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WATER PLANT LABORATORY TECHNICIAN
DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE CLASS
The work involves responsibility for performing laboratory testing of water samples to determine bacterial content or contamination before and after treatment in a water distribution and transmission system as well as assisting chemists by performing other basic routine laboratory tests and procedures. Depending on area of assignment, an employee in this class is responsible for the collection and handling of representative water samples in accordance with prescribed collection procedures; transporting these samples to the laboratory and conducting bacterial tests from initial set up to completion according to authorized and established procedures. Work is carried out under the general supervision of a Chemist I or Water Systems Chemist. The incumbent is expected to perform independently, discussing any problems or difficulties with the supervisor. The work of an employee in this class is distinct from Laboratory Technicians assigned to medical laboratories by virtue of the tests on specimens of human tissue and body fluids performed in the latter facility. The work is also distinct from that of Laboratory Technicians in a wastewater treatment facility by virtue of the type of testing performed, and the methods and procedures utilized in the analysis of waste and wastewater as compared to procedures applied to determine and analyze the quality of drinking water. An employee in this class is expected to operate and maintain all water quality monitoring equipment utilized in the collection of water samples (such as dissolved oxygen, temperature readings, Phosphate levels, Turbidity, pH, etc). Water samples may include source samples (raw water) and distribution system samples (potable water). Supervision is not typically a responsibility of this class. Does related work as required.
TYPICAL WORK ACTIVITIES
Performs water lab analysis, such as coliform and E-Coli testing, preparing bacteria media, accession, pH, fluoride, phosphate, heterotrophic plate counts, turbidity, etc.
Sets up and conducts tests by sterilizing, maintaining and pouring media, preparing coliform broth’s and setting up and operating proper equipment; incubates and cultures bacteria by setting, controlling, and maintaining incubation temperatures until test completion.
Reads and records results of tests on a data base system or computerized records system, assembles data and prepares reports including bacterial growth and colony test results, pH's for all medias utilized, incubation temperatures, sterilization records, control plates and membrane filter controls.
Inventories and orders supplies, medias, glassware and related materials utilized in bacteriology laboratory testing.
Operates and maintains a variety of lab equipment including the Quebec Colony Counter, stereoscopic microscope, sterilizers, stills, autoclaves and incubators.
Maintains the bacteriology section of the laboratory and lab equipment to ensure lab is functioning properly and sanitary conditions are observed.
Reviews and maintains files of mandated testing procedures, reviews and implements testing or procedural changes as required.
Assists the lab Chemist by performing a variety of duties which may include the double distillation water test, preparation of media, sterilization of glassware, minor lab equipment maintenance, disposal of used medias, pH tests and autoclaving.
Assists in the training of Water Plant Operators in the techniques of bacterial/coliform count and analysis.
Performs bacterial testing of "blind analysis" of water prepared by the New York State Department of Health.
WHEN EMPLOYED AT ONONDAGA COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY:
Collects lake, stream and distribution system samples and obtains the necessary on-site measurements by operating field equipment to gather dissolved oxygen, temperature, conductivity, pH and chlorine residual data.
Transports samples to laboratory, prepares samples for analysis and completes appropriate records as required.
FULL PERFORMANCE KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS, ABILITIES AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
Good knowledge of bacterial/coliform content analysis and testing procedures used in determining water quality.
Good knowledge of the principles, procedures and methods common to sampling, measuring and analyzing water samples.
Good knowledge of basic laboratory procedures and safety precautions including the preparation, use and care of laboratory apparatus.
Ability to understand and follow moderately complex technical written and oral instructions.
Ability to operate and maintain equipment used in raw and potable water sampling.
Ability to complete thorough, clear and concise records of tests and to convey results in an easily understood manner.
Ability to recognize substandard samples.
WHEN EMPLOYED AT ONONDAGA COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY:
Good knowledge of procedures and safety precautions in the collection of representative samples.
Ability to operate a motor boat and motor vehicle.
Physical condition commensurate with the demands of the position.
A. Graduation from a regionally accredited college or university or one accredited by the New York State Board of Regents to grant degrees with an Associates Degree in Public Health Technology, Environmental Technology, Water and Waste Water Technology (Option of Science Laboratory Technology), Medical Laboratory Technology, or an Associates Degree including or supplemented by 15 semester credit hours in any of the Natural Sciences (Biology, Chemistry or Physics); or,
B. Two (2) years of work experience, or its part time equivalent, in a laboratory performing technical laboratory procedures or in water or waste water analysis, control, treatment, or sampling; or natural science (biology, chemistry, physics);or,
C. An equivalent combination of training and experience as defined by the limits of (A) and (B) above.
NOTE: Graduation from a regionally accredited college or university or one accredited by the New York State Board of Regents to grant degrees with an Associates or Baccalaureate Degree in biology or chemistry can substitute for qualifications stipulated in (A), (B) and (C) above.
SPECIAL NECESSARY REQUIREMENT WHEN EMPLOYED AT O.C.W.A.
Possession of a valid New York State Motor Vehicle Operator's License.
Possession of a New York State Department of Health Grade IIA Water Treatment Operators License within three (3) years of employment at O.C.W.A.