City and County of San Francisco

Water Quality Technician (#2481)

$34.03-$47.88 Hourly / $5,898.00-$8,298.00 Monthly / $70,772.00-$99,580.00 Yearly


Under general supervision, performs field and laboratory technician duties to evaluate water and wastewater treatment plant operation, and to determine industrial discharge compliance with pretreatment and source control standards; conducts chemical and microbiological analyses, keeps detailed and accurate records and enters laboratory data into information management systems; conforms to laboratory safe practices.

Distinguishing Features

Water Quality Technician is the entry level of this series. Under general supervision incumbents in this class perform simple to increasingly more skilled field and laboratory tasks including chemical analyses and field monitoring duties. Incumbents in this class generally work independently, and are required to exercise sound analytical judgment.

Supervision Exercised


Examples of Important and Essential Duties

According to Civil Service Commission Rule 109, the duties specified below are representative of the range of duties assigned to this job code/class and are not intended to be an inclusive list.

1. Performs simple to increasingly skilled physical, chemical and microbiological laboratory analyses of drinking water, wastewater, and other environmental samples; prepares samples for inorganic and organic analysis.

2. Collects samples from reservoirs, transmission lines, industrial dischargers, sewer lines, water and wastewater treatment plants, wastewater collection systems, beaches, marine and estuarine water bodies and other sources as required using established techniques and procedures; performs field tests for pH, chlorine residual, temperature, dissolved sulfides, oxidants, dissolved oxygen; and other related tests; follows quality assurance protocols to ensure proper sample collection and identification prior to delivery to the laboratory.

3. Documents the collection of samples and flow data by following established protocols; submits clear and detailed daily field records and site sheets documenting all sampling and monitoring activities.

4. Conducts various physical, chemical, and biological analyses on samples of various sources.

5. Assists biologists and chemists conducting bacteriological analyses and whole effluent toxicity tests on water, wastewater, and seawater samples; assists chemists to complete sample analyses within client stipulated deadlines.

6. Conducts analyses in accordance with established Quality Assurance (QA) protocols, records accuracy and precision measurements, evaluates contamination through analyses of blanks, works with QA/QC section to improve technique; follows all laboratory safety practices, wears protective clothing and equipment.

7. Operates, calibrates, maintains, and properly documents the use of automated sampling equipment, gas detectors, continuous pH monitoring meters, flow meters; maintains maintenance and calibration records for a variety of field equipment; may operate chemical test instrumentation.

8. Receives samples, creates batches, and performs analyses according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other approved standard protocols; enters data generated for review.

9. Prepares reagents, sterilizes glassware, uses sterile technique to minimize contamination, sterilizes and disposes of laboratory waste, maintains an adequate inventory of laboratory supplies and materials; may clean, calibrate, and otherwise maintain delicate laboratory instruments.

10. Prepares reports, charts, and graphs as required.

11. Maintains laboratory and assigned work areas clean and organized, in ready-to-use status.

12. Performs related duties as needed or assigned.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of: the basic principles of water and wastewater treatment, general organic and inorganic chemistry, field monitoring and laboratory procedures, field and laboratory safety practices.

Ability to: learn procedures for the analysis of samples; demonstrate good laboratory and field monitoring technique; follow detailed oral and written instructions; read water meters; perform basic mathematical calculations; learn proper traffic control and confined space entry safety practices; work independently; establish and maintain effective and cooperative working relationships; and interact with the general public.

Skill in: handling, operating and maintaining laboratory and field monitoring materials and equipment

Experience and Training

These minimum qualifications establish the education, training, experience, special skills and/or license(s) which are required for employment in the classification. Please note, additional qualifications (i.e., special conditions) may apply to a particular position and will be stated on the exam/job announcement.

1. Completion of high school or its equivalent AND eighteen (18) months (equivalent to 3,000 hours) verifiable experience in a water or wastewater utility performing laboratory and/or field technician duties as described in Note A and Note B, OR

2. Possession of an associate degree from an accredited college or university with coursework in biology, chemistry, microbiology, engineering or a related field OR

3. Participation in the 9916 Public Service Aide Training Program with twelve (12) months of laboratory experience performing laboratory and/or field technician duties as described in Note A or Note B.

Notes on Qualifying Experience:
A. Qualify laboratory experience must include conducting routine analyses such as turbidity, total suspended solids and pH; or assisting chemists or biologists conducting more advanced analyses such as bioassays..

B. Qualifying field experience must include collecting water samples; conducting analyses such as free and toal chlorine, free ammonia and nitrite; and completing sample documentation and chain of custody records.

License or Certificate

Possession of a valid California driver's license; certification as a Water Distribution Operator – D1 may be required for certain positions.


Established: 12/4/2000

Amended: 2/9/2001; 3/4/2014

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.

CLASS: 2481; EST: 1/1/1900; REV: 3/4/2014;