Biologist

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District - Cleveland, OH3.7

Full-time
Analyzes wastewater, surface water and potable water for bacterial contamination. Performs biological assessments (Whole Effluent Toxicity) on wastewater samples for permit compliance. Develops and refines predictive models for the Sewer District’s Beach Monitoring Program, Uses microscopy and staining techniques to identify and quantify microorganisms present in activated sludge, and/or phytoplankton in environmental samples. Performs physical and chemical analysis and/or other related analyses while following standard methods and using proper analytical techniques. Assists microbiologists with research efforts, molecular techniques, microbial source tracking, and pathogen identification, and report generation.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

  • Utilizes aseptic technique while performing microbiological analyses. Cultures and assesses viability of organisms used for Bioassay.
  • Analyzes wastewater and river water samples for toxicity to assess the potential effects on aquatic biota and for bacteria to determine the degree of contamination.
  • Collects, prepares and analyzes wastewater sediment, such as river water samples for toxicity to assess the potential effects on aquatic biota; and for bacteria to determine the degree of contamination with wastes.
  • Performs routine Whole Effluent Toxicity testing as required by the District’s NPDES permit. Cultures and maintains test organisms, validates lineage, and organism viability. Performs statistical analysis on results to validate testing, and researches possible sources of toxicity.
  • Examines the structure, development, ratio and general characteristics of microorganisms present in the biological treatment process. Evaluates the information gathered and communicates findings to operations staff.
  • Analyzes, prepares, and collects municipal and industrial wastewater to determine chemical and biological factors.
  • Follows standard methods, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and techniques of analysis. Organizes, collates, compiles, and classifies information. Checks data for correct recording and accuracy of calculations in reports, computers, spreadsheets, and Quality Control (QC) samples.
Maintains quality control records on analysis. Keeps detailed records and writes reports. Fills out other structured documentation.

  • Performs a variety of chemical analysis using basic and highly advanced instrumental, volumetric, and gravimetric methods on samples.
  • Reviews results of analysis for errors and quality results. Verifies the accuracy of calculations, documents, reports, and computer printouts.
  • Makes decisions on own initiative and in conjunction with others regarding ordering additional samples and tests.
  • Learns new systems and methods; and instructs Wastewater Analysts in laboratory practices, test procedures and obtaining cultures. May direct the work of others or projects as assigned.
  • Provides spoken and written information to supervisors and managers about issues, situations and problems. Notes and report trends in data for all sample sites and reports anomalies to supervision. Advises on technical points.
  • Cleans, prepares and maintains glassware, laboratory equipment, and work areas.
  • Coordinates and directs activities of other departmental staff, wastewater analysts, interns, and lab assistants during projects and during scheduled off-shift and weekend hours. Trains other laboratory staff members on SOPs, methods, and instrumentation.
  • Performs other duties of a similar nature as may be required.
Qualifications

MINIMUM JOB REQUIREMENTS

EDUCATION

 Candidate must possess Bachelor degree, preferably in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science or a closely related field.

EXPERIENCE

 Candidate must possess three (3) years of analytical laboratory experience (can be acquired through any combination of post graduate professional working experience, Internship, or laboratory experience gained at a research institution or through an academic degree program) performing various microbiological analyses (using United States Environmental Protective Agency (USEPA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) compliant methods including but not limited to; biological assessments (Whole Effluent Toxicity), using microscopy and staining techniques, conducting cultures and maintaining test organisms, validating lineage, and performing statistical analysis on results.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

LICENSURE AND CERTIFICATIONS

 Candidate must possess a valid driver’s license with a driving record in accordance with the District’s acceptable guidelines. Possession of a valid Class III State of Ohio Wastewater Analyst Certificate is preferred.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES

 Candidates must have knowledge of microbiology principles, inorganic chemistry principles and be keenly familiar with general laboratory procedures, laboratory equipment and instruments and biological theories and principles. Candidates must be familiar with microbiological analyses utilizing aseptic techniques and biological culturing methods for bacteria and other organisms.

 Candidates must have exceptional attention to detail skills, prioritization skills, the ability to complete tasks efficiently and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships. Effective oral and written communication and analytical skills are required, as well as the ability to keep detailed records and write reports summarizing research work. Candidates must be proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel or similar software packages.

 Candidates must have the ability to perform routine chemical analyses quickly and accurately while using various laboratory equipment including analytical balance, spectrophotometers, automated analyzers and microscopes.

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL REQUIREMENTS

 During the course of performing job duties the employee will need the mobility to work in a laboratory setting, operate specialized tools and equipment, which may include office and/or field equipment, requiring repetitive arm/hand movement and/or the coordinated movement of more than one limb simultaneously; enter and retrieve data from personal computers and terminals via keyboards, which is often performed while sitting for extended periods of time. The employee frequently stands, sits, walks, bends at neck and waist, twists at neck and waist, uses simple and power grasping with both hands, uses fine manipulation of both hands and fingers, kneels, and crouches and/or stoops. While working in the field the employee may walk on uneven or un-level ground surfaces, and climb steps. The employee is occasionally required to lift and carry short distances objects such as chemicals, sample bottle beakers, flasks, buckets, and other sampling material, which can weigh up to 45lbs. This position requires that the employee demonstrate adequate hearing and speech to converse in person and over the telephone, and vision to read printed material, to perform testing, cultures, and attics, and use a computer screen. The noise level in the work environment is quiet to moderate noise. The employee may be exposed to outdoor temperatures, humidity, wetness, and dust, and some chemical exposure.

 The department is staffed a minimum of 50 hours per week, therefore, this position is required to work a rotational schedule, including weekends and holidays and possibly off shift hours. Toxicity tests are performed for seven consecutive days and scheduling must be coordinated between multiple departments and may also be dependent upon the client’s needs. Working hours may include some consecutive weekends and/or holidays, and schedules and work hours may change on short notice.

DISCLAIMER: The information outlined in this job description indicates the general nature and type of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not intended to provide a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities or competencies required of employees within this classification.

NEORSD, an Equal Opportunity Employer
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce, recognizing the full range of human differences and similarities. Through our unwavering efforts to leverage the potential of our diversity, we continually strive to build and foster an environment that respects each individual. We encourage and promote innovation, and provide opportunities for all employees to interact, communicate, and realize the full potential of their talents.
Our Employee Benefits & Wellness Programs
We offer a comprehensive employee benefits package including: Health Insurance Coverage, Various Retirement Planning Options (Ohio Public Employee Retirement System and Deferred Compensation Plans), Group and Voluntary Life Insurance, Flexible Spending Accounts, Employee Assistance Program, Tuition Assistance Program, Free Parking at our facilities, Corporate Discounts, and More! We also have a very active Health & Wellness Program that promotes a life/work balance.