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Collection Systems Operator (Vac Truck Operator, Excavator Operator, Road Construction, Pipe Laying)

Three (3) Regular Full Time
Competition #
Collections Systems Operator, Apprentice(s)
Wastewater and Stormwater Services
Primary Function

Working out of our 455 Cowie Hill Rd. (Halifax) depot, as a Collection Systems Operator Apprentice you will:

  • Perform scheduled and emergency cleaning, repair, and maintenance of sanitary and stormwater sewers, pipes, pumping stations and related infrastructure.   
  • You will operate a variety of vehicles, equipment and tools in a safe manner. 
  • You will work primarily outdoors, in all weather conditions and in confined spaces, etc.  
Duties & Responsibilities

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Operates a variety of cleaning, maintenance, repair equipment, tools and vehicles
  • Cleans, repairs, and maintains sewers, underground access chambers, catch basins, wet/dry wells, laterals and forcemains, etc.
  • Replaces, repairs, and adjusts manhole and catchbasin covers
  • Responds to flood, fuel spills, sewer odors, sewer backups and customer complaints.  Investigates and resolves such complaints
  • Inspects wastewater and stormwater  related infrastructure
  • Cleans repairs and maintains storm sewers, culverts, catchbasins, ditches including grading
  • Loads and unloads equipment  and materials as required
  • General care, maintenance and safe operation of assigned equipment  and tools
  • Orders supplies and materials as required
  • Provides written and verbal reports concerning daily work activities
  • Must be willing to work overtime for emergency call-outs
  • Performs other related duties as required


Reporting Relationships

Reports to:    Works Supervisor

Supervises:    N/A

Minimum Qualifications

Education and Experience

To do this job you need to have:

  • Grade 12 or equivalent
  • A valid Class 5 Nova Scotia Drivers’ license.
  • Two years of experience working in a similar environment and with similar equipment and tools. (ie: road construction, paving crew, pipe laying, jet truck operation, hydroexcavation)
  • You will be required to obtain certification through Nova Scotia Environment within 6 months of hire as an Operator-in-Training.  We arrange for the exam and pay the fee to write it.


To Progress in this role to the next level (and higher pay) you will require the following:


Collection Systems Operator Level I

  • 18 months of experience working for Halifax Water as a Collection Systems Operator Apprentice
  • Nova Scotia Environment Wastewater Collection Level I certification
  • Class 3 Drivers’ license
  • Demonstration of your ability to perform the various tasks within the Collection Systems Operator role such as:  manhole repair and installation, catchbasing repair, lateral installation, etc.  which will be verified by a completed checklist


Collection Systems Operator Level 2

  • 3 years of experience working for Halifax Water in Wastewater Collections
  • Nova Scotia Environment Wastewater Collection Level II certification
  • Demonstration of your ability to complete more complex tasks such as cleaning sewers, troubleshooting, cleaning pump station wet wells, etc. which will be verified by a completed checklist
Other Requirements

Technical  Knowledge:

  • Must be familiar with related Occupational  Health and Safety practices
  • Must have good verbal and written communication skills. Must be willing to work overtime for emergency call outs.
  • Must be reliable, punctual and have a good attendance record.
  • Must be willing to take occupational  and other training  related to classification and equipment
  • Must meet and maintain essential physical requirements of the position as described  in Working Conditions


Physical Demands/Working Conditions:

  • Location: primarily outdoors and underground in an environment that includes dust, fumes, volatile organic compounds, noise, odor, heat, cold, etc.
  • Equipment and tools operation in difficult conditions (heat, rain, snow, ice or confined spaces)
  • Workload Level: Medium to Heavy. May be required to work alone

Essential Physical Requirements:

  • Pre-employment testing and periodic reassessment and retesting will be required which will include functional assessment plus confined space entry with appropriate equipment.
  • Standing, walking, head/neck- neutral, bilateral handling - simple and firm grasp, climbing, sitting (driving), forward reaching, lifting.
  • Required to enter and work in confined spaces. Must be capable of safely accessing and egressing confined spaces with safety gear using Duo Safety Corporation ladders rated at a maximum load of 750lbs. These confined spaces have a minimum manhole access of 27 inches in diameter. May be required to wear respiratory equipment, depending on environmental conditions. Worker is required to wear a full body harness when working in underground/enclosed areas.
  • Sitting and foot movement (driving): occasional (on average 1 - 2.5 hrs/shift)
  • Standing and walking: frequent (2.5 to 5.5 hrs/shift, short to moderate periods of dynamic standing, interspersed with occasional to frequent periods of short to moderate distance walking)
  • Bending and forward reaching: occasional to frequent depending on work project
  • Reaching Overhead: occasional (1 - 2.5 hrs/shift)
  • Balance: occasional (1 - 2.5 hrs/shift)
  • Head/neck neutral mobility: frequently (2.5 to 5.5 hrs/shift)
  • Head/neck-flexion, extension, rotation: occasional (1 - 2.5 hrs/shift)
  • Climbing or descending: occasional (ladders from 4 - 40 feet, average 10-15 foot ladders)
  • Bilateral handling: constant (over 5.5 hrs/shift)
  • Handling - Simple and firm hand grasp: frequent (2.5 to 5.5 hrs/shift)
  • Handling - turning and fine finger manipulation: minimal (0 - 1 hr/shift)
  • Lifting: occasional (1 - 2.5 hrs/shift - 5 to 70lbs - one worker)
  • Lifting: minimal (0 – 1 hr/shift - 70-135lbs - 2 workers working jointly)
  • Carrying: occasional (20-70lbs - 1 - 2.5 hrs/shift)
  • Pulling forces: heavy range (50-100lbs)
  • Kneeling, crouching, squatting: occasional (1 - 2.5 hrs/shift)
  • Crawling, twisting: minimal (0 - 1 hr/shift)

HOURS OF WORK:  As per Collective Agreement

RATE OF PAY: As per Collective Agreement

This is a CUPE Local 227 Unionized position


How to Apply

Applicants who applied previously for this competition do not need to reapply.

Completed cover letters and application forms [PDF] or resumes, stating Competition #HW24-CSOE must be received by 4:30 pm on May 3, 2024.  Please forward to:


  • Halifax Water
    HR Department
    P.O. Box 8388, RPO CSC
    Halifax, NS
    B3K 5M1


  • 902-490-6934

Conditional Items Required for Employment:

  • Satisfactory background check
  • Satisfactory pre-employment drug and alcohol testing

Halifax Water believes a diverse workforce positively contributes to its success and therefore encourages applications from qualified African Nova Scotians, racially visible persons, women in non-traditional positions, persons with disabilities and Indigenous persons. Halifax Water encourages applicants to self-identify.

Halifax Water is an equal opportunity employer.