Looking to put your knowledge of environmental health, water quality and drinking water in high gear? Join our action-oriented, highly professional team as an Environmental Health Specialist I in the Water Resources Program.
This is an entry-level professional classification located in the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and is under the direction of an immediate supervisor.
Some of what you'll do:
This classification involves extensive interaction with a socio-economic and culturally diverse population of clients; federal, state, and local governmental agencies; business and industrial establishments; medical personnel; community-based agencies; and department personnel to conduct plan reviews and field investigations. Duties include the application of environmental health and safety principles and practices within a regulatory environment, and the development of effective working relationships utilizing tact, diplomacy, and sensitivity when communicating in person or in writing. An Environmental Health Specialist I will participate in administrative hearings; assist with program planning and evaluation; and may assist with on-the-job training of technicians and aides, or the cross training of other specialists.
- Monitor, regulate, and provide oversight to Group B and Group A public water systems in Pierce County.
- Conduct inspections of public water systems, including monitoring and evaluating the water system for deficiencies and compliance, addressing complaints, and providing technical assistance.
- Review permit applications to ensure water system adequacy.
- Provide education and outreach to water system managers and the public.
- Determine, evaluate, and assess water adequacy for land development, based on water quality, quantity, and compliance with state and local regulations.
- Respond to inquiries, complaints, as well as explain drinking water regulatory requirements to consultants, engineers, other state and local agencies, land use professionals and the general public.
- Respond to and investigate reported water borne illnesses.
- Compose reports and correspondence.
- Assist in implementing codes and ordinances.
- Monitor lakes for toxic algae
- Conduct marine bio-toxin monitoring
- Sample swimming beaches for fecal indicator bacteria
- Identify and correct sources of water pollution in shellfish areas
- Educate the public on environmental health issues, regulations and policies.
- The operation of various office and field equipment is used to facilitate the analysis of field testing and the composition of statistical, narrative and graphical reports, e.g., personal computers with various software packages, and field equipment for chemical analysis, etc.
An employee assigned to this classification will work independently with minimal supervision. Well-defined directives, regulations and procedures directly cover the work; strict conformance is required. Work assignments are both general and specific in nature, and are received in both verbal and written form. Instructions received define overall objectives, with minimal specificity regarding how to proceed with assignments, however, Environmental Health Specialist II's are available for consultation. Work results are usually examined by the supervisor for soundness of technical judgment and quality of recommendations. Unusual problems or situations are mutually discussed with the lead Environmental Health Specialist II or the supervisor depending on the situation.
This is a “summary” of the duties and responsibilities commonly found within this classification. It is not meant to be all-inclusive, thus, other related activities or tasks may be assigned.
Click here for a detailed Classification Specification.
What you bring to the table:
- Knowledge of environmental health principles and practices.
- Knowledge of and the ability to apply math and science applications to environmental health work.
- Skill in analyzing, compiling, recording, and assessing data.
- Skill in planning and organizing work activities to meet established objectives.
- Skill in communicating effectively within a sometimes stressful environment.
- Ability to interpret and apply federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
- Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing with tact, diplomacy, and sensitivity.
- Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
- Positions assigned to On-site Sewage System Design and Inspection requires the possession of a current State of Washington Wastewater Treatment System Inspector license within in two years of hire.
- Positions assigned to Zoonotics will require a Washington State Department of Agriculture Pesticide License with a Public Health Consultant emphasis within six months of hire.
- Positions assigned to the Solid Waste Division require possession of a current Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Certified Landfill Inspector within twelve months of hire.
- Positions assigned to the Clandestine Drug Lab program may be required to receive and maintain drug lab worker and supervisor training and certification that has been authorized and/or approved by the Washington State Department of Health, or in lieu of the State Department of Health, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, within 2 years of the time of assignment to the Clandestine Drug Lab program.
- Positions assigned to the Clean Air program must receive and maintain Asthma Educator Certification currently provided by the National Asthma Educator Certification Board, within 2 years of the time of assignment to the Clean Air program.
- Possession of a valid driver’s license and an acceptable driver’s abstract is required prior to employment.
- Computer literacy.
- Ability to successfully pass a background investigation.
Who should apply:
Individuals with a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Science with a minimum of 45 credit hours or 30 semester hours in the basic natural or physical sciences; or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience. Possession of a Certificate of Registration as a Sanitarian within one year of appointment is highly desirable.
Working Conditions & Physical Requirements:
- The potential for dealing with dissatisfied or angry customers exists, requiring skills in conflict resolution.
- The work environment includes both indoor and outdoor tasks.
- Routine exposure to regular climatic changes, which may involve heat, humidity, snow, and rain.
- Exposure to loud noises from working around equipment or machinery, generally requiring ear protection may be required on an infrequent basis.
Tools and Equipment
- Physical agility and stamina to walk or climb from place to place is required due to the rigorous nature of some of the fieldwork, i.e., unlevel ground, wooded and brushy areas; climbing up and down stairs and hills; and crouching and/or crawling into small areas.
- Stooping or bending repeatedly throughout the day in the course of performing skilled and non-skilled work.
- Work involves special physical demands such as lifting and carrying 25 - 50 lbs such as field equipment.
- Duties require the use of standard office furniture and equipment (e.g., desk, filing cabinet, computer, printer, telephone, fax machine, copy machine, etc.) as well as specialized field equipment associated with collecting environmental media for testing and analysis.
Participate in the Department's Emergency response when activated, based on your skills, abilities and the physical demands of the role.
- Driving a vehicle requiring a license.
- Some travel is required, and is typically local or regional, to meet with clients, conduct business, or attend or provide training.
- Extensive local travel may be required.