Recruitment #2005-1914DC-001




Under the direction of the Water Quality Operations Manager, the Lead Water Chemist guides a team of Water Chemists in the Water Quality Laboratory in order to maintain regulatory compliance in the treatment and distribution of safe, potable water for over 867,000 customers.

Essential Functions

  • Provide oversight and direction of the online instrumentation program to ensure that data from these instruments is reliable, valid and verifiable.
  • Ensure validity of reference data by overseeing the 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 (SOPs) for instrument calibration, verification and routine maintenance and make recommendations for preventive maintenance activities and schedules.
  • Using statistical techniques, evaluate instrument performance and resulting data quality.
  • Utilize computer data storage, databases and data manipulation tools to facilitate the accessibility of the bench-top and online data.
  • Provide guidance and direction to water laboratory technicians by reviewing their work, reports, summaries and data recording; ensure work is done in a timely and easily retrievable manner.
  • Assist with data interpretation of grab sample laboratory analysis 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 Gas Chromatography, Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analysis and Atomic Absorption (AA) Spectroscopy.
  • Collect compliance samples as regulated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).
  • Prepare reports for submission to the DNR and EPA, respond to data analysis requests, order chemicals and other laboratory supplies, and authorize 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 Quality Section employees are considered “essential” and must report to work no matter the weather conditions or emergency event.
  • Lead Chemists 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.

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 from and accredited college or university.
  3. Three years of experience in a 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 throughout employment.
  5. Valid Wisconsin driver’s license at time of appointment and 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.
  • Ability to assign tasks, prioritize duties, and monitor 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 protocols 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 ensure regulatory compliance.

Current Salary

The current salary range (2GN) is $54,980-$72,063 annually, and the resident incentive salary range for City of Milwaukee residents is $56,630-$74,225. Appointment will be made in accordance with the City of Milwaukee 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.”