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Water Line of Business Director job in Seattle

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Job Ref:  2014-00566
Organization:  Seattle Public Utilities
Job Category:  Water and Sewers
Job Type:  Full Time
Country:  USA
State/Province:  Washington (WA)
City:  Seattle
Post Code:  98104
Salary and Benefits:  Competitive

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is an integrated public utility that provides Drinking Water, Solid Waste, and Drainage & Wastewater services. Seattle is the largest water supplier in Washington State, providing drinking water to over 1.3 million people in the Puget Sound region. The Drinking Water business line provides:

  • Some of the highest quality drinking water in the nation – from source to tap – including two state of the art source water treatment facilities.
  • Stewardship of over 100,000 acres of watersheds that provide a highly protected and reliable source of mountain water while providing habitat for fish and wildlife.
  • Water resource management of two Cascade Mountain reservoirs to provide water for people, in-stream flow for fish, and to support hydropower production and flood management.
  • Support to the operation of 193 miles of transmission pipelines, 1,680 miles of distribution mains, 400 million gallons of covered reservoir storage, dozens of pump stations, and supporting appurtenant facilities.

SPU is seeking an innovative and experienced leader for this critical, dynamic, and complex line of business. This Director-level position will help set the policy direction for the next decade, comply with negotiated State and Federal regulatory requirements, and lead up to 50 staff in efficiently and effectively delivering service to a varied customer base of retail residents, businesses, and wholesale customers.

The Drinking Water Line of Business Division Director is responsible for leading planning, policy, and capital program development; and supporting the entire line of business in ensuring that drinking water assets are properly planned, funded, designed, maintained, monitored, and replaced. As part of the Utility Systems Management Branch, the Drinking Water Division ensures that all regulatory requirements regarding safe drinking water are met; regulates water supply from the Cedar and Tolt rivers, including in-stream flow management; and specifies needed investments in all aspects of the distribution and transmission system. The Division sets and communicates objectives, recommends priorities and performance indicators, and supports financial oversight of both operations and capital improvement projects for Water Line of Business. The Drinking Water Line of Business Division Director currently oversees a staff 49.5, an adopted operational budget of $9.2M (Division), and with partners in other branches, a projected 6-year (2014-2019) Capital Improvement budget of more than $400M. The position reports to the SPU Deputy Director, Utility Systems Management.

Job Responsibilities:

The essential functions of the Water Line of Business Director are to:

  • Provide management oversight of Seattle’s Drinking Water system ensuring that customers are provided efficient and forward-looking utility services that fulfill SPU’s operating, environmental, public health, financial, and regulatory commitments.
  • Advise SPU Director and Deputy Directors on critical line of business policies, objectives, service levels, capital improvement projects, and Field Operations and Maintenance programming.Ensure regulatory and service level compliance by monitoring Drinking Water system performance.
  • Oversee regional purveyor contracts and serve as a member of the Water Operating Board. Represent SPU to Water Regulators and external partner agencies.
  • Identify key issues affecting Drinking Water system performance. Plan and develop the Drinking Water Line of Business consistent with SPU’s commitment to providing efficient and forward-looking utility services. Construct and present annual cross-branch Line of Business work plan. Plan for the long term viability of the system through capital improvement projects, system repairs, and upgrades.
  • Partner with Field Operations and Maintenance to ensure SPU maintains its service commitment to customers and regulators. Oversee the analysis of water management strategies to optimize system efficiencies. Coordinate the development and implementation of priority “Best Management Practices” and standard operating procedures for water related activities.
  • Partner with Project Delivery Branch to deliver on scope, schedule, and budget for the Drinking Water capital program.
  • Manage staff by planning and prioritizing work; ensuring policy and procedure compliance; recommending changes and adjustments; and monitoring staff performance and development. Provide sufficient resources and training to enable staff to provide services in an efficient and safe manner.
  • Oversee comprehensive Line of Business planning and short-, mid-, and longer term plans for capital investment and operations based application of asset management principles.
  • Develop and lead public engagement processes with internal stakeholders, external constituents, and communities for the Water Line of Business.


Education: A baccalaureate degree in civil engineering, public health, environmental management, or a related field.

Experience: Eight (8) years increasingly responsible professional-level experience in a medium to large size, public utility. Two (2) years of supervisory/management experience is required.

Significant professional level experience working with regulators and ensuring compliance with Save Drinking Water Act requirements is required.

Experience in decision making based on Asset Management principles strongly desired.

Experience in river and/or fisheries management and environmental compliance is strongly desired.

Seattle Public Utilities consists of four lines of business: Drinking Water, Drainage, Wastewater, and Solid Waste.  Seattle Public Utilities provides more than 1.3 million customers in King County with a reliable water supply, as well as managing essential sewer, garbage, recycling, yard waste, surface water, and engineering services for the community.   Our “Promise" to the community is to provide efficient and forward-looking utility services that keep Seattle the best place to live.

Learn more about Seattle Public Utilities  at our web page www.seattle.gov/util/.

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