Supervisor-Microbiology/Field Section Laboratory

Job Locations US-KS-Kansas City
Posted Date 1 month ago(10/27/2023 8:39 AM)
# of Openings


The purpose of this position is with minimum oversight, this position is responsible for the daily operation of the Microbiology/Field Section of the Lab. The Supervisor makes routine decisions concerning sampling schedules, resource allocation, and coordination with other sections and departments. Professional and technical staff reporting to the Supervisor perform laboratory analyses, field sampling, and emergency response.


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 $92,400/year


Essential Functions

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

  • Meet qualifications for using air purifying and air supplied respiratory protection.
  • Develops, supervises, reviews, and evaluates laboratory programs.
  • Plans, schedules, assigns, directs, and reviews the work of professional staff and technicians performing chemical, biological, and bacteriological analyses.
  • Establishes analytical procedures, sets goals, determines priorities, and develops work schedules.
  • Interviews candidates and recommends selection of employees; directs the training of subordinates in the performance of the work; reviews and evaluates employee performance and recommends changes to meet established goals.
  • Directs, plans, organizes, and evaluates special study project teams, designing sampling and field-testing programs, developing time schedules, setting goals, monitoring results, analyzing data, including statistics, and submitting oral and written reports as required.
  • Establishes and reviews monitoring programs relating to treatment, distribution, and storage of drinking water; recommends changes in methods, monitoring programs, and policies including process control changes to improve efficiency or product quality.
  • Participates in studies conducted by regulatory agencies, consultants, or professional groups to evaluate new or existing chemical, biological, or field analysis methods.
  • Coordinates the planning and development of sample collection and monitoring programs, conferring with supervisors of other sections as required.
  • Directs, monitors, and evaluates a laboratory quality assurance program.
  • Supports and conveys WaterOne policies and procedures to employees; is responsible for maintaining safe working conditions.
  • Prepares periodic and special reports, correspondence as required; may participate in preparation of research papers for presentation at technical conferences.
  • Assists with preparing and monitors the annual budget; evaluates laboratory services and equipment and recommends purchase.
  • Work with programming staff to develop and maintain Laboratory Information Management System applications.
  • Troubleshoot problems with reagents, microbiological media, analytical methods, treatment of water, or complex instrumentation. Reports any reagent quality problems or malfunctions of laboratory equipment to the Manager-Laboratory or Laboratory Quality Assurance Officer.
  • Keep current on technical improvements in the field of water treatment and analysis. Investigate new analytical tools and advise Laboratory management as required.
  • Provide analytical and technical support to assist in customer complaint investigations.
  • May inspect reservoirs, treatment plants, pumping stations or distribution sites for the purpose of water quality assessment.
  • Confers with representatives of various WaterOne units and other agencies concerning the activities of the unit; may represent the WaterOne in meetings with other agencies or the public.
  • Supervises the ordering of laboratory supplies and contracted lab services, including data review and reporting.
  • Perform all duties pertaining to hazardous waste operations in accordance with all applicable requirements.
  • Performs other job duties as assigned.


Required Education, Skills & Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree Microbiology, Biology, or a related degree that includes successful completion of four credit hours of Microbiology courses.
  • Five years of experience in an environmental laboratory with two years in a supervisory role; OR a Master’s degree in Microbiology, Biology, or related field and two years of environmental laboratory experience.

Note: An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered toward meeting items above.

  • Thorough knowledge of standard methods for the analysis of water samples, standard laboratory equipment and its uses, statistical analyses, and laboratory safety practices.
  • Working knowledge of methods to determine water contamination sources, designing situation specific sampling programs and techniques.
  • Experience with or the ability to learn and apply all applicable requirements pertaining to hazardous waste operations.
  • Ability to read and interpret technical operations manuals.
  • Ability to competently lead a team of skilled employees.
  • Able to make decisions under high stress situations and to continuously show good judgment in routine decisions.
  • Demonstrated ability to train and motivate subordinates.
  • General knowledge of principles of water treatment and distribution.
  • Skill in analyzing complex problems, interpreting laboratory and plant operating data, data mining, report generation, reaching sound conclusions, and making appropriate recommendations.
  • Ability to develop new methods of analysis/sampling; write standard operating procedures; adapt existing methods to new or unusual problems.
  • Ability to conduct and evaluate process control and laboratory quality assurance programs.
  • Ability to plan, schedule, assign, direct, review and evaluate the work of professional and technical staff; select employees and train subordinates in their work; communicate effectively with WaterOne employees and other agencies; prepare clear, complete, and accurate records and reports; establish and maintain effective working relationships with department staff and other WaterOne personnel.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Must be a good listener.
  • Knowledge of personal computer technology and applications, i.e., Excel, Access, Word, and Windows. Demonstrated proficiency with spreadsheets, Laboratory Information Management System, and database use.
  • Ability to work individually or in a team setting; ability to work effectively with the public.
  • Must have a valid driver's license and continuously meet WaterOne driving standards.
  • Availability for periodic emergency call-out.
  • Must pass post offer medical exam, including background investigation and drug screen (may not apply to current employees).


Preferred Education, Skills & Experience

  • Achievement of a Class II Kansas Operator’s License within two years of employment with WaterOne and a Class IV Kansas Water Operator’s License within four years of employment.


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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