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Employment Type:
Full time
Job Category:
Welder/Utility Worker
(This job is no longer available)
Grad Date

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Job Description

Welder/Utility Worker


Perform semi-skilled and skilled welding work in a variety of welding, pipeline welding, brazing and metal cutting jobs and in the fabrication and repair of parts and structures for the Sweetwater Authority (Authority) Distribution Department. Perform semi-skilled and skilled field work in construction, operation, and maintenance of potable water pipelines, appurtenances, and services.

Department: Distribution


The specific statements shown in each section of this job description are not intended to be all-inclusive. They represent typical elements and criteria necessary to successfully perform the job.

Supervision Received/Exercised:

  • General supervision is provided by the Distribution Manager or Director of Distribution.
  • Direct supervision is provided by the Field Crew Supervisor.
  • Technical and training assistance is provided by the Utility Leadworker and Equipment Operator.
  • Responsibilities include the technical and training assistance for Authority staff when assigned.

Examples of Duties/Responsibilities:


Process material requisitions, work orders, and generate, review, and submit various reports as required.
Establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, customers, vendors, Board members, and the public.
Perform other duties of a similar nature or level.

Welder I:

  • Preheat and clean metals; lay out, cut, and fit materials for welding; select proper welding type and welding heat to obtain correct penetration and strength of welded materials; weld joints and repairs on steel water pipes under pressure, as necessary.
  • Fabricate parts and structures used in the repair and maintenance of water mains and the refitting of pumps and booster stations.
  • Braze, solder, and coat metals; inspect, brush and grind welds.
  • Construct and repair metal features on vehicles and other equipment.
  • Perform welding work in the field and in the shop.
  • Perform and provide training in the use of welding techniques/systems – Arc, Oxyacetylene, MIG, and TIG welders, portable welders, and related power tools and equipment.

Utility Worker II:

  • Participate in the installation, maintenance, and repair of potable water distribution systems including: Water main repair, replacement, flushing, disinfecting, testing, pipe cutting, and line tapping; service, hydrant, and valve installations, replacement, and exercising.
  • Participate in the break up and removal of old concrete and asphalt; load, unload, and haul materials and equipment; clean up job sites; cut and cover trenches; install and remove meter boxes, clean up debris, and weeds around meter boxes; build rough forms, mix and pour concrete; lay asphalt; and perform other related activities.
  • Locate and mark out existing Authority facilities and appurtenances.
  • Assist in scheduling and planning daily activities.
  • Participate in training new hires and temporary employees on work methods and procedures.
  • Complete a variety of paperwork, including work orders and service papers.
  • Control and direct traffic; place and remove cones, barricades and signs; clean up at job sites, and perform other related activities.
  • Maintain records and draw intersection maps to show location of utility structures.
  • Operate large trucks and construction equipment such as loaders, backhoes, dump trucks, valve operating trucks and trenching machines.
  • Perform standby duty as assigned, at intervals of one week periods of time to provide emergency service on a 24-hour a day basis.
  • Respond to emergencies as required on an "on-call" basis within thirty (30) minutes.
  • Contact other departments or other agencies regarding utility locations.
  • Excavate and cover trenches and install shoring.
  • Use computers to access facility maps and information.

Typical Qualifications:

Knowledge of:

  • Methods, materials, practices and tools required for pipe, main, service and meter installations and repair.
  • Techniques and equipment used in water system construction and structural welding.
  • Modern office procedures and practices, equipment, and clerical techniques.
  • Computer programs and software, such as Microsoft Office.
  • Practices and principles of disinfecting water facilities.
  • Authority's Code of Safe Practices.
  • Occupational, public health and safety hazards as related to the trade.
  • Safe operation of construction equipment.
  • Water distribution system and appurtenances.
  • Authority Standards Specifications for Construction of Water Facilities.
  • Applicable laws and regulations including traffic control, trenching and shoring, and confined space.
  • Basic soil compaction practices and techniques.
  • Oxyacetylene gas welding procedures.
  • Practices and procedures to operate and maintain various welding equipment.
  • Proper English usage, including spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Ability to:

  • Use welding equipment for Arc, Oxyacetylene, MIG and TIG welders, portable welders, and related power tools and equipment.
  • Fabricate parts and structures.
  • Perform mechanical repair tasks connected with welding.
  • Use and maintain tools and equipment commonly used in welding.
  • Read, understand, and follow oral and written instructions and to read and work from sketches, diagrams, broken parts, patterns and basic blueprints.
  • Perform heavy physical labor under varying weather conditions.
  • Use, operate, and maintain a variety of construction equipment and tools used in the installation and repair of water facilities and surface improvements.
  • Work under emergency conditions, day or night when called any time during a 24-hour period.
  • Maintain records accurately and write legibly.
  • Operate a computer and related software applications.
  • Keyboard proficiently.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Use interpersonal skills effectively as applied to interaction with coworkers, supervisor, the general public, etc., sufficient to exchange or convey information and to receive work direction.

Education/Training/Experience (positions in this class typically require):

Any combination equivalent to education and experience that could likely provide the required knowledge and abilities would be qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

  • Equivalent to completion of the twelfth grade.
  • Basic welding experience in pipeline welding, brazing, metal cutting, fabrication, and repair.
  • Two (2) years of experience in construction maintenance; or, an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job.

Licenses/Certifications – Required Conditions of Employment:

  • Maintain an acceptable, safe, and active driving record, together with proof of insurability.
  • Possess and maintain a valid California Class A driver license.
  • New employees must obtain a Class A driver license within one (1) year from hire date; this requirement will be a "condition" of passing probation. Training will be provided by the
  • Authority within that time period.
  • Authority personnel wishing to transfer to the Distribution Department must obtain a Class A driver license within one (1) year from start date. Training will be provided by the
  • Authority within that time period.
  • Possess a Water Distribution Operator D2 certification as issued by the State Water Resources Control Board.
  • Obtain within eighteen (18) months, a Welding Certificate of Proficiency in Entry Level Shielded Metal Arc Welding from an accredited college or certification from the American
  • Welding Society related to structural welding or equivalent.

Physical Requirements:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the following essential functions:

  • Hear normal conversation in person, by radio, and on the telephone.
  • Mobility of arms to reach, and the dexterity of hands to grasp and manipulate small objects and to write legibly.
  • Visual ability (which may be corrected) to read small print including close and distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, adjusts focus, and view video messages.
  • Speak in a normal voice; able to be heard and understood on the telephone, in person, and to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Sit or stand for prolonged periods of time.
  • Use office equipment such as personal computers, copiers and fax machines.
  • Operate power tools or controls; reach with hands and arms.
  • Mobility to climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; bend and extend legs, and walk on uneven ground.
  • Repetitive movement such as shoveling and sweeping for extended periods of time.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as required per standard operating procedures (SOP).
  • Potential exposure to fumes or airborne particles, risk of electrical shock and vibration.
  • Operate large trucks and construction equipment such as loaders, backhoes, valve operating trucks, and trenching machines.
  • Lift, carry, push or pull up to ninety (90) pounds.
  • Perform heavy physical labor associated with frequent lifting, pushing, carrying and/or pulling bags of cement, pumps, fittings, meters, flanges, tampers, blacktop, jackhammers, valves, valve keys, tools and other related items.
  • Keyboarding for extended periods of time.
  • Fingering, grasping, talking, hearing, seeing, and repetitive motions.
  • Exposure to dust, temperature, inclement weather and alternating noise levels.
  • Work near moving mechanical parts.

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Sweetwater Authority serves about 25,000 acre-feet of water per year, and in 2020 the demand will go up only about 500 acre-feet since our service area is practically built out. The only projected development is the Bay Front. Sweetwater Authority's supply sources are the Sweetwater and Loveland Reservoirs; National City Wells, with a constant supply of 2,400 acre-feet per year; the Reynolds Demineralization Facility, which will be producing about 3,000 acre-feet; and imported supplies from MWD and CWA. Mr. Garrod displayed a slide that showed demands during a wet, normal, and dry year. He stated that in a wet year we get most of our water from Sweetwater Reservoir. During a normal year, we have to import about 8,000 acre-feet, and in a dry year we must take 17-20,000 acre-feet from MWD. NOTE: Director Inzunza entered the meeting at 2:09 p.m. Mr. Garrod then reviewed the current supply costs. The cost of our local water is about $216 an acre-foot. The National City Wells is our cheapest water to produce, $76 an acre-foot, as it requires very little treatment. The cost of the water produced at the Reynolds Demineralization is about even with the cost for MWD water. He stated that Sweetwater Authority had just signed an agreement with MWD for the Surface Storage Operating Agreement that will run for five years. Under this agreement, we get water at $70 discount, and MWD pays for any evaporation or spill. Sweetwater Authority was the first agency to sign the agreement and, as of this date, we are still the only ones who are receiving water from that program. Finally, there is the imported raw water that is treated at the Perdue plant. Those are the four existing supplies. Mr. Garrod introduced Nina Jazmadarian who would review the possible future water supplies. Ms. Jazmadarian said that the key question is whether Sweetwater wants to invest in resource options and, if yes, what quantity of new supplies does it seek and what should it do with the excess supplies developed in wet years. She talked about the resource options available to Sweetwater. They include conservation, which is not really a new supply but it offsets the need for new supply; the expansion of National City Wells production; expansion of the Reynolds Demineralization facility; the Otay brackish groundwater desalination; MWD/CWA Reservoir surface storage agreement, the Tier 1/Tier 2 supplies from MWD/CWA; Department of Water Resources (DWR) dry year water transfers; outside of MWD service area transfers; ocean desalination; recycling; storage and treatment at Loveland; MWD area transfers; and Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) in National City Well field. She reviewed the costs for the different types of supplies. Conservation has the lowest cost at $44 per acre-foot; National City Wells is $96; expanding the Reynolds Demineralization Facility is $420; the Otay River Desalination Plant is $420. DWR supplies range from $463-$552, depending on the power and the cost of the water. Out of MWD area transfers range from $479-$691. The ocean desalination rates are $744 with an incentive from MWD of $250. Recycling rates are $887. MWD area transfers can have a wide range, $606-$1,217, depending on how many facilities need to be put in and how the water is going to be transferred. Storage and treatment at Loveland also has a huge variable, $939-$1,508. Finally, the ASR in National City Well field rate is $1,498. Ms. Jazmadarian referred to MWD'S rate projections. She displayed a chart that showed the various components of MWD's rates. These components are Tier 1 or Tier 2 rates, a System Access Rate, Water Stewardship Rate, and System Power Rate. Presently the cost for Tier 1 is $326 per acre-foot; with slow growth in local resources, in 2013 the cost goes to $425 per acre-foot. With aggressive development in local resources, that cost goes up to $457 per acre-foot. The cost for Tier 2 is $407 per acre-foot. With slow growth in local resources, it goes up to $506 per acre-foot and with aggressive development in local resources it goes to $538 per acre-foot. The treatment surcharge is $82 per acre-foot. With slow growth in local resources, it goes up to $179 and with aggressive development in local resources it goes to $193 per acre-foot. If Sweetwater ever needed to take treated water, Tier 1 with slow growth would be $604 per acre-foot and with aggressive development in local resources it would be $650 per acre-foot. Tier 2 would be $685 per acre-foot and $731 per acre-foot with aggressive development in local resources. The Readiness-to-Serve charge is based on a 10-year average of water delivery. Ten years from now we will be paying for water that we are taking now through an averaging process from MWD. The Capacity Reservation Charge is based on cubic feet per second used. It is $6,100 per CFS right now and it will increase up to $12,400 per CFS. The CWA, because of the Surface Storage Operating Agreement, has agreed to pay for the full amount of water that it can take from MWD and not use the peak historic amount, which is $1,296 CFS divided among the agencies. Ms. Jazmadarian displayed a chart that showed the CWA charges. The Transportation Cost is $74 per acre-foot. The Customer Service Charge is calculated upon the average amount of water imported from CWA. It has been estimated at $30 per acre-foot based on a usage of 14,000 acre-feet per year. The Storage Charge is $38 and is based on a historic delivery of 14,000 acre-feet. The Readiness-to-Serve charge is a stand-by charge on the tax rolls. The amount assessed to Sweetwater Authority is lower than the water being collected and, consequently, we have been getting a credit of about $22 per acre-foot. The Infrastructure Access Charge is based on the amount of retail connections, and we have calculated that to be about $56 per acre-foot. With those charges included, the total for untreated Tier 1 is $633 per acre-foot, and for untreated Tier 2 is $714 per acre-foot. Treated Tier 1 is $826 per acre-foot and treated Tier 2 is $907 per acre-foot. Ms. Jazmadarian then talked about wet year excess. The question is, if Sweetwater Authority invested in new resources, what to do with those supplies in wet years? Sweetwater Authority could sell water storage and treatment services to Otay Water District, it could invest in resources that can be reduced in capacity in wet years, or it could sell excess water to local agencies. The strategies to be considered would be upgrading and expanding the Perdue Treatment Plant, expanding National City Well Production, stabilizing and expanding the demineralization plant, constructing the Otay River Brackish Groundwater Desalination, and continuing groundwater studies with USGS. Director Welsh inquired about storage and treatment at Loveland compared to transfers from MWD, which she thought would be less expensive. Ms. Jazmadarian noted that there would be costs associated with building facilities at Loveland. General Manager Bostad said that the estimate on the storage and treatment at Loveland does not take into consideration the complexities of potential federal involvement, which would make it less costly. It also does not take into consideration some of the cost benefits to some of the other agencies. Director Pocklington asked if the costs for the different strategies could vary once the studies being done are finalized. Ms. Jazmadarian noted that the upgrade and expansion of the Perdue Treatment Plant is one strategy that has to be done because of the disinfection by-products for the THM requirements. General Manager Bostad noted that there are many factors to be considered before we can determine where we might continue to move forward in the future. He added that the construction of the Otay River brackish is still more conceptual and is dependent on some of the relationships with potential partners interested in that facility. Director Wright was disappointed that seawater desalination was not mentioned as one of the strategies. General Manager Bostad said that we are dealing with a very fluid and changing environment regarding water resources and costs. For instance, the QSA was just signed and it has had significant impacts on the overall mix and pricing. These are the five most logical strategies that we are considering at this time. Given the cost of imported water going up, seawater desalination may rank higher into these strategies in a near future. On the other hand, potential issues associated with the Coastal Commission not encouraging but discouraging desalination plants may have a different impact. Director Beauchamp talked about groundwater and expressed concerns regarding the exhaustability of the National City Well Field. He also talked about the possibility of damaging the aquifers and drawing seawater instead of brackish water up the Otay river. General Manager Bostad said that we are relying heavily on the groundwater studies with USGS to get a better understanding of the amount of water that we can pump. Through that research effort, we are finding that there is even some additional water at lower depths. Through the results of that study, our water resource staff will be doing additional monitoring to develop a better understanding of the safe yield. Director Reynolds asked what percentage of imported water would be reduced if we were to develop the strategies that use groundwater. Ms. Jazmadarian said that Sweetwater Authority would need to make a decision on how much it wants to invest versus how reliable it wants to be, and there is no easy answer. General Manager Bostad believes that the studies with USGS will help support a partnering effort between stakeholders in the San Diego Formation that goes from the border up to the San Diego River.