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Dam and Well Section Manager

The Department of Ecology's priority during the Covid-19 health crisis is to keep our staff, candidates, and the public safe. We are still hiring and encourage you to apply to open positions. The majority of our staff are currently working from home; we have transitioned to a virtual recruitment process, to include web-based interviews. 
Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen 
Protecting Washington State's environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. If you want to join a highly effective, collaborative team in exciting work dedicated to safe water supply and storage, this may be the position for you.
The Water Resources program is looking for a leader to fill the Dam and Well Section Manager (WMS Band 2) position. The position is currently assigned to a duty station in our Headquarters Building in Lacey, WA, and supervises staff also assigned to Headquarters. However, the agency is transitioning to a Modern Work Environment approach that allows telework and flexible schedules the new Section Manager will need to support and implement. 
The Dam and Well Section Manager is responsible for both the state Dam Safety Office to assure the safety of over 1,100 dams within the state, and the state Well Construction and Licensing Office to assure health and safety aspects of well construction and decommissioning. The position reports to the Water Resources Program Manager. The position has 10 staff positions all reporting directly to the Section Manager. This includes six engineers, three environmental specialists, and one hydrogeologist.
We are looking for a candidate who enjoys working with a variety of people on an interdisciplinary team and has a passion for public service.
As an agency, our mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's environment for current and future generations. We invest in our employees to create and sustain a working environment that encourages creative leadership, effective resource management, teamwork, professionalism and accountability.
To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at and follow, like or visit us on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram or our blog.
Local efforts... Diverse people... Statewide impacts 

The mission of the Water Resources program is to manage water resources to meet the current and future needs of the natural environment and Washington's communities.
Some of the key work activities of the Dam and Well Section Manager position are:
Serves as the State’s Dam Safety Office Manager responsible for a statewide dam safety program to protect human lives, public infrastructure, and the environment from dam failure. Prioritizes the section’s actions and resources using a risk-based approach to assess dam threats. Represents the State and Ecology on matters related to dam safety. Participates in national, state and local efforts to identify and reduce risks from dam failure. Provides dam inspection, permitting, and emergency response services statewide. Provides assistance to Ecology programs involved in water storage projects, including the Office of Columbia River. Oversees operations at the Zosel Dam on the US-Canada border at Lake Osoyoos, which is owned by Ecology.
Serves as the Program’s Well Construction and Licensing Office Manager responsible for implementation of regulations to ensure the construction and decommissioning of wells in a manner that protects the State’s aquatic resources, and a statewide well driller licensing program. Supports an internal team of headquarters and regional staff to collaboratively administer the program statewide. Represents the agency with a Director-appointed Technical Advisory Group to assist in implementing the program. Works collaboratively with local public health offices on well construction issues.
Plans, leads, organizes, and controls the work performed by the section. Assures appropriate and optimum use of the organization's resources and enhances the effectiveness of employees through timely appraisal and professional development opportunities. Supports effective communications throughout the organization. Maintains the highest standards of personal/professional and ethical conduct and supports the state's goals for a diverse workforce.
  • Supports compliance with laws, rules, and policies to protect water resources statewide in the best public interest through oversight of dam safety and well regulations. 
  • Performs final review and/or approval for delegated well driller licensing and dam safety enforcement actions, civil penalties, contracts, purchasing, and personnel actions. 
  • Manages field inspections, technical assessments, and compliance investigations regarding dam safety and well construction. 
  • Ensures quality, consistency, and timeliness of staff recommendations and reports. 
  • Oversees management of fee related activities for Dam Safety Office and Well Construction and Licensing Office, including rule-making to modify fees. 
  • Oversees contracting for services from engineering firms, the WA State Groundwater Association, local health districts, and others. 
  • Oversees the implementation of federal grants including the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s dam safety program grant, and grants for dams with high hazard potential. 
  • Engages with program planning, policy, legislative, and outreach efforts as needed. 
  • Participates actively in the Water Resources Program’s Leadership Team to develop strategic direction and address emerging issues facing the Program as a whole. 
Please note: During Stay Home, Stay Healthy, staff are working a combination of in-office and/or telework based on position and business need.
Ecology is maintaining less than maximum building occupancy, and requiring masks, health screening questions before entry, and social distancing.
This recruitment will remain open until filled. The initial screening will be April 23, 2021. In order to be considered for the initial screening, please submit an application on or before April 22, 2021. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date

Required Qualifications: 
A Master's or Bachelor's degree with a major study in one of the following engineering fields: environmental, water resources, civil, geotechnical, environmental, mechanical, or related field
Registration as a Professional Engineer in the state of Washington or another state based on registration requirements equivalent to those in Washington AND five (5) years of experience in environmental engineering which includes at least two (2) years utilizing the Professional Engineer registration.
Three (3) or more years of experience supervising a work unit OR three (3) years of experience managing projects with internal and external customers and with demonstrated successful outcomes.

Knowledge of Engineering - The manager reports to the program manager of Water Resources and is responsible for coordinating and providing water resources engineering assistance to headquarters and the regions. Provides assistance to Office of Columbia River on Water Storage projects. Over sees operations at the Zosel Dam on Lake Osoyoos, which is owned by Ecology. Has the ability to advise on issues and feasibility of major storage projects statewide.
Well Drilling - Multiple state laws, regulations, and technical standards pertaining to well construction and operation, well driller licensing, and protection of groundwater as a drinking water source; strategies and administrative procedures for enforcement licenses and their renewal. Requires exercise of technical and policy judgment on decisions affecting hundreds of well drillers and delegated county officials. Has responsibility and signature authority for enforcement actions/orders on violations of the well drilling laws and regulations.
Note: Requirements for professional registration as an engineer in the State of Washington are eight years of professional experience (which may include up to four years of college-level engineering education) and successful completion of sixteen hours of professional licensing exams. Applicants qualifying through the licensing equivalency option must achieve registration as an engineer in the State of Washington within six months of appointment.
NOTE:  Individuals who are interested in applying to this position, and believe they meet licensing requirements for the State of Washington based on reciprocity, are responsible for ensuring they meet licensing requirements for the State of Washington prior to submitting their application materials. These requirements can be found at the following website: WA State Licensing (DOL) Official Site: How to get your license: Professional engineer by comity.
Desired Qualifications: 
We highly encourage you to apply even if you do not have some (or all) of the desired experience below.
  • Advanced degree in engineering, environmental science, or other qualifying discipline.
  • Expertise in one of the areas of civil engineering most applicable to dams, i.e. geotechnical, civil hydrology/hydraulics, or structural.
  • Three or more years of experience supervising a work unit. Knowledge of state water resources laws and issues.
  • Experience performing engineering tasks associated with a Dam Safety program and/or construction/project management, e.g., conducting periodic inspections of existing dams; conducting design studies and computations concerning principles of geotechnical and/or structural and/or hydrologic/hydraulic engineering analysis, reviewing designs of new dams and modifications/repairs of existing dams; writing technical reports; conducing inspections of construction work; and understanding risk assessment and its application to issues of public safety.

Note: Having some (or all) of this desired experience may make your application more competitive in a highly competitive applicant pool. 
Why work for Ecology?
Joining Ecology means becoming a part of a team committed to protecting and restoring Washington State's environment.
A career in public service allows you to help solve some of the most challenging problems facing our state, while keeping the health and financial security of you and your family a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to work/life balance.
Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:
Student debt and how working for Ecology can help
Employees may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, which forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.

Supplemental Information
Application Instructions:

Please complete the short on-line application, supplemental questions and upload:
  • Your current chronological resume; 
  • A cover letter explaining how you fit the requirements of the position;
Important Note
When attaching documents to your application (Resume, Cover Letter, Transcripts, DD-214, etc.):
  • Please be sure to remove private information such as your social security number, date of birth, etc. 
  • Do not attach documents that are password protected as these documents may not be reviewed and may cause errors within your application when downloaded. 
Please to do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable. 
It is in the candidate's best interest to submit all of the documents requested above. Applications without these documents may be declined.

Department of Ecology employees, please make sure to answer the agency-wide questions regarding permanent status as a classified employee within the Washington General Service or Washington Management Service. Do not forget to select Department of Ecology as a response to question 2, and type your personnel ID number for question 3. If you are not sure of your status or do not know your personnel ID number, please contact Human Resources.
If you are reading this announcement in print format, please visit to access the online recruitment system. Click on "Look for Jobs" and select Dept. of Ecology under the "Department" search list. Click "Apply Search."
Other Information:
If you need assistance applying for this job, please e-mail Please do not send an email to this address to follow-up the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile's main page.

If you have specific questions about the position, please email Mary Verner at: mary.verner@ecy.wa.govPlease do not contact Mary to inquire about the status of your application.
The act of submitting application materials electronically is considered affirmation that the information is complete and truthful. The state may verify this information and any untruthful or misleading answers are cause for rejection of your application or dismissal if employed.

This recruitment may be used to fill other positions of the same job classification across the agency. Once all the position(s) from the recruitment announcement are filled, the recruitment may only be used to fill additional open positions for the next sixty (60) days.

The Washington State Department of Ecology is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, veterans, military spouses or people with military status, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application/testing process or this job announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 407-6186. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388