Manager - Water Quality Laboratory

Job Locations US-KS-Kansas City
Posted Date 2 months ago(8/2/2023 2:05 PM)
# of Openings


The purpose of this position is to lead and manage the Water Quality Laboratory Department in assuring that WaterOne’s customers receive water of such quality to meet or exceed all regulatory requirements and the customers’ aesthetic expectations by the performance of laboratory testing and by providing guidance for operation of the water treatment process.


WaterOne is an independent public water utility. We’ve been proudly serving the Johnson County, Kansas area since 1957. Every day, nearly 455,000 customers rely on WaterOne to provide fresh, clean water on demand. It’s a responsibility we deliver on. Our passion is water, because water touches everything we care about: family, health, safety, and community. We serve our community by bringing award-winning water to their homes, businesses, and public places.


WaterOne provides competitive benefits and compensation ranges.  Selected candidates are placed in the position’s pay range based on their qualifications.

Pay Range:  From $104,200/year


Essential Functions

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Leads and manages the organization, staffing, and operational activities for all routine and special laboratory services by scheduling work assignments, setting priorities, and directing the work of assigned employees to ensure application of safe, efficient, and effective principles, practices, and procedures including the following:
    • Oversees the performance of all sampling, testing, and reporting of water quality parameters necessary to assure compliance with all state and federal drinking water laws and regulations. This includes establishing laboratory testing procedures and frequency of testing.
    • Ensures proper certification of the Water Quality Laboratory by regulatory agencies.
    • Reviews, evaluates, and implements the Quality Assurance/Quality Control program that meets state certification requirements to assure the reliability of the laboratory data.
    • Reviews, evaluates, and implements methods for the performance of chemical, microbiological, and physical tests, as they are applicable to WaterOne.
    • Oversees the lab safety program.
    • Directs and performs research work to improve existing methods or procedures and to recommend new and improved techniques.
    • Keeps abreast of current State and Federal Regulations by reviewing the Federal Register and other publications, by attending conferences and seminars and by direct contact with State and Federal Agencies.
    • Represents WaterOne and acts as a liaison to regulatory agencies, environmental groups, and technical committees by representing the WaterOne’s interest and positions on proposed new regulations and standards.
    • Reviews, evaluates, and implements performance standards for laboratory personnel based on quantity and quality of work; evaluates and verifies their performance in comparison to expectations, and provides them regular feedback.
    • Performs or oversees other administrative duties such as time approval and ensuring that complete and accurate laboratory records are created and maintained, and other recordkeeping tasks. Prepares reports of routine laboratory and research work and coordinates the maintenance of required reports.
    • Prepares various reports and action item summaries to management and Board as required.
    • Attends Board meetings as necessary for input relative to department issues on the agenda.
    • Reviews, evaluates, and implements training programs for department staff.
    • Coordinates the development and administration of assigned program budget; forecasts funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies; monitors expenditures; recommends adjustments as necessary to minimize costs.
    • Directs the preparation and submits the purchasing documents to obtain the materials and services necessary for the operation of the department and approve purchases as required.
    • Administers WaterOne’s Human Resources policies as they apply to department personnel.
    • Prepares performance appraisals for direct reports. Reviews and approves performance appraisals for all others in the department.
    • Selects, motivates, and supports personnel; works with employees to correct deficiencies; recommends or takes all other appropriate employment actions.
    • Coordinates and manages Department activities related to security and emergency response.
    • Ensures that laboratory personnel respond to customer complaints quickly, understandably and courteously at all times.
    • Assists in establishing procedures for maintaining water quality throughout the Distribution System including laboratory testing, field testing, hydrant flushing, and main sterilization.
  • Provides technical and professional support to superiors and to other departments of WaterOne in matters related to laboratory and treatment process operations including the following:
    • Oversee the preparation of special reports on current and new State and Federal regulations regarding the Safe Drinking Water Act and to other matters related to laboratory and treatment process operations.
    • Provides training and technical support to other departments in matters such as customer water quality complaints and distribution system testing.
    • Provides KDHE certified training for licensed operators.
  • Performs other job duties as assigned.


Required Education, Skills & Experience

  • Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with major course work in microbiology, chemistry, laboratory sciences or a related field. Specific course work or training in the areas of water chemistry, potable water treatment principles, college level mathematics and microbiology. 
  • Five years or more of experience in water treatment laboratory or related operations.
  • Two years or more of experience supervising water treatment laboratory or related operations.
  • Thorough knowledge of the principles, methods and standard practices applied in water treatment and related laboratory technology.
  • A thorough knowledge of the use, operation, and care of standard laboratory equipment.
  • A thorough knowledge of current literature and research developments in water treatment and related laboratory technology.
  • A thorough knowledge of the basic principles and procedures of chemistry, microbiology, physics, and related fields as applied to water treatment and related laboratory topics.
  • Considerable knowledge of the principles and practices applied in the management of a water treatment laboratory and the effective methods of supervision and instruction as applied to work of professional staff and technical assistants.
  • Ability to interpret and apply pertinent Federal, State, and local policies, laws and regulations and determine applicability to laboratory operations.
  • Ability to plan, direct, and evaluate a diverse work group.
  • Capable of setting priorities and scheduling a broad range of work and projects to meet goals and deadlines.
  • High standards for quality and quantity of work produced, exercise good judgment, be creative, and open to new ideas.
  • Strong PC skills including experience with the Microsoft Office suite including Word, Excel, Access, and Outlook. Experience with Laboratory Information Systems (LIMS), project management software, and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) applications and computer control systems is highly desired.  Must be able to learn and use WaterOne software programs
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise diplomacy and judgment when working with the public, fellow employees, developers, contractors, or other public officials.
  • Ability to plan, lead and evaluate research in microbiological, chemical, and physical laboratory methods and techniques.
  • Application of good management, organization, oral and written communication, listening, and logical problem-solving skills.
  • Competency in college level mathematics.
  • Accurately read digital and analog displays and printouts.
  • Ability to accurately determine test results.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license and must continuously meet WaterOne driving standards.
  • Must pass post offer medical exam, including background verification and drug screen (may not apply to current employees).

Preferred Education, Skills & Experience

  • Experience with enterprise resource planning software, such as SAP.


Physical Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions

While performing the duties of this job, the employee must be able to lift/move items weighing up to 20 pounds occasionally. The employee must be able to use a computer for multiple hours a day. The employee must be able to move occasionally from one location to another or be able to remain in a stationary position for up to several hours a day. The employee must be able to use office productivity equipment such as a personal computer, calculator, printer, and copy machine. The employee must be in possession of a licenses and be able to operate a vehicle at any given time. The employee must be able to distinguish colors. The employee must be able to position self to inspect or view equipment and field activities on occasion.


Work Environment

The work environment characteristics 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.

This job operates in both the field and a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets and fax machines. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate except when in the field on a jobsite.


Equal Opportunity Employer

WaterOne is an equal opportunity employer and upholds a non-discrimination policy. We prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, military status, or marital status in making employment and business decisions. We also prohibit harassment and retaliation in the workplace and in our dealings with the public. We encourage and welcome diversity of backgrounds in our workforce. WaterOne complies with the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA).


Complete job description is available upon request and will be provided during the selection process.


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