Series Specification


Class Code: TJ2/TJ3/TJ6
Analyst: CE
Date Originated: 06/02
Date Revised:  11/02

Under direction, to conduct water quality monitoring, management and protection programs, including: sample collection, field analysis, stream flow measurement, laboratory chemical and bacteriological analysis; investigation, inspection and evaluation of on-site wastewater disposal systems public education and assistance for improved septic system management: data maintenance, analysis and reporting; water quality, wastewater management, and water resource studies; and, other work as required. Work for a given position in this class may be focused in a specific program area, such as: water quality monitoring and protection, wastewater management, or water resources.

This is the full working level class specializing in the investigation, inspection and evaluation of on-site wastewater disposal systems and monitoring and protection of water quality, particularly related to impacts from sewage disposal and safety of natural swimming waters. This class differs from those in the Environmental Health Specialist series in that the latter perform investigations and inspections for a broad range of health and sanitary conditions and compliance, enforce State and local laws, regulations and ordinances and require registration as an Environmental Health Specialist. Environmental Health Specialists review plans for septic system installation, determine compliance with County Code, issue permits, conduct installation inspections, and certify installation completion. This classification differs from the classification of Water Quality Chemist in that the latter is responsible for the overall operation of the water quality laboratory, performs a broader range of chemical analysis, performs more complex chemical analysis, and works more independently

Water Quality Specialist I is the entry level for the professional Water Quality Specialist series. Incumbents initially work under general supervision and, as experience is gained, perform a broader range of duties. Incumbents are expected to advance to the Water Quality Specialist II level. 
Water Quality Specialist II is the journey level class in the Water Quality Specialist series. Incumbents independently perform monitoring and wastewater management assignments with limited supervision. This class differs from Water Quality Specialist I in the complexity of work and level of independence in completing assignments which generally include the evaluation of wastewater disposal systems, water quality characteristics, or related environmental issues. Incumbents may have a specialized program area.
Water Quality Specialist III is the senior or advanced journey level in the Water Quality 
Specialist series. Positions in this class are responsible for independently conducting water quality monitoring and management programs, wastewater disposal evaluation and management programs, and watershed management efforts. Incumbents may serve as a project leader and/or lead worker for a particular program area. 


Perform qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis of water quality and contaminants, such as major minerals and trace metals, in a laboratory and at various field sites. Collect samples. Use field instruments to measure stream discharge, temperature, conductivity, pH and dissolved oxygen. Perform bacteriological analyses in a laboratory. Make recommendations regarding test validity and testing and analysis methods. Apply new methods of analyzing contaminants, as learned through literature review and consultation with other agencies. Investigate reports of contamination in order to determine the source and level of. Post signs to alert the public of contamination. Input, access and analyze data collected using computer databases and software. Gather data to be used in the preparation of program reports and plans. Explain analysis results to other county staff, and other public agencies, landowners, the general public and the media. Provide technical information to other staff members regarding issues of water quality and contamination. 

Inspects on-site wastewater disposal systems to investigate complaints, identify problems and evaluate performance. Identify code infractions and violations of environmental regulations and refer them for appropriate enforcement action. Conduct lot by lot surveys for failing septic systems. Prepare property owner notification and pursue enforcement. Institute repair follow-up inspections for compliance. 

May carry out enforcement actions pertaining to environmental regulations as assigned. Review and interpret map and file information such as soil, topography, geology, groundwater, slope, and water quality data to identify potential problem areas. Interview property owners to obtain information and provide guidance on repair and management of 

on-site systems. Interpret and explain program policies and procedures to the public.

Prepare educational materials, conduct workshops, and provide direct education to the public on wastewater disposal and water quality protection. Conduct water quality/non-point source pollution investigations. Analyze data, conduct literature reviews, prepare reports, and make recommendations for policies and programs for water quality protection, wastewater management, and watershed management. May conduct complex environmental and water management studies and prepare technical reports. May represent the County and may give presentations at the local, regional and State level as a technical expert on water resource issues and for special projects or assignments. May serve as a project leader for complex resource and watershed planning projects. May research grant sources, prepare grant applications and administer funded grant programs.

Investigate, develop and implement measures to provide funding assistance (grants, loans, etc.) to property owners for septic system upgrade and repair. Interface with the State of California and lending institutions to identify funding sources. Develop budgets, procedures, forms and fees. Provide information concerning funding programs to the public. Advise eligible property owners about requirements for repair permits and applying for assistance. Assist owners in securing necessary permits and bid packages. Coordinate applications and process applications for funding. Inspect properties potentially eligible for funding, and monitor progress of repair when funding is provided. Approve progress payments and disbursement of funds, and certify satisfactory completion of funded work. Prepare reports necessary to comply with State grant or loan program requirements. Assign routine complaints regarding sewage discharge, animal waste or other water qualify impacts to Environment Health Staff. Track and review resolution. Assist staff to complete unresolved complaints. Investigate and resolve difficult or complex complaints, including preparation of cases for submittal to legal enforcement. Supervise resolution of abatements generated from surveys.


Water Quality Specialist I

Some knowledge of:
· The basic principles and laboratory applications of water chemistry.
· Chemical laboratory methods, equipment, facilities and materials. 
· The principles of aquatic biology, including sampling and analysis procedures. 
· The hazards of operating laboratory equipment and of working in a laboratory environment, including knowledge of appropriate safety precautions.
· Principles, methods and techniques of wastewater disposal systems.
· The impact of environmental factors such as soils topography, geology, groundwater and slope, on wastewater disposal systems.
· The principles of environmental health and wastewater management. 
· Basic data analysis techniques.

Water Quality Specialist II
Working knowledge of above, plus:
Working knowledge of:
· Purposes and policies, procedures and regulations of a County Environmental Health Department. 
· The principles and techniques of gathering and analyzing data.
Some knowledge of:
· The techniques of public presentation. 
· The principles of biology, geology, hydrology, water quality, or watershed management pertaining to land use and water resource planning. 

Water Quality Specialist III
Working knowledge of above, plus:
Working knowledge of:
· Specialty area to which assigned.
· Some knowledge of:
· Legislative processes.
· Policy formulation. 
· The principles and techniques of project leadership and training. 

Ability to: 

Water Quality Specialist I
· Learn to perform chemical, biological and physical analysis related to water pollution. 
· Make and record accurate scientific observations. 
· Learn to collect field samples, such as stream samples or monitoring well samples. 
· Prepare related reports. 
· Understand and follow technical and complex oral and written instructions. 
· Maintain accurate records. 
· Work in a variety of physical environments, which may involve walking over rugged terrain, over streambeds or through water. 
· Learn to input, access and analyze data using a computer terminal. 
· Perceive colors normally. 
· Learn to make inspections to determine compliance with performance standards. 
· Learn to read, interpret and evaluate map and file information such as soil, topography, geology, groundwater, and slope and water quality data.
· Establish and maintain cooperative relationships with others. 
· Interpret and explain program policies and procedures. 

Water Quality Specialist II
All of the above plus: 
· Perform chemical, biological and physical analysis related to water pollution.
· Collect field samples, such as stream samples or monitoring well samples. 
· Make inspections to determine compliance with performance standards.
· Read, interpret and evaluate map and file information such as soil, topography, geology, groundwater, and slope and water quality data. 
· Make and record accurate scientific observations.
· Prepare and present studies and reports, orally, written and graphically.
· Synthesize and explain technical data to non-scientific people. 
· Speak effectively before groups.
· Interpret, explain and apply laws, ordinances, rules and regulations. 
· Interpret and explain program policies and procedures. 
· Evaluate and prepare inspection reports on existing on-site wastewater disposal systems.
· Institute enforcement actions.

Water Quality Specialist III
All of the above plus: 
· Plan and coordinate water quality monitoring programs involving multiple team members.
· Complete complex assignments, determine alternatives and make recommendations.
· Write, interpret, apply and explain complex rules, laws, regulations and ordinances.
· Prepare clear and concise administrative and technical reports.
· Understand, interpret and consistently apply provisions of laws, regulations and plans.
· Speak effectively before large groups.
· Provide leadership to team efforts. 

Education and Experience:

Any combination of education and experience which would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying, unless otherwise specified. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be: 

Water Quality Specialist I - A four-year degree in chemistry, biology, microbiology, environmental sciences, or a closely related field. OR a two-year degree in chemistry, biology, microbiology, environmental sciences or a closely related field and two years of experience working in a laboratory or field investigations of environmental sciences. 

Water Quality Specialist II - Two years of water quality experience equivalent to a Water Quality Specialist I at Santa Cruz County OR Possession of a valid Certificate of Registration as an Environmental Health Specialist issued by the State Department of Health Services AND Equivalent to six months experience designing, constructing, installing, inspecting or maintaining on-site wastewater disposal systems or conducting water quality monitoring efforts.

Water Quality Specialist III - Two years of water quality experience equivalent to a Water Quality Specialist II at Santa Cruz County. 

Special Requirements/Conditions:

-License Requirements: All levels: Possess and maintain a valid California Class C Driver License.

-Special Working Conditions: Exposure to variable temperatures; slippery surfaces; loud noises; sunburn; dust and pollen; bee stings; infections, such as tick-borne Lyme disease or mosquito-borne encephalitis; angry or hostile persons; corrosive chemicals; wetness, such as while walking in the rain or through a stream on a site inspection.

-Background Investigation: None

-Other Special Requirements: Positions may be assigned to carry a pager and respond to emergency situations and perform on-call or call-back duties. Work situations may include evenings, weekends and holidays.

-Previous Class Titles: Water Quality Specialist, Waste Water Disposal Technician

Bargaining Unit: 41 
EEOC Job Category: 02 
Occupational Grouping: 74 
Workers’Comp Code: 0285