Water Quality Lab Technician
City of Boise, ID - Boise, ID
Full-time, Part-time, Temporary

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Performs a wide range of technical work and analytical testing that supports the City of Boise wastewater and utility operations, and ensures that testing methods comply with all lab policies, procedures, rules, and federal, state and city regulations. Work is performed under general supervision.

Please note on your application whether you are looking for full-time, part-time, temporary or seasonal employment (more than one may be selected).

Essential Functions:

Conducts high quality analytical testing in a timely manner in accordance with lab requirements. Performs testing including solids, oxygen demand, microbiological assays, alkalinities, pH, nutrients, and various other tests. Generates data used for regulatory compliance, engineering studies and revenue recovery. Uses defined quality control criteria, standardized methods, routinely updated control limits and sample site histories. Integrates large sample loads and unpredictable sampling events into daily work routine. Notifies supervision of unusual sample results. Performs corrective action and troubleshooting that involves calculation review, reagent and standard reparation, instrument operation/maintenance, matrix interference, analytical technique and theory. Reports and calculates data accurately and precisely using Microsoft Excel then enters data into the lab's database, Laboratory Information and Management System (LIMS). Works within safety guidelines to perform tasks utilizing personal protective equipment and mechanical controls. (50%)

Prepares lab instrumentation/equipment, supplies and samples for testing. Prepares and records laboratory bench stock reagents, calibration standards, glassware, supplies, and bench sheets. Assays and calibrates standards. Calibrates lab equipment and runs associated curve checks. Conducts preventative maintenance and performs corrective actions on a variety of laboratory equipment. Completes and documents weekly and monthly preventative maintenance check lists for laboratory equipment. Documents and records all maintenance actions and changes in equipment operation or performance. (15%)

Conducts Sample Management/Data Flow. Implements sample login procedures in LIMS as sample custodian of all samples received. Interprets the LIMS process scheduler. Handles each sample aliquot, which includes and is not limited to documentation, custody, temperature, preservation, labels, storage, holding time, distribution, compositing, splitting, and verifying required and/or requested analyses. Identifies daily, weekly and monthly required analyses using a LIMS database and coordinates corresponding sample bottle preparation and preservation. Calculates and records data essential to operation and compliance of the wastewater treatment plant process using a variety of data in LIMS and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. Validates data in LIMS and associated spreadsheets. Customizes and modifies Excel calculation spreadsheets. (15%)

Utilizes Specialized Techniques and Technical Instrumentation, Flow Injection Analysis, Ion Chromatography, Discrete Analyzer, Total Organic Carbon, Oil and Grease extractor, automated Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen digester, distillation and titration units. Utilizes specialized techniques including sterile sample handling for enumeration of bacteria and strict contamination prevention protocol for trace level analytes. Performs multiple chemical dosing studies utilizing standardized conditions. Works as a technical lead with Environmental Division staff during monthly or specialized field sampling and testing in mobile laboratory. Develops and recommends new/modified standard operating procedures as directed. Conducts research and development on new methods. Helps calculate method detection limits and QA/QC control limits, updates the LIMS Process Scheduler, and other activities as assigned. Maintains and archives data as mandated by federal NPDES permits. (10%)

Participates in activities related to training and communication. Responds to questions from internal and external clients regarding sampling and analytical needs. Communicates ongoing corrective actions with Quality Control Coordinators and lab staff. Conducts oral, written and hands-on instruction on sampling and laboratory testing used in wastewater process control to plant operators, lab personnel and outside customers. Provides tours of the laboratory facility. Develops and provides state approved Continuing Education Unit (CEU) training to division staff and other associated personnel. Assists with the training of new lab personnel on maintenance of equipment, lab procedures and reagent preparation. Serves as a representative on various City committees. (10%)

Performs other duties as assigned. Nothing in this job description restricts management's right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this position at any time.


Required Knowledge, Experience, And Training
Requires education and/or experience to attain the following:

Bachelor's degree with an emphasis in chemistry, biology, or environmental science, or a two-year college degree and four years laboratory experience, or an equivalent combination of education and/or experience.

Working knowledge of quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) measures and protocols; the use of scientific calculators; graphing, and algebra; computer software including Word and Excel; various time, labor, resource and data management software and databases such as Sum Total, Hansen and Labworks (LIMS).

Ability to interpret and apply federal, state, and city policies, procedures, laws, codes, rules and regulations; evaluate a variety of laboratory tests relating to wastewater, water, bio-solids and soil; understand complex technical literature, theory and instrumentation; conduct research and analyze data; operate and utilize a wide variety of laboratory equipment and instruments; prepare clear, accurate and concise technical reports and data; establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, co-workers, clients, regulatory agency representative and others; display an attitude of cooperation and work harmoniously with all levels of City employees, the general public and other organizations; communicate effectively in the English language at a level necessary for efficient job performance; complete assignments in a timely fashion; understand and comply with all rules, policies and regulations; maintain prompt and regular attendance; and perform all essential and marginal functions as assigned by an authorized employee, supervisor and/or manager with or without a reasonable accommodation.

Preferred Knowledge, Experience, And Training
Advanced degree in chemistry, biology, environmental science or engineering; three years analytical lab experience in microbiology, soil science, quality assurance/quality control, and instrument maintenance, advanced instrumentation including flow injection analyzers (FIA), discreet analyzers, ion chromatography (IC), total organic carbon analyzers (TOC) and inductively coupled plasma- atomic emission spectrometer (ICP-AES).
Wastewater Lab Operator license, Class I or higher.

Licensing And Other Requirements
Valid Idaho driver's license.
Ability to obtain an Idaho Wastewater Treatment Operator Class I or Operator-in-training license within six months of meeting Idaho Bureau of Occupational License's eligibility requirements and a Wastewater Operator Laboratory Class I License.

Special Requirements
All applicants must be able to successfully pass City of Boise background check processes which include reference checks and criminal history checks.

Applicants must be able to pass, or have:

Driving Record Check

Drug Free Workplace: In accordance with the City of Boise Drug Free Workplace Regulation, this position is designated as safety sensitive and is subject to testing requirements including Post Offer Applicant Testing, Random Testing, Reasonable Suspicion, Post - Accident, etc. Applicants will be required to submit to screening for illegal drug use prior to hire. Appointment to this position is contingent upon a negative pre-employment drug test.

This position is required to exercise custodial responsibility for illegal drugs or precursors.

Working Conditions:

The physical effort characteristics and working environment described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Physical Efforts
While performing the duties of this job the employee is always lifting/carrying up to 10 lbs, occasionally lifting/carrying up to 35 lbs and rarely lifting/carrying up to 50 lbs. Also the employee is occasionally pushing/pulling up to 35 lbs and rarely pushing/pulling up to 50 lbs. The noise level is rarely loud. Work includes sensory ability to talk, hear, smell, touch and feel. Work in this position also includes close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision and depth perception. Employees will sit, stand, walk, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, reach, grasp, climb and balance. Position requires hand/finger dexterity. Additional physical efforts include: uses step stools and ladders.

Working Environment
The work environment will include inside conditions, outdoor weather conditions, extreme temperatures, in wet and humid conditions, with areas of dust, odors, mist, gases or other airborne matter. Employees work in/at places where they are exposed to mechanical, electrical hazards. Employees will also drive a vehicle as part of this position. Work areas include wet floors, poorly lit parking lot with no cross walk and heavy truck traffic, uneven outdoor walkways, broken glass, sewage, and compressed gasses. Work includes protected exposure to infectious bacteria, bodily fluids, and chemicals. Additional environmental conditions include: appropriate mechanical controls and personal protective equipment to minimize exposure to caustic chemicals, strong acids, toxic fumes, and heat while operating the autoclave, furnace, digestion blocks, and hot plates. Requires handling hot equipment, hot media, and reagents that can cause burns.
This position works: weekdays but rotates Saturday coverage. There is occasional overtime, and work schedule adjustments to meet the demands of the storm water permit, special sampling events, timed evaluations of microbiological cultures, and/or environmental emergencies.