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City of Somerville Special Heavy Motor Equipment Operator Catch Basin Cleaner Sewer/Public Works Laborer (3 openings) in Somerville, Massachusetts

The Special Heavy Motor Equipment Operator (SHMEO)/Sewer works in the construction, maintenance, and operation of the sewer system including but not limited to sewer mains, drains, connections, and catch basins. The individual shall have a thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of maintaining sewer systems. Performs all other related duties that may be assigned.

Essential Functions:

  • Performs the installation and repair of mains, valves, manholes, drainage systems, and any other appurtenances using whatever methods, tools, and procedures are necessary to complete the task in a safe, proper, and proficient manner.

  • Digs, braces, backfills and tampers excavations.

  • Installs and repairs asphalt and concrete.

  • May be required to climb into catch basins and sewer lines to remove and dispose of solid substances.

  • May assist private contractors during City construction or excavations.

  • Read and follows specifications on engineering blueprints, sketches, and diagrams of the water and sewer system.

  • Locate, operate, repair, and maintain underground utilities and controls related to the sewer infrastructure.

  • Ensures operational, maintenance, and staff compliance with applicable safety regulations and other requirements governing construction, repair, and maintenance operations.

  • Operates equipment including but not limited to front-end loaders, backhoes, compacting equipment, skid-steer loaders, vactor-type equipment, jetting machines, and catch-basin machines in a professional and competent manner and with care taken to perform the work safely and with efficiency.

  • Uses standard hand tools including but not limited to shovels, picks, axes, saws, heavy wrenches, and small power tools.

  • Responds to emergencies as directed.

  • Reports any emergencies to a Foreman.

  • Assists with emergency response activities related to system failures and/or crisis situations of the City sewer and drainage system. In the case of breaks and failures of the City sewer and drainage system, is responsible for determining the cause, locating problem area, and using whatever methods, tools and procedures that are necessary to complete the task in a safe, proper and proficient manner. Also responsible for ensuring that customers are not experiencing flooding conditions caused by the City sewer and drainage system by entering homes and basements to check their status.

  • Performs the safe collection and transport of sewer effluent in compliance with all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and State DEP sewer regulations.

  • Responsible for reporting any Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) to a superior for notification to DEP.

  • Performs minor maintenance functions on equipment including but not limited to checking and maintaining air pressures and fluid levels, lubrication of mechanical joints by applying necessary greases, and routine cleaning of vehicle exterior and interior.

  • Performs daily vehicle condition inspections and reports as required by law or by Department policy.

  • Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with supervisors, co-workers, and the general public.

  • Takes lead role toward customer response and problem resolution as related to sewer system issues and reports such issues to a Foreman.

  • Assists with cross-departmental Water and Sewer emergencies.

  • Uses electronic work order system.

  • Trains personnel as necessary.

Recommended Minimum Qualifications:

  • Working knowledge of the following:

  • Principles and practices pertaining to the correct, proficient, and safe operation of equipment and assigned vehicles.

  • Applicable State, Municipal, and Department rules and regulations pertaining to safe operation of assigned motor equipment.

  • Rules, regulations, and applicable laws relative to job-related safety.

  • Principles and practices for the operation and maintenance of sewer systems.

  • Demonstrated ability to recognize conditions requiring maintenance and repair.

  • Exercise proper professional and technical judgment.

  • Operate equipment with a high degree of skill and efficiency.

  • Read and follows the specifications on interpret engineering blueprints and maps and specifications as they pertain to municipal sewer and sewer systems and recognize the need for referral to determine safe excavation.

  • Regularly enter and make observations in manholes, pump stations, sewer lift stations, trenches, and other confined spaces.

  • Work alone or with others without close supervision.

  • Comply with all related Federal, State, City, and Department policies and provisions.

  • Frequently lift, move, push, pull, and/or carry up to 50 lbs.

  • Occasionally lift, move, push, pull, and/or carry up to 100 lbs.

  • Balance, stoop, bend, and crouch.

  • Reach and handle tools with both hands.

  • Work under varying weather conditions.

  • Perform duties of this job description on scheduled and unscheduled overtime.

Entrance Requirements:

  • Graduation from a high school or vocational school, or equivalent.

  • Minimum of one year of experience in the operation and maintenance of a public sewer and drainage system or related construction experience.

  • Must possess valid Commonwealth of Massachusetts Class B license with air-break and tanker endorsement.

  • Must possess Massachusetts Hoisting License with 2B and 4E restrictions within 120 days of hire.

  • Must have a responsible driving record.

Work Environment:

Work requires agility and physical strength, ability to function in close quarters, and is subject to outside environmental conditions, including wet, hot and cold weather. Worker is subject to noise, vibrations, hazards and atmospheric conditions including fumes, dust and air contaminants.

Physical and Mental 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 position’s essential functions.

Physical Skills: Position requires standing/walking most of the day, lifting/carrying, pushing/pulling, climbing, reaching, twisting, turning, kneeling, bending, crouching and stooping in the performance of daily activities. The position requires near and far vision and acute hearing, the ability to maintain heavy physical exertion for long periods of time, operate hand and power tools, navigate rough terrain, move in or about construction sites.

Motor Skills: While performing the duties, employees are regularly required to use oral communication skills and handle tools and equipment. The position requires balancing, pushing, pulling, grasping, feeling and repetitive motion to complete tasks.

Visual Skills: Visual acuity is required to operate motor vehicles and heavy equipment.

Hours: Full-Time (Monday – Friday 7am to 3:30pm)

Salary: $53,580.80 annually +  benefits

Union: SMEA Unit B

FLSA: Non-Exempt

Pre-employment Requirements: This is a safety-sensitive position. Must pass a driving history check and pre-employment drug screening / physical prior to employment.

Date Posted: May 23, 2022

City of Somerville residents are especially encouraged to apply.

The City of Somerville is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability or any other protected category. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative formats, and reasonable modifications in policies and procedures will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities free of charge, upon request. Persons with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication (i.e., CART, ASL), written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures in order to access the programs, activities, and meetings of the City of Somerville should please contact Adrienne Pomeroy at 617-625-6600 x 2059 or

Pre-Employment Requirements for All Employees:

  • MA Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) clearance

  • Completition of Conflict-of-Interest Law Education training for municipal employees

    Overview of Total Rewards:

  • 4 weeks annual vacation (for non-union positions) union positions vary by contract

  • Medical insurance through the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) - 80% of premium costs paid by City

  • Dental coverage low and high plans through Cigna

  • Vision care through Vision Service Plan (VSP)

  • Long term disability through Sun Life

  • Group and voluntary life insurance through Boston Mutual

  • Health Care and Dependent Care flexible spending through Benefit Strategies

  • Deferred compensation plans through a choice of three vendors

  • Free, confidential services through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provided by E4Health

  • Annual cancer screening & wellness release

  • Somerville Retirement Pension System

  • Tuition reimbursement

  • MBTA pass program

  • FREE Blue Bikes membership

  • Eligible employer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)

Benefits listed are for benefits-eligible positions and the above information is meant to be a general overview of the benefit programs offered by the City of Somerville and not a binding contract.

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