The work involves supervisory responsibility for opening and closing valves of different size, type and use in a municipal water system. This position supervises, and may perform the duties of, valve operators and maintenance personnel assigned to valve operations. An employee in this class performs repetitive manual labor involving responsibility in locating water valves, exposing and removing valve box covers, accessing valves and operating the valves as needed. Supervisory work involves coordinating rotating work schedules, assigning and reviewing work performed by subordinate employees and training or retraining of subordinate employees. The position requires considerable responsibility and independent judgment in the selection and operation of the valves, especially in emergency situations and requires emergency responses to system breaks and leaks to make corrections to keep overall damage to a minimum. Employees in this class operate under the direct supervision of the Water Superintendent and the Assistant Superintendents. The Water Engineering section provides general supervision. Does related work as required.




Supervises the activities and work output of subordinate staff.

Verifies that the condition of vehicles and equipment to be used are functioning and in the correct place.

Checks the position of the valves to assure they are in the correct position as reported.

Inspects vehicle to verify that the proper equipment needed to perform the work has been loaded.

Trains new and existing operators.

Verifies all air relief equipment is open and operating.

Verifies operations logs daily to see if they have been completed correctly and accurately for all shifts.

Locates valves in the water system.

Excavates, opens and cleans valve boxes, vaults and bilco doors in order to access the valves.

Investigates and locates water leaks and breaks.

Investigates water complaints and/or frozen services.

Marks out water lines in response to requests from outside agencies.

Maintains shift logs and other reports as required, adjusting reports of subordinates as necessary.

Opens and runs hydrants to clear mains and/or flush system.

Operates valves to shut off and turn on water.

Raises valve boxes to required grade.

Removes broken meters and installs temporary hook-ups as needed.

Reports problems, damage or loss of equipment to superiors.

Drives emergency truck when assigned.




Thorough knowledge of the safety precautions and proper use of the department’s equipment assigned to the valve operation.

Thorough knowledge of the practices, tools and terminology used in water distribution system repair and maintenance.

Thorough knowledge of the order in which valves need to be operated in an emergency, without supervisory approval.

Thorough knowledge of the location and function of water supply valve system.

Thorough knowledge of the geography of the local road network that cover the departments conduits and water lines.

Ability to supervise in a manner conducive to full performance and high morale.

Ability to work calmly in emergency situations.

Ability to understand and carry out written and oral instructions.

Ability to read and use the departments various maps and files to locate valves.

Ability to prioritize emergency repair work.

Ability to do heavy labor work.

Ability to communicate clearly.

Ability to act in a courteous and effective manner with the public.




Two (2) years of non-competitive class status in the title of Emergency Valve Operator.


Open Competitive

Five (5) years of full time work experience, or its part-time equivalent, in the maintenance of a municipal water supply system that involved activities such as hydrant repair, pipeline repair, valve operation and/or repair.


Special Necessary Requirement

Possession of a valid New York State Non-CDL or CDL, including any special endorsements required for the type of vehicle being operated.



Created 6/2009