Job Specification

Position Title:
Water Inspector
Job Code:
61507 - Environmental Officer 4
Job ID:
167928
 

Purpose of Position :

16. To assess compliance with environmental legislation, regulations, and policies by inspecting, monitoring, and conducting comprehensive field/technical investigations that assess the management, operations and administration of drinking water systems; municipal wastewater treatment and collection facilities and their related on-site waste management activities, water and air discharges; municipal storm water systems; as well as the compliance promotion for the construction and maintenance drinking water wells. To provide technical expertise and advice on compliance and pollution control. To negotiate and enforce compliance using legal instruments to protect water quality.

Duties / Responsibilities :

Under the direct supervision of the Area Water Supervisor, the position is responsible for providing front-line delivery of the Ministry's inspection program for drinking water systems, municipal wastewater treatment and collection systems and related on-site waste management activities, water and air discharges; municipal storm water systems and drinking water wells, to ensure compliance with environmental legislation, regulations, policies and guidelines by :
1. Undertaking comprehensive inspections of drinking water systems; municipal wastewater treatment and collection systems and their related on-site waste management activities, water and air discharges; municipal storm water systems and drinking water wells ensuring compliance with all relevant legislation, regulations, policies and guidelines, by:
- collecting samples and required data; interpreting results; determining if deficiencies exist or if plants, facilities or sites are in compliance with Ministry's established technical standards;
- taking action to ensure compliance to current legal requirements either by issuing immediate verbal/written instructions to owners/operators on complex or non- straight forward matters or by issuing written instructions or Provincial Office Orders or other appropriate instruments on complex non- straightforward matters; providing technical expertise and advice to plant managers on aspects of non-compliance that have been found;
- discussing ongoing operating matters with owners/operating authorities, informing them of interpretations of test results against technical standards; promoting enhanced compliance, and promoting planning for adverse water incidents or alleged incidents of pollution;
- scheduling follow-up inspections in accordance with Ministry policy of sources of non-compliance to ensure that corrective action has been taken; - preparing and submitting and distributing reports containing results, findings and recommendations.
2. Provide priority field response to drinking water adverse test results and incidences of pollution or complaints as they relate to municipal wastewater treatment and collection and any associated on-site waste management activities or water and air discharges; municipal storm water systems, was well as on-site impacts to drinking water wells (siting, construction and maintenance) including:
- attending the site to ensure that corrective action is taken by the owners, operators, well drillers and contractors as prescribed in the regulation - liaising with owners, operators, well drillers and contractors to ensure corrective action or compliance action is taken
- liaising with the Medical Office of Health if required
- notifying Ministry management as directed
- conducting follow up inspections in response to drinking water adverse test results, incidents of pollution or complaints.
3. Performing a variety of related duties, such as:
- collecting, receiving, inputting, manipulating, sorting and transmitting a variety of monitoring data using a wide variety of manual and electronic devices;
- documenting findings/actions to support compliance proceedings; preparing and executing legal documents, testifying before the courts or judicial boards; preparing, issuing and defending orders;
- preparing correspondence such as technical memoranda, letters, minutes of meetings, and inspection reports;
- maintaining sufficient knowledge of all current Provincial Environmental legislation and regulations such as the Environmental Protection Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Ontario Water Resources Act, Pesticides Act, Environmental Assessment Act, Nutrient Management Act and associated regulations policies, procedures and administrative orders to provide prompt responses to outside inquiries;
- liaising with facility owners and operators, local Medical Officers of Health, members of the operating authority, interested authorities, the local Ministry office staff, and other Ministry division/branch staff where applicable, on the results of inspections;
- providing technical expertise and advice on compliance and approvals related to drinking water systems, municipal wastewater treatment and collection systems, and municipal storm water systems.
- providing technical expertise and advice on compliance and approvals related to construction and maintenance of drinking water wells
- consulting regularly with Area Water Supervisor to confirm inspection priorities; attending training courses and seminars

Staffing and Licensing :

20. Position requires a valid Glass G Ontario Driver's license to access numerous sites using a motor vehicle.

Knowledge :

22. 1. Position requires knowledge of environmental legislation (e.g. Safe Drinking Water Act, Ontario Water Resources Act, Environmental Protection Act, Pesticides Act, Environmental Assessment Act, and the Nutrient Management Act), regulations (e.g. O.Reg. 170/03 and O.Reg.903), standards and policies and other statutes (e.g. Fisheries Act) as they apply to drinking water systems, municipal wastewater treatment and collection systems and , municipal storm water systems and drinking water wells, in order to promote, assess, and ensure regulatory compliance by: scheduling and inspections and identifying non-compliance; interpreting legislation, legal precedents and other guiding documents; relaying compliance-related knowledge to others; analyzing technical/scientific data; implementing (voluntary) solutions; or recommending enforcement and compliance actions; and developing enforcement options (e.g. Provincial Officer, Director, or Court orders, Provincial Offences Act Notices).
2. Position requires knowledge of the application of theories, principles and practices of environmental sciences, water and wastewater treatment processes and infrastructure, and pollution controls, in order to assess health risks by carrying out environmental audits of drinking water systems, municipal wastewater treatment and collection systems, municipal storm water systems and drinking water wells including plants and related facilities (e.g. wells, storage towers), water and wastewater treatment processes and related facilities (e.g. ) and water purification equipment, and by analyzing environmental data to review and evaluate compliance.
3. Position requires knowledge of systems operations and processes, operator training requirements, and safe storage/handling of process chemicals in order to assess compliance with Ministry requirements and promote best management practices.
4. Position requires knowledge of issue management techniques in order to develop communication strategies by determining impacted stakeholders and developing a plan of action for communicating environmental problems and solutions.
5. Position requires knowledge of rules of evidence and court procedures in order to conduct inspection, field/technical assessments, investigations and support legal proceedings by preparing legal documents and providing testimony in court.
6. Position requires knowledge of project management theories and techniques in order to oversee assigned projects by giving direction, setting objectives/milestones, and ensuring overall timetable is kept on schedule.
7. Position requires knowledge and experience with computer software applications (such as for Word Processing, Spread sheets, database and Network applications) to prepare letters, tables, reports, use electronic mail, and access Ministry databases to enter corporate data or access environmental information.
8. Position requires knowledge of OPS Quality Service Standards as well as ministry requirements for dealing with and providing appropriate responses to a variety of requests from a varied client group.

Skills :

24. 1. Position requires analytical and problem solving skills to systematically organize and compare various aspects of an issue to identify cause and source of potential or actual water and wastewater treatment problems and develop a course of action to ensure compliance by analyzing technical, environmental, and procedural factors to resolve the problem in a sound and decisive manner. Recognizes the potential risks and impacts of the problem on a wider scale and the broader impact of actions.
2. Position requires analytical skills when conducting inspections, in a complex and high profile environment, where each facility being inspected presents its own challenges, requiring constant attention to detail.
3. Position requires analysis and evaluation of problems where causes are not immediately obvious, requiring search and analysis of indirect/multiple factors, to determine best approaches for compliance and enforcement activities. Position requires analytical skills and judgment to interpret scientific and technical data, legislation, regulations, guidelines and policies where data is inconclusive, regulatory requirements and policies are not always clear and precedents may not exist in order to develop compliance strategies.
4. Position requires necessary, appropriate and timely decisions to be made on which compliance approaches and/or enforcement tool will be used based on the ministry's Informed Judgment Matrix (IJM) or similar tool. Job considers current knowledge about the nature, extent, and seriousness of non-compliance, as well as analytical and conceptual thinking to identify, assess, understand and communicate the level of risk when determining corrective action (e.g. writing a letter, issuing an order, issuing ticket, and/or referring matters for prosecution). Does not overreact or underestimate situation, taking appropriate actions to immediately assess the situation.
5. Position requires analytical and problem-solving skills to evaluate and respond to situations.
6. Position requires oral communication skills to: make presentations to elected officials, health officials, environmental response personnel and the public on environmental issues where policy, regulatory, and technical information and terminology has to be communicated to non-technical personnel.
7. Position requires oral communication skills to explain scientific and technical information and necessary corrective action/pollution control to owners/operators and operating authorities and the public; and devise methods to communicate, influence and persuade the responsible individuals to take such actions. Job requires open and direct communication and active listening skills to respond appropriately and professionally to verbal and non¬verbal behaviour when interacting with others, and considers cross-cultural sensitivity.
8. Position requires oral communication skills to conduct interviews to gather evidence and to provide testimony in court proceedings on evidence collected and observation made during course of field/technical assessments and investigations.
9. Position requires written communication skills to prepare letters, Orders, and technical reports (such as Provincial Officer Reports) on inspections, findings (such as Incident Reports and/or Occurrence Reports), conclusions, and recommendations; prepare briefing notes and letters for Ministry management.
10. Position requires interpersonal, relationship building, and conflict management skills to facilitate open and constructive discussion, negotiate solutions where possible, and to identify, help diffuse and resolve conflict between multi-stakeholders (such as facility owners, municipalities, operating authorities, and well drillers/contractors) and explain findings/solutions to the general public and Ministry management. Develops and maintains harmonious relationships, determines the state of the relationship, and knows when to disengage from a conflict.

Freedom of Action :

26. 1. Position requires working within, and monitoring own work quality against, environmental legislation, regulations, policies, guidelines, procedures and work plan in order to ensure principles and standards of compliance and enforcement are maintained. Job requires taking actions that are consistent with OPS values and in accordance with the Regulators' Code of Practice.
Position requires making issue/crisis management decisions. For example, position exercises considerable latitude in determining whether to curtail operations in situations of non-compliance, and in determining which type of remedial action is appropriate.
2. Position requires issuing Provincial Offence Act Notices and Provincial Officer Orders without consultation with Supervisor.
Work is reviewed for quality of analysis and compliance decisions/recommendations. Work is accepted as technically complete and accurate. Position refers to the Area Water Supervisor when: issues involve setting a legal or policy precedent; making recommendations for further field/technical assessment and investigations/prosecutions; where issues involve additional area workload, ongoing media or political attention, or when issues have known or likely impact on public health. Supervisor also reviews progress on water quality programs and provides advice or direction on use of voluntary or mandatory compliance tools (e.g. provincial officer or court orders) where either public health is at risk or where contentious issues draw public or senior management attention. Where communities would be impacted by decisions, the Supervisor is consulted for advice and direction on critical issues such as: inappropriate storage or handling of a dangerous chemical, or the issuing of a field order to shut down part or all of a water plant. Such action would cut off or reduce the water supply to a community, impacting on public health and safety, fire protection, commercial-industrial operations, and any activity that relies on the community water supply.

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