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Environmental Health Specialist III - On-Site Septic System and Drinking Water Lead

Skagit County

Skagit County

Mt Vernon, WA, USA
Posted on Sunday, January 8, 2023

The current position offered is the On-Site Septic System and Drinking Water Lead

This job description is applicable to all EHS III. Specific tasks according to area of assignment follow the common narrative.

An experienced Environmental Health Specialist who performs a wide range of activities in the Environmental Health Division, provides technical support and monitor all duties of environmental health programs area of assignment to ensure compliance with federal, State and local standards and regulations regarding sanitation and disease control.  Performs and monitors all environmental health related activities, in the Environmental Health Division including, solid and hazardous waste, food safety, and onsite waste programs. The incumbent is expected to participate in program planning, development of policies, procedures and regulations, program implementation and evaluation as well as providing technical support to field staff and performing field work as assigned.   Required to apply knowledge of communicable diseases and their means of transmission and control to work situations that are varied and complex.

- Salary upon hire is step 1 through 3 ($39.40 - $42.20 per hour) for an Environmental Health Specialist III, dependent upon qualifications. 

- Per union contract, progressive increases are based upon years of service with Skagit County, up to step 8 total steps (top step $50.15). Environmental Health Specialist III is range 18 of salary schedule Public Health (PROTEC).   

Essential Functions

Under general supervision the Environmental Health Manager, performs the following functions within the framework and provision of the core functions and essential services of public health.

Maintains a professional relationship with public agencies and private individuals engaged in business with the Public Health Department.  Works collaboratively with Planning and Development Services, Public Works, and other County departments that interface with environmental health related program areas.

Collaborates in the development of and contributes to individual, team and departmental quality improvement, performance management and evaluation activities.

Demonstrates knowledge of applicable professional guidelines for licensed environmental health practitioners applicable to practice as an environmental health professional.

Coordinates all aspects of assigned program areas, including permitting, inspections, operations and maintenance, enforcement and program development.

Performs extensive review, evaluation, and oversight of all environmental health related program areas including meeting with managers, vendors, and facility owners/operators.

Organizes, reviews and provides feedback on staff assignments and leads special projects.  Reviews staff work for accuracy, appropriateness, and timeliness.  Provides feedback to staff regarding their fieldwork observations and assessments.

Investigates complaints regarding environmental health problems and hazards and initiates enforcement or corrective actions as required.

Participates in response teams to prevent, minimize, and contain adverse health events and conditions resulting from communicable diseases, food, water, and vector-borne outbreaks and environmental hazards.

Provides instruction and training for staff about uniformity and standardization of inspection tools and new technology.

Provides technical support to staff including troubleshooting problems and issues.

Ensures staff perform duties within the core functions of environmental health practice, ensuring that activities are within scope and role of public health as defined by RCW and WAC.

Interprets and applies policies and guidelines as they relate to areas of assignment.  Ensures staff are updated on current regulations, practices, and policies.

Organizes, reviews and provides feedback to staff assignments and leads special projects.

Meets with and educates the public and responds to inquiries and complaints. 

Conducts and interprets appropriate surveillance, inspections and investigations.  Issues and renews permits as related to area of assignment.

Provides oversight on quality improvement projects including standardization of inspections and inspection reports.

Provides health education and technical assistance to individuals and/or groups regarding compliance with current local public health and environmental codes, regulations and policies.  Delivers targeted, culturally appropriate information to help individuals and groups understand local policies, regulations and code.

Monitors and implements grant requirements relevant to the area of assignment.


Performs technical report writing, record keeping, and project analysis.


Represents Skagit County at public meetings concerning environmental public health. Attends meetings with local, state, and federal public health agencies to network, share information and to keep apprised of current trends in environmental health.


Maintains active field workload or other program responsibilities, but at a reduced level.

As On-Site Septic System and Drinking Water Lead:

Reviews and approves license requirements for Operations and Maintenance Specialists and Septic System Installers.


Reviews and approves septic permits as relevant to applicable state and local codes and regulations.


Monitors septic system inspection compliance and provides oversight of education and outreach to property owners on health and maintenance of septic system.


Serves as liaison with State Department of Health for Drinking Water compliance.


Directs on-site staff in cooperation with objectives of Clean Samish Initiative and other similar special projects.

Leader/Project Leader - A leader role requires he employee to assist in planning and organizing work, assign and check work of, and/or assist and instruct others. Directly oversees the work and operations of assigned staff.

May require some weekend and evening work and adjustments to normal working hours as required to conduct inspections.

May be tasked with performing related duties.  Related duties as required are duties that may not be specifically listed in the position description but are within the general occupational series and responsibility level typically associated with the employee's classification of work.
Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor's degree in bacteriology, environmental health, public health or a related field. And

Four years of professional environmental health work experience.

Equivalent combination of education and experience which provides the skills, knowledge and ability necessary to perform the work may be substituted.

Requires knowledge of:

  • Field of assignment and physical ability sufficient to perform thoroughly and accurately the full scope of responsibility.
  • Federal, state and local health laws, policies, programs and relationships as they impact environmental health.
  • Environmental Health programs, policies and procedures.
  • Potential diseases, means of transmission and controls associated with food borne, solid and hazardous waste, vector borne, water borne infections.
  • Solid waste and chemical hazards and awareness of other agencies dealing with the handling and control of dangerous and toxic wastes
  • Quality assurance and improvement practices.
  • Environmental Health programs, goals, objectives, policies and procedures.

    Requires the ability to:
  • Apply disease intervention techniques such as interviewing, investigation, screening and surveillance.
  • Evaluate plans and operating criteria for program areas.
  • Gain confidence of persons and groups requiring services and ask questions to elicit required information.
  • Collect and analyze data.
  • Deal with the public in a courteous manner in situations which can be confrontational.
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Plan and monitor work assignments related to a specific program or group of programs.
  • Prioritize work schedules and assignments in an effective manner. 
  • Oversee coordinate, and evaluate the work of staff.
  • Keep up to date with advanced technology and keep staff members up to date on this information.
  • Navigate geographical locations, including, but not limited to, the ability to read maps accurately and to use locator information appropriately for investigations.
  • Read and understand architectural plans for food service mobile home parks, camps and similar establishments.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, County officials, colleagues, other professionals and the public.
  • Maintain accurate records, including entering results of inspections into computer databases.
  • Solid waste and chemical hazards and awareness of other agencies dealing with the handling and control of dangerous and toxic wastes.
  • Proficient computer and data management skills.
  • Operation of standard office equipment, including computer (Word, Excel, PPT and other databases), Fax, Phone, copy machines etc.

Licenses and/or Certifications:
Requires Registration with the Washington State Board of Registered Sanitarians as a Registered Sanitarian or the National Environmental Health Association as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist.

Inspector "Certificate of Competency" by the Washington State Department of Licensing required for the On-site Sewage Program.

Valid Washington driver's license.

Work is performed partially in an office environment and requires field inspection of areas related to public health.  Physical effort is required to conduct inspections and sampling. Physical ability to perform fieldwork outdoors in varying weather conditions and to traverse rough terrain for considerable periods. Hand-eye coordination, lifting, full physical mobility.  Requires ability to be outdoors in all types of weather conditions and to traverse all types of terrain. Occasionally requires ability to climb stairs and ladders to access elevated areas.

Requires ability to drive an automobile and to utilize a telephone and standard office equipment.

Weekend and evening work at times.

Physical hazards include potential disease contamination from pathogens,, falling and sharp objects at licensed and illegal landfills, exposure to driving hazards and variable weather conditions at inspection sites.  Chemical hazards include flammable and toxic chemicals in school laboratories, chemical spills or pesticide misapplication procedures.
Supplemental Information


Following review of applications and resumes, the highest qualified applicants will be interviewed and may be tested. After a selection is made, all applicants not selected will be notified in writing. Skagit County reserves the right to use applications received for this posting to fill any other positions within this classification which may open within six months following the closing of this position. 


Skagit County, as an equal employment opportunity employer, encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.

It is the policy of Skagit County to follow all federal and state laws to ensure non-discrimination in its employment practices.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Notice: Individuals, who need an ADA accommodation to complete the application, test or interview process, please call: (360) 416-1382. 

The statements contained herein reflect general details as necessary to describe the essential functions of this position, the level of knowledge and skill typically required, and the scope of responsibility, but should not be considered an all-inclusive listing of work requirements. Individuals may perform other duties as assigned, including work in other functional areas to cover absences or relief, to equalize peak work periods, or otherwise to balance the workload. Changes to the position description may be made at the discretion of the employer.