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Physical Plant Operator

F49

Basic Purpose

Positions in this job family are assigned responsibilities involving work in the operation and maintenance of a high-pressure steam installation, water and/or sewage disposal plant at a state facility.

Typical Functions

The functions within this job family will vary by level, but may include the following:

  • Hauls and prepares fuel, such as coal, water, wood, coke, etc.; feeds boilers or manually fed equipment.
  • Fires gas or oil fired boilers; starts up feed pumps; starts fuel pumps and adjusts fuel and air for efficient combustion; regulates water flow; turns on heater valve; starts circulating pumps; closes and opens steam lines and adjusts the steam flow to the load; operates water softeners.
  • Checks and inspects boiler for water level in boiler and hot wells and for steam pressure for the operation of valves and auxiliary pumps; performs the above in supplying steam for space heating, water heating, cooking, laundry operations and for driving generators.
  • Operates, regulates, services and make emergency and minor repairs to ventilating equipment, ice machines, dryers, suction fans, air conditioning machinery, generators, refrigeration equipment, water softeners, high and low pressure pumps and sump pumps.
  • Performs miscellaneous trouble shooting as emergencies arise in plumbing, electrical and special electrical equipment, such as motor generators, pumps and compressors.
  • Logs and records operation and maintenance work performed; performs water test, mixes necessary chemical solutions and adds them to the water system for preventive maintenance purposes.
  • Analyzes water for purity and chemical balance; takes daily water level readings and makes simple tests such as for turbidity, color, alkalinity, hardness, residual chlorine, hydrogen ion concentration, odor and calcium carbonate; prepares samples of raw, settled and filtered water for analysis by the State Department of Health.
  • Back washes, cleans and adjusts sewage filters; adjusts bar screens and mechanical devices for sewage reduction; operates and maintains sand filters and aeration tanks, detriters, sludge digestion pumps, motors, head exchangers and other sewage treatment plant equipment; makes necessary adjustments to obtain proper temperatures in digestion tanks.
  • Assigns and supervises the work of subordinate operators and maintenance workers, journeymen engaged in operating a wide variety of machinery and equipment in a power plant such as boilers, water softeners, feed water heaters, hot water de-aerating heaters, hot water heaters, circulating pumps, ice plant apparatus and sump pumps.
  • Plans, supervises and checks the operations of sub-unit, located in adjacent buildings, by physical checks and by reviewing logs and charts.
  • Performs and supervises the performance of a variety of repairs to engineering equipment and to the physical plants in which the equipment is located.
  • Makes recommendations, requisitions and maintains adequate supplies, material and equipment; maintains records incidental to these activities.
  • Prepares sketches, plans and estimates of proposed alterations; prepares critical surveys of preliminary contracts and inspections of completed contracts, plans, specifications and work done under contract.

Level Descriptors

The Physical Plant Operator job family consists of three levels which are distinguished based on the duties assigned, the expertise required to perform assigned work, and the responsibility assigned for providing supervision to others.

Level I Code: F49A Salary Band: E

This is the basic level where employees are assigned semiskilled work in the operation and maintenance of a high-pressure steam installation, water and/or sewage disposal plant at a state institution or facility.  This includes hauling and preparing fuel; feeding boilers or manually fed equipment and assisting Level II employees in various duties.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include knowledge of the operation of high-pressure boilers and related mechanical equipment; of meters, gauges and graphs and their interpretation; of the standard tests used in testing water and sewage; and of the chemicals used in treating water.  Skill is required to operate and maintain equipment used in water and sewage plant operations; to operate and maintain stationary boilers; ability is required to make accurate readings; and to keep records and make reports.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of six months of experience in physical plant, water and/or sewage plant operations.

Level II Code: F49B Salary Band: F

At this level employees are assigned responsibilities for performing skilled work in the operation of a high-pressure steam installation, water and/or sewage disposal plant at a state institution or facility.  This includes firing gas or oil fired boilers; starting up pumps, regulating and adjusting fuel, air and water; operating water softeners; operating, regulating, servicing and making repairs to various equipment; logging and recording operation and maintenance work performed; and analyzing water for purity and chemical balance.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level I plus the ability to trouble-shoot as emergencies arise; and to guide the work of others.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of those identified in Level I, plus eighteen additional months of qualifying experience.

Level III Code: F49C Salary Band: H

At this level employees are assigned responsibilities involving the supervision and performance of skilled work in the operation of a high-pressure steam installation, water and/or a sewage disposal plant at a state institution or facility.  This includes assigning and supervising the work of lower level operators, maintenance workers and journeymen engaged in operating a wide variety of machinery and equipment in a power plant; making requisitions for supplies, material and equipment; maintaining records; preparing sketches, plans and estimates of proposed alterations; preparing surveys of preliminary contracts; and inspections of completed contracts, plans, specifications and work done under contract.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include knowledge of supervisory principles and practices; of maintenance and operation of high pressure boilers and related mechanical equipment; of water testing and analysis methods and procedures associated with the operation of steam boilers; and of record keeping and inventory control.  Ability is required to operate and maintain a high-pressure boiler; to make accurate gauge readings; to operate a sewage disposal plant; to keep records and reports; and to supervise operators and repair technicians.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of those identified at Level II plus three additional years of qualifying experience.

Special Requirements

Some agencies may require applicants to possess the required work experience in one of the above areas.

Some positions may require possession of a valid Oklahoma State Department of Health Class C Water Certificate, Class C Water Lab Certificate and/or a Class D Waste Water Certificate.

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