Recruitment #1806-1914DC-001




Under the direction of the Water Quality Operations Manager, the Lead Water Chemist leads a team of Water Chemists in the Milwaukee Water Works (MWW) Water Quality laboratory to maintain regulatory compliance of the water treatment process and distribution of continuous, safe potable water for over 850,000 customers.

Essential Functions

  • Provide oversight and direction of the online instrumentation program to ensure that data from these instruments will be reliable and will provide valid and verifiable data.
  • Ensure validity of reference data by implementing quality assurance program for laboratory bench-top instruments and documenting analyst competence through the use of known standards, duplicates, blind samples, and other accepted quality control techniques.
  • Prepare standard operating procedures (SOP) for instrument calibration, verification and routine maintenance and make recommendations for preventive maintenance activities and schedules.
  • Evaluate instrument performance and resulting data quality using statistical techniques.
  • Utilize computer data storage, databases and data manipulation tools to facilitate the usefulness and accessibility of the bench-top and online data.
  • Supervise and direct water chemists by reviewing their work, reports, summaries and data recording and ensure work is done in a timely and easily retrievable manner.
  • Assist in data interpretation as plants operations staff perform laboratory analyses of grab samples to verify results from continuous monitoring instruments such as chlorine, particle counts, turbidity, fluoride, pH, ozone residuals, phosphate, ammonia, conductivity and temperature.
  • Analyze samples using complex lab instrumentation including Ion Chromatograph, TOC Analyzer and AA Spectrophotometer.
  • Utilize knowledge of water treatment processes and water quality information from continuous monitoring instrumentation to assist water plant operations staff in fine-tuning and optimizing specific components of the treatment process such as filter operation, coagulant dosage, chlorine residuals, CT targets for ozone and chlorine, and others as identified by staff.
  • Perform administrative tasks such as preparing reports for submission to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), responding to need for data analysis, ordering chemicals and other laboratory supplies, and authorizing payment for received goods.  

Reasonable accommodations requested by qualified individuals with disabilities will be made in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.

Conditions of Employment

  • Water treatment plants are deemed critical infrastructures and require employees to adhere to strict security procedures.
  • Water Plant Section employees are considered “essential” and must report to work no matter the weather conditions or emergency event.
  • Must be able to respond when called for after-hours emergencies to offer counsel or by reporting onsite and conducting necessary work to resolve the emergency.
  • Must be able to work outdoors in all types of weather conditions as needed.

Minimum Requirements

  1. Regular status as City of Milwaukee, Department of Public Works - Water Works employee having successfully completed a probationary period for a civil service position.
  2. Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, microbiology, water technology, wastewater technology or a closely related field.
  3. Three years of experience in an environmental laboratory performing similar duties to those listed above.
  4. State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Surface Water Municipal Water Supply Operator Certification within nine months of appointment and maintain throughout employment.
  5. Valid Wisconsin driver’s license at time of appointment and maintain throughout employment.

IMPORTANT NOTE: To receive credit for college, transcripts are required and must be received by the application period closing date. College transcripts should be attached to your online application. Applications without transcripts attached will be considered incomplete and will be rejected.

Knowledges, Skills, Abilities & Other Characteristics

  • Knowledge of proper sample collection and preservation procedures.
  • Knowledge of chemistry for dilutions, conversions and general lab practices.
  • Knowledge of drinking water treatment principles and processes.
  • Oral communication skills to effectively communicate with staff, the public and management.
  • Written communication skills for compiling records and reports.
  • Customer service skills to respond to water quality concerns from the public with tact and professionalism.
  • Leadership skills to effectively supervise professional staff by assigning tasks, prioritizing duties, and monitoring performance.
  • Ability to perform mathematical calculations including ratios, units, dimensions, conversions, percentages, statistics and logarithms.
  • Ability to conduct proper lab techniques including standard methods and required protocol set forth by the Milwaukee Water Works and Department of Natural Resources.
  • Ability to record and review lab results with precision to ensure accuracy and to consistently monitor process control of the water treatment plant.
  • Ability to keep accurate records.
  • Ability to use standard computer applications, including word processing and spreadsheet software and databases.
  • Ability to use proprietary software, including data graphing. High ethical standards to report accurate lab results to ensure regulatory compliance at all times.

Current Salary

The current salary range (Pay Range 2GN) for City of Milwaukee residents is $54,980 - $72,063 annually and the non-resident salary range is $53,631 - $70,295 annually.   Appointment will be made in accordance with the provisions of the salary ordinance.

Selection Process

THE SELECTION PROCESS will be job related and will consist of one or more of the following: an evaluation of related education, experience and accomplishments, written tests, interview, or other assessment methods.  The Department of Employee Relations and the Department of Public Works, Water Works reserve the right to call only the most qualified candidates to oral, performance tests or personal interviews. Information from the selection process will be used to make a hiring decision. Selected candidates will be transferred and/or promoted to the position.

NOTE:  Transfer/Promotional Opportunities and Promotional Examinations are not open to Milwaukee Public Schools employees or to the public. Only current City of Milwaukee, Department of Public Works – Water Works employees hired through a City Service Commission process and have successfully passed a probationary period for a Civil Service position will be considered for this position. Individuals with exempt, provisional, temporary or emergency appointments are not eligible for transfer.

Additional Information

APPLICATIONS and further information may be accessed by visiting www.jobaps.com/MIL.    

  • Applications and transcripts should be submitted no later than the deadline listed above.
  • If you would like assistance completing an application, please contact the Department of Employee Relations at (414) 286-3751 or staffinginfo@milwaukee.gov.
  • The Department of Employee Relations is located in City Hall, 200 E Wells St, Room 706, Milwaukee, WI 53202.


EEO = 206  

“The City of Milwaukee values and encourages diversity and is an equal opportunity employer.”