Director, Water and Sewer Department

Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department
Miami, FL



 Director, Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department

Salary Range:  $203,929 - $350,205


Miami-Dade County is seeking an experienced and knowledgeable Director for the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (WASD) to coordinate countywide water distribution and wastewater transmission systems to meet the growing needs of Miami-Dade County residents. The Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department maintains more than 8,500 miles of underground water lines, as well as approximately 4,100 miles of sewer lines, serving 2.3 million residents, businesses and thousands of visitors.  The Water and Sewer Department ensures high quality drinking water and wastewater services in compliance with all regulatory requirements. The County’s drinking water is regularly tested to ensure its quality and surpasses federal, state and local standards.


The County’s water system consists of three regional water treatment plants and five local water treatment plants with a total permitted capacity of 464 million gallons per day (MGD); three regional wastewater treatment plants with a total permitted capacity of 376 MGD; more than 1,000 sewer pump stations and 6,400 miles of wastewater mains and lateral collection pipes.  The service population as of September 2019 serves 450,000 water and 366,000 wastewater retail customers.


The Director is responsible for the utility’s wastewater collection, transmission and treatment functions; potable water production, transmission and distribution operations; system maintenance requirements; engineering and construction activities; and a multitude of financial, administrative and operational support activities.  WASD consists of approximately 2,800 employees who support the departments’ function of safeguarding public health and the environment, while planning for future growth, implementing water conservation measures and providing for process improvements and cost efficiencies. The Director will have oversight of an approximately $800 million operating budget and a $600 million annual capital plan; and reports to the Chief Operations Officer. The Director is responsible for successfully managing large departmental capital and operational programs while meeting local, state, and federal regulatory requirements. Among the Department’s most critical ongoing initiatives are:


·         Consent Decree Program: Miami-Dade County entered a Consent Decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The Consent Decree requires the completion of capital and operational improvements to the wastewater collection and treatment system at a total investment of approximately $2 billion. The program is anticipated to be completed by 2027, with most projects currently in the construction phase.


·         Ocean Outfall Program: In 2008, the Florida Legislature passed a law requiring utilities operating ocean outfalls for wastewater treatment plant effluent disposal to reduce nutrient discharges by implementing advanced wastewater treatment by 2018 (or equivalent) and cease operation of outfalls by 2025. To comply with the Ocean Outfall Legislation (OOL), the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department is undertaking several improvements at its two (2) facilities currently employing ocean outfalls as a disposal method. These improvements, which involve the addition of tertiary treatment (high level disinfection), deep well injection, supporting electrical improvements, and other facility enhancements are currently in design, permitting and various stages of construction to meet the 2025 compliance date, at a total investment of approximately $3 billion.


·         General Obligation Bond Commercial Corridor Sewer Extension Program: The Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department has an ongoing program with the objective of providing sanitary sewer service to commercial and industrial areas within the County which currently lack access to sewer infrastructure. The program is intended to yield environmental, social, and economic benefits in the impacted areas, and is being funded by General Obligation Bond proceeds allocated by the Board of County Commissioners. The program involves the design, permitting, and construction of $126 million in new sanitary sewer infrastructure and approximately $100 million in associated water infrastructure improvements. The program is scheduled for completion by 2024.


·         Reuse Program: WASD has partnered with Florida Power & Light (local electric utility) to undertake the planning, design, and construction of a large reuse facility which will treat up to 15 million gallons per day of effluent wastewater from the Department’s South District Wastewater Treatment Plant for use at the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant. This reuse project, when completed, would be the 4th largest reuse installation in the State of Florida.


·         Utility of the Future Initiative: Miami-Dade County is committed to ensuring that WASD is a progressive and innovative utility. In 2016 and 2017 WASD was recognized as a “Utility of the Future” by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF). It is a Department priority to continue to evolve from solely accomplishing the basic mission of water/sewer utilities, to transforming into an organization that manages valuable resources, is a partner in local economic development, and is a member of the watershed community seeking to deliver maximum environmental benefits to the residents of Miami-Dade County. Areas of focus include reclaiming and reusing water, extracting and finding commercial uses for nutrients and other constituents, capturing waste heat and latent energy in biosolids and liquid streams, generating renewable energy, maximizing the use of land and other horizontal assets, and using green infrastructure to manage stormwater in a “One Water Approach”.


·         Addressing Sea Level Rise: WASD is actively addressing the risk of sea level rise (SLR) to its operations and capital assets. Among various actions undertaken, the Department has partnered with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to quantify hydrologic conditions in urban areas of Miami-Dade County and has developed a groundwater/surface water model to determine the impacts of sea level rise and climate change over several decades. WASD has also undertaken surge and flood modeling at its coastal facilities (wastewater treatment plants). These planning efforts have assisted WASD in the development of design guidelines for the hardening of pump stations and treatment facilities against the effects of flooding from storm surge, sea level rise, and extreme rainfall. All projects within WASD’s capital improvement program are expected to adhere to hardening standards and always “build better”. The advancement of this initiative is of great urgency and importance, and has the objective of ensuring that critical facilities are protected from the effects of sea level rise and adequate levels of service to customers are always maintained.


Other initiatives include maximizing available water supplies, reducing inflow and infiltration, addressing ageing infrastructure, and improving operational efficiencies. Policy direction is received from the Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners. 


The ideal candidate should have:


·         Experience managing the operations of a large water and wastewater utility

·         Knowledge of local, state and federal regulations pertaining to water and wastewater operations and maintenance

·         Experience in overseeing a utility capital improvement program comparable in scale to WASD’s.

·         Knowledge of environmental sustainability concepts, design and construction engineering standards

·         Knowledge in providing quality utility services within budgetary constraints;

·         A proven record of results-oriented leadership, working independently and collaboratively with all stakeholders;  

·         Ability to evaluate water and wastewater operations and make adjustments as needed,

For Fiscal Year 2020-21, the County’s adopted budget is $8.9 billion dollars. Miami-Dade County is internationally recognized for its achievement in implementing a results-oriented government culture. The County’s Strategic Business Plans are developed with significant input from the community in setting priorities


Minimum Qualifications:


Bachelor's degree.  A minimum eight years of progressively responsible professional and/or administrative experience in a major governmental operation, to include overseeing and directing the management of capital improvement programs, utility operations, design and construction engineering, or environmental sustainability issues are required.  A Master's degree and/or PhD degree is preferred.   Bachelor's degree in Engineering is highly desired.  Water and/or water utility experience, and a State of Florida Professional Engineer license is highly desired. 




Miami-Dade County offers outstanding comprehensive benefits that include: full medical, dental, optional vision and disability insurance; optional 457 pre-tax savings plans, optional flexible spending accounts, 12 paid holidays, one birthday holiday, and three floating holidays; vacation and sick leave; and employee contributory membership in the Florida Retirement System.


Applicants qualifying for employment will be subject to an extensive background check including, but not limited to, fingerprint checks, employment verification and other procedures.  All resume submittals are subject to State of Florida Public Records Law.


Miami-Dade County is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants and employees are protected from discrimination based on certain categories protected by Local and Federal law.


Qualified applicants may apply online for the Director, Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department, Job Opening # 61764 at or send resumes via email to or mail to Kathy L. Horton, Human Resources Manager, Recruitment and Internal Placement, Human Resources Department, 111 NW 1st Street, Suite 2110, Miami, FL 33128   For additional information contact Ms. Kathy L. Horton at (305) 375-2668 or .  All documents submitted in response to the advertisement are public records pursuant to Chapter 119 Florida Statutes.