Job Details

Onsite Wastewater Specialist (Natural Resource Specialist 3)

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Coos Bay, Oregon

Job - Government

Close Date: 01/22/2020

Over 30% of Oregonians dispose of wastewater from their homes and businesses through the use of septic systems. The siting, design, installation, and ongoing operation and maintenance of septic systems is regulated through the Onsite Wastewater Management Program. Without this oversight, septic systems can fail or malfunction, pollute Oregon's land and waterways with raw sewage, and create public health hazards.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality currently has a full-time opportunity for an Onsite Wastewater Specialist (Natural Resource Specialist 3). This position will be located in Coos Bay, Oregon.

DEQ directly manages the onsite septic system program in 8 counties, referred to as "direct service" counties. 28 counties manage the program under agreement with DEQ, referred to as "contract counties." DEQ and the contract counties are responsible for ensuring that septic tank pumpers have the necessary equipment to safely pump, transport, and dispose of the waste from septic systems, known as septage. In addition, DEQ certifies and licenses installers and pumpers, and reviews and approves products, such as septic tanks, alternative treatment technologies, and alternative drainfield products. Lastly, DEQ is responsible for permitting large septic systems usually found at rural restaurants, mobile home parks, and campgrounds. These permits have monitoring, maintenance, and inspection requirements.

What you will do!
The Onsite Wastewater Specialist provides technical expertise in the evaluation, inspection, and permitting of onsite septic systems in Coos and Curry counties as part of the Onsite Wastewater Management Program. You will be responsible for making decisions on site evaluations, onsite permits, plan reviews, repairs, and authorizations submitted from individual homeowners, businesses, designers, and licensed installers. In addition, you will answer technical questions from the public regarding the program's requirements, and the care and maintenance of septic systems. Finally, you will investigate complaints regarding potential septic system violations, some of which can lead to enforcement actions.

What’s in it for you!
The opportunity to join a dynamic team of mission focused individuals tasked with maintaining, restoring, and enhancing the quality of Oregon’s air, water, and land. We offer medical, dental, and vision health benefits with paid sick leave, vacation, personal leave, and 10 paid holidays a year. Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: If you are employed by a government or not-for-profit organization, you may be able to receive loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). Learn more to see whether you qualify at PSLF Program. If you are passionate about Oregon's environment, apply today!

This is a full-time, AFSCME represented position.

What are we looking for?

Bachelor’s degree in a physical science, environmental science, or closely related field, AND 3 years of experience in a natural resource or environmental field (an equivalent combination of education and experience is acceptable).
Registration by the Oregon Health Licensing Agency as an Environmental Health Specialist, Environmental Health Specialist Trainee, Waste Water Specialist Trainee, or Waste Water Specialist. Applicants do not need to have current registration at the time of hire, but must demonstrate that they meet the requirements to obtain the full registration or at a minimum a trainee registration within 30 days of employment. The full registration must occur within two years of employment. Continued employment in this position will be contingent upon the successful applicant maintaining the required registration.
Knowledge of onsite wastewater treatment system technology and the requirements for permitting.
Knowledge and skill in classification, characteristics, and behavior of soils and the transport of water and wastewater through soils.
Formal education and experience in soil science, including soil morphology and geology. 10 hours of soil science education is required within two years of employment.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills, analytical skills, and time management skills.
Ability to pay attention to detail.
Advanced ability to translate technical data and information to plain language for lay audiences.

How to Apply:
To apply for this position, please follow the “Apply” link above and complete the online application and all supplemental questions (including the question where you upload a cover letter).
Please be sure to attach a resume.
**Please be sure to check both your e-mail and Workday account for updates regarding this recruitment.**

Veterans Information:
DEQ provides veterans’ preference points to all eligible veterans. For more information, please go here: For privacy reasons, please do not attach veterans’ preference documents when initially applying. You will be asked to submit those at a later time.

Questions/Need Help?
If you have questions about the recruitment or need assistance to participate in the application process, please contact Maddy Ouye, Human Resources Analyst, at or (503) 229-5107.

DEQ strives to create inclusive environments that welcome and value the diversity of the people we serve. DEQ fosters fairness, equity, and inclusion to create workplace environments where everyone is treated with respect and dignity regardless of race, color, religion, sex, disability, physical stature, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, political affiliation, and any other factor applicable by state or federal law.

Complete details: