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City of Ames WPC Plant Operator in 50010, Iowa

WPC Plant Operator

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WPC Plant Operator


$52,187.20 - $79,185.60 Annually


50010, IA

Job Type



Water & Pollution Control

Job Number



4/28/2021 12:00 PM Central

Residency Requirement?


Residency Requirement Areas

  • Description

  • Benefits

  • Questions

General Information

The City of Ames is conducting a recruitment to establish a Civil Service eligibility list for this classification. The list will be valid for up to one year from the date of certification by the Ames Civil Service Commission and may be used to fill one or more vacancies in this classification. In addition, City of Ames Civil Service employees who have previously held Civil Service status in this classification and are interested in voluntarily demoting or laterally transferring into the current vacancy must submit their application by the deadline.

The WPC Plant Operator performs work involving primary responsibility for the operation of pumping stations and water pollution control plant to treat and discharge wastewater for the Ames community and wastewater service contracts; repairs and maintains operating equipment and other machinery at the water pollution control plant and related facilities; performs related work as required.

This position requires availability to work rotating shifts.

In order to be considered for this position, all applicants must submit their online application by the deadline listed on this posting. Your application includes complete responses to the supplemental questions. Please keep in mind that submission of a resume in lieu of work history on your application or answering the supplemental questions is not sufficient.


Candidates who have qualifications above the minimum, such as a Iowa Grade II wastewater operator's license, may be able to enter into employment with the City of Ames up to Step C, which currently that hourly rate of pay is $28.60, per the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 234 Blue Collar Unit bargaining agreement.

This position is also bound by a residency requirement per the same bargaining agreement.


Our comprehensive benefits package can be viewed at: City of Ames Benefits (

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program: The PSLF Program is a federal program that is intended to encourage individuals to work in public service by forgiving the balance of their federal student loans. To qualify, the individual must have made 120 qualifying payments while employed by a qualifying employer. For more information, please visit:

PSLF Program (

Examples of Essential Job Functions

Operates, inspects, repairs and maintains a wide variety of engines, pumps, motors, chemical feed equipment, and other related equipment used in wastewater treatment and sludge disposal; reads and records plant flow, pumping rates, sludge treatment results, and gas production; collects samples and analyzes for parameters as assigned; adjusts plant flow rate and digester operation to minimize variations; maintains plant operating records by making calculations and completing operating logs; observes mechanical equipment for proper operating condition and performance; replaces bearings, packing, capacitors, seals, shafts, and sleeves; performs pipe work for water and chemicals; performs welding; installs new equipment; checks to assure proper maintenance of equipment; performs maintenance on engines, motors, and related items; keeps records and makes reports; oversees the work of skilled and unskilled helpers; attends or provides training as required; provides customer service as needed.

Each employee is expected to continually strive to bring shared values to life through our Excellence Through People organizational culture. ETP values include: committing to continuous improvement, inspiring creativity and innovation, being customer driven, making data-driven decisions, championing employee involvement, striving for excellence, having fiscal stewardship, acting with honesty and integrity, exhibiting leadership, choosing a positive attitude, respecting one another, promoting safety and wellness, and cultivating teamwork. For leaders, this includes creating a work culture that brings these values to life. For all employees, this includes maintaining a Total City Perspective. The purpose of ETP is to deliver exceptional services to the public at the best price, and for employees to experience an enjoyable and stimulating work environment.

Other Job Functions: Performs custodial duties of assigned shift; guides or assists in guiding individuals or groups of visitors around the plant; performs extra operating, sampling, and laboratory duties in connection with special plant or research projects.


Education and Experience: Successful completion of high school, HiSet, or GED. Two years of experience with mechanical equipment maintenance and repair; or, an equivalent combination of education and experience in, or related to, the field of wastewater treatment.

Preferred Qualifications: 1) education exceeding a high school diploma or equivalency, 2) relevant experience greater than two years.

Licenses and Certificates: Valid Driver's License. Operators must possess a Grade II Wastewater Treatment Operator Certificate from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources within 38 months of hire.

Step A: No certifications required

Step B: Must obtain a Grade I Wastewater Treatment Operator Certificate within 8 months of hire.

Step C: Must obtain 21 CEU's (or equivalent college credit) of post high school education directly related to the operation of wastewater treatment plants within 24 months from the date of hire. The need for the 21 CEU's is waived if an employee obtains their Grade II certificate prior to 24 months of employment.

Step D: Must obtain a Grade II Wastewater Treatment Operator Certificate from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources within 38 months of hire.

Step E: 48 months of City of Ames employment as a WPC Plant Operator with Grade II

Failure to achieve and maintain the required certifications or training by the dates specified will be subject to the City's Maintenance of Credentials policy, and may result in discipline, up to and including termination.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Necessary to Perform Essential Functions: Within Step A, an operator should gain experience to work independently as a plant operator. By the time an operator is at Step B, they should have considerable knowledge of safe working practices in a water pollution control facility; considerable knowledge of wastewater treatment and solids handling processes, and operations; considerable knowledge of biochemical and bacterial functions and relationships and the effect of temperature and concentration; knowledge of overall wastewater utility operation; knowledge of the practices and techniques used in wastewater and solids treatment; knowledge of basic maintenance equipment and practices; knowledge of lubrication, maintenance, and servicing of pumps and plant equipment; knowledge of laws and regulations related to water pollution control plant operations; knowledge of computer systems and applications software; knowledge of the operation and maintenance of utility plant operating equipment, low-pressure boilers, clarifiers, filters, digesters, pumps, and auxiliary equipment; knowledge of the principals of hydraulics, electricity, combustion, and standard safety practices.

Skill in the maintenance and repair of mechanical and water pollution control plant equipment.

Ability to read and record data from gauges and meters accurately; ability to make mathematical computations and interpret data; ability to understand the significance of laboratory results; ability to diagnose equipment problems and to determine proper remedial action; ability to determine the nature and seriousness of system malfunctions and to take remedial action; ability to work alone on an operating shift and to take responsibility for previously outlined procedures; ability to read piping and wiring diagrams and blueprints; ability to plan, assign and oversee the work of maintenance personnel and helpers; ability to use a wide variety of hand tools, shop and diagnostic equipment; ability to work under adverse conditions including exposure to extreme weather; ability to act quickly and calmly in emergency situations on an individual basis; ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with citizens, supervisors, co-workers and other City employees.

Supplemental Information

Required Physical Activities: Climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, reaching, standing, walking, pushing, pulling, lifting, finger dexterity, grasping, feeling, talking, hearing, and repetitive motions.

General Physical Characteristics: Work involves sitting approximately 20 percent of the time, standing (but not walking) five percent of the time; standing and walking 75 percent of the time; heavy work requiring the exertion of up to 100 pounds of force occasionally, 50 pounds of force frequently, and up to 20 pounds of force constantly to move objects.

Vision Requirements: The minimum standard for use with those whose work deals largely with preparing and analyzing data and figures, accounting, transcription, computer terminal, extensive reading, visual inspection involving small defects, small parts, operation of machines (including inspection), using measurement devices, assembly or fabrication of parts at distances close to the eyes.

Environmental Conditions: The work is performed inside or outside and includes being exposed to cold, heat, noise, mechanical and electrical hazards, chemical hazards, atmospheric conditions that affect the respiratory system or skin, oils, and working in isolation.

Equipment Essential to the Job: Computers, software, and peripheral equipment, SCADA equipment, calculator, intercom, two-way radio, variety of printed materials, lab equipment, scale, two-wheel cart, cleaning chemicals, chemical feed equipment, process chemicals, emergency equipment, switches, pipes and valves; electrical equipment including measurement devices, conduit, benders, and fuses; radio telemetry; control circuits; plumbing tools including pipe threader, torch, hand drill, pipe and chain wrenches, air gun, and pipe saws; safety equipment including masks, gloves, ventilators, ground fault connector and gas monitor; soldering and welding equipment; basic carpentry tools; hand power tools; tractors, trucks and attachments; end-loader; trenching equipment; table saw, drill press and other shop equipment; ladders and scaffolding; portable generators; hydraulic and pneumatic tools and equipment; motorized equipment/personnel carriers.

Selection Process:

The selection process consists of an evaluation of education and experience, written exam, phone interview, hiring assessment, on-site interview which will include a manager meeting and completion of a criminal background check, which includes a sex offender registry check. All candidates will be notified by email of their application status.

Preference may be given to applicants possessing qualifications above the minimum.

Candidates meeting the minimum qualifications, and possibly above the minimum, will be invited to participate in the written exam, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. CST on May 5, 2021, in the city of Ames.

Depending on the number of qualified candidates, the City may forego phone interviews.

E-Verify Process:

The City of Ames participates in E-Verify and will provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with information from each applicant’s Form I-9 to confirm work authorization. All candidates who are offered a position with the City of Ames must complete Section 1 of Form I-9 along with the required proof of their right to work in the United States and proof of their identity on their first day of employment. Please be prepared to provide required documents on your first day of employment. For additional information regarding acceptable documents for this purpose, please contact Human Resources at 515-239-5199 or go to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services web page at:

NOTE: Applicants with disabilities may submit requests for ADA testing or interview accommodations to the Human Resources Department prior to the test or interview.

The City of Ames is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, ancestry, national origin, marital status, disability, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against. Inquiries can be directed to the Human Resources Department at 515-239-5199.