Treatment Plant Operator

Western Lake Superior Sanitary District

Treatment Plant Operator

The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD), a nationally recognized leader in environmental protection and pollution prevention, seeks a full-time Treatment Plant Operator in the Operating Services division. Under the supervision of the Operations Supervisor – Clean Water Production, lead worker, or senior waste water operator, or an assigned supervisor, an employee in this classification performs work in the operation and maintenance of portions of the wastewater treatment process.  The treatment plant operator is responsible for ensuring that the assigned portions of the plant operate in compliance with permit requirements and in response to overall plant needs.  On an assigned shift the work involves: equipment operation; assigned preventive, corrective and general maintenance; performing required checks and readings; cleaning duties; and other related work as assigned.


During an assigned shift, an operator performs the designated duties and tasks assigned by the O/M supervisor, lead worker or process operator to efficiently and safely operate the assigned process machinery, equipment and facilities of clean water production; including but not limited to oxygen production systems, liquid oxygen backup systems, influent wastewater pumps, bar screens, grit removal systems, oxygen dissolution systems, settling tanks, effluent filters, air compressors, odor control systems, disinfection systems, chemical feed systems, pumps, motors, controllers, sludge thickeners, sludge digestion equipment, dewatering equipment, and associated equipment to maintain effluent discharge within the NPDES permit.

Performs all related operational tasks in controlling assigned equipment (including adjustments and modifications as prescribed by departmental policy), which may include some coordination of the activities of another operator on the assigned shift.

Takes independent action to deal with emergency situations, including all reporting and notification and ensures that all procedures are followed.

Responsible for communication with other departments and operators to provide necessary information for the various different process problems, emergencies and routine updates.  Accomplishes all assigned preventive maintenance tasks, including informal checks to the standards established by the O/M supervisor or lead worker.

Performs maintenance and repair of process equipment and facilities to maintain operational efficiency. Troubleshoots, makes checks, and takes appropriate action to ensure that equipment and process failures are minimized.

Makes confined space entries as necessary.  Reads meters, gauges and other recording devices and records such data accurately and completely to ensure that complete records are retained; notes events, security breaches and problems as prescribed in departmental policies; samples process streams and performs process control tests according to established procedures and in reaction to emergency situations.

Performs cleaning duties and other related projects to maintain clean and orderly conditions in the District facilities; maintains a constant awareness of safe work practices; ensures compliance with the District Safety Program to complete work without accidents or injuries; attends in-service training as required by the O/M supervisor or lead worker; assists in the training and education of other operators and employees.


Considerable knowledge of specific theories and practices of wastewater treatment and advanced secondary treatment; knowledge of proper sampling techniques and wastewater testing protocols; and considerable knowledge of pumps, motors, tools, machinery and equipment similar to that found in a wastewater or solid waste facility.  Ability to independently use the SCADA system for operation of the specific systems assigned and to utilize the SCADA system under the guidance and direction of the Senior Wastewater Treatment Operator.  Ability to locate and repair minor operational equipment deficiencies; ability to interpret simple illustrated equipment and parts breakdowns, sketches and other related operational equipment; ability to accurately read gauges and meters and to transcribe and interpret this information.  Ability to be mobile over a variety of steps, ramps, ladders and confined spaces; possess sufficient physical strength and agility to perform regular lifting an moving of supplies and equipment; capability of exerting pulling force upon machinery, equipment and valves; to reach overhead and bend over to operate levers and valves; ability to shovel material and operate high pressure water hoses; and ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with fellow employees and supervisors.


Possess two years of full-time equivalent work experience in a large wastewater treatment plant (greater than 1.0 MGD flow) or a combination of education in wastewater treatment, water quality, chemistry, biology or environmental technology and the above work experience which totals four years.  Possess an MPCA "D" Wastewater Operator Certificate (a class “C” certificate is desirable).


Applicants must meet the minimum qualifications.  Those who meet the minimum qualifications will be given a written examination. Final selection will include a panel interview.

Alternative Exam Process:  For individuals who qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), alternative examination processes are available on an individual basis upon prior arrangement.  Contact Human Resources at (218) 740-4818.

Work Eligibility: In accordance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, the WLSSD requires verification of identity and work eligibility.

Veterans: For applicants claiming veterans’ preference, a DD214 must be filed at the time of application. 

Non-discrimination: The WLSSD is an equal opportunity a veteran friendly employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, familial status, age, sexual orientation, status with regard to public assistance, disability, genetic information, veteran status or activity in a local Human Rights Commission or any other characteristic protected by law.

Drug testing policy: Under WLSSD’s drug and alcohol testing policy, prospective employees will be asked to submit to drug testing. No prospective employee will be asked to submit to testing unless an offer of employment has been made. An offer of WLSSD however, is conditioned on the prospective employee testing negative for drugs and alcohol.

Pre-employment physical: Applicants selected for employment must successfully complete a pre-employment physical examination.

Background checks: Offers are conditioned on passing a criminal background check.  Convictions are not an automatic disqualification from the selection process.

Data privacy: Minnesota Statutes Chapter 13 requires that you be informed of the following about private data requested on this application. Name, home address and telephone numbers, and email address are used to identify you and to contact you about potential job opportunities. If your name is not provided, we won’t be able to process your application. If your contact information is not provided, we will not be able to contact you and may reject your application. If you are a finalist for a vacancy, your name becomes public data and is available to anyone. Gender, Race/Ethnic group, and Disability Status are used to comply with equal employment opportunity and affirmative action requirements and to evaluate our efforts to ensure legal diversity in the recruitment and selection of employees. If this data is not provided, it will be more difficult for us to evaluate our efforts and to provide accurate data in the required reports.

Reasonable accommodation information is used to provide reasonable accommodations in the testing and hiring processes. If sufficient data is not provided, we may not be able to accommodate you.

You are not legally required to provide any of the private data listed above. WLSSD employees from the Human Resources Department and other departments involved in the selection process may have access to your private data if their work assignments reasonably require access. Others who may legally access the above data are individuals or agencies to whom we are required to release the data by law, rule or court order.


Please complete an application found at and return to WLSSD, via email ( by 4:30 p.m. on October 1, 2021.  Applicants who claim Veteran’s Preference must provide a DD214 at the time of application.

Probation Period: 9 months
Duration of Eligible List:  6 months

Equal Opportunity Employer
Women and Minority Applicants Encouraged to Apply

  • This position was posted on: 09-21-2021.
  • It will be removed on: 10-21-2021.