and power tools and equipment required for the work in a safe and efficient manner.

  • Respond to distribution system maintenance/repair emergencies.

  • Perform a variety of tasks and heavy manual labor for extended periods of time and in unfavorable weather conditions.

  • Take coaching, instruction, and feedback with a cooperative and positive attitude.

  • Estimate material and labor needs for maintenance projects.

  • Read and interpret plans, maps, specifications, manuals, drawings, and blueprints.

  • Ensure adherence to safe work practices and procedures including safety around work areas in high traffic.

  • Set up a safe work site including cones, signs and directing traffic.

  • Minimize public and employee safety hazards by conforming to required codes.

  • Successfully operate various software programs as required using a computer or other types of hand held electronic devices.

  • Prepare and maintain records including time, material, and equipment use records.

  • Exercise independent judgment and initiative without close supervision.

  • Understand and follow oral and written instructions.

  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.

  • Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with those contacted in the course of work, including the ability to interact effectively and courteously with the public, coworkers and vendors.



  • Equivalent to the completion of the twelfth grade supplemented by specialized training in the maintenance and repair of water distribution systems.


  • Two years of journey level experience in the installation, maintenance, and repair of water distribution systems comparable to a Water Distribution Operator II

License or Certificate:

  • Possession of a D2 Water Distribution Operator Certificate issued by the State of California.

  • Possession of a D3 Water Distribution Operator Certificate issued by the State of California within eighteen months of appointment.

  • Possession of a valid California Commercial Class B driver’s license with tanker endorsement.

  • Possession of a Backflow Prevention Devices Tester certificate issued by the American Water Works Association, or other City recognized Tester Certification.

  • Possession of a Traffic Control Certificate within 6 months of appointment. 


The conditions herein are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions.

Environment: Water treatment plant and field environment; exposure to noise, dust, grease, fumes, gases, potentially hazardous chemicals, electrical energy, and inclement weather conditions including wet and/or humid conditions; work around water; work on slippery surfaces; regularly work near moving mechanical parts; and work around moderately loud noise levels; incumbents may be required to work evenings, nights, and weekends.

Physical: Primary functions require sufficient physical ability and mobility to work in a water treatment plant setting; to walk, stand, and sit for prolonged periods of time; occasionally stoop, bend, kneel, crouch, crawl, climb, reach, and twist; push, pull, lift, and/or carry moderate to light amounts of weights; operate assigned equipment and vehicles; and to verbally communicate to exchange information.


Operational Technical Services, (OTS), is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, colors, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.

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