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Aquatic Animal Life Support Operator

North Carolina Zoo
Asheboro, United States Posted: April 04, 2024

If you are an amazing Aquatic Animal Life Support Operator who wants to work at the world's largest natural habitat zoo, then keep reading. The North Carolina Zoo is seeking an Aquatics Life Support Systems Operator. 

  • The primary purpose of this position is to manage, operate and maintain the filtration, ozonation and chemical treatment equipment and systems for the pools in numerous animal exhibits at the North Carolina Zoo.
Pools include:
  • 146,000 gallon and 10,000 gallon outdoor polar bear exhibit pools
  • 75,000 gallon and 20,000 gallon outdoor pinniped pools
  • 44,000 gallon seabird pool in the Rocky Coast exhibit complex
  • 2,000 - 25,000 gallon fish aquariums
  • 6000 gallon outdoor otter exhibit pool
  • Grizzly Bear exhibit pool 
  • 4,000 gallon outdoor Black Bear exhibit pool
  • 2,000 gallon outdoor Red Wolf exhibit pool
  • Water quality standards in several of these exhibits are subject to USDA/APHIS Animal Welfare Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act requirements, federal and state laws, rule and regulations that apply.
  • Operates and maintains systems for several non-animal aquatic features. Position reports directly to the Aquatic Systems Technician.
Responsibilities include:
  • Operates complex water purification systems for pools that are the life support systems for the animals that live in them.
Systems include:
  • numerous large sand filters; carbon filters; ozone generation, contact and scrubbing equipment; chlorination and bromination equipment and systems; UV sterilization systems; centrifugal pumps, motors, piping and valves associated with the equipment; actuators and controllers for automated dosing systems and injection pumps; computerized monitoring systems, and dry air compressors.
  • Provides installation, preventative maintenance and repairs for this equipment to ensure continuous, efficient and effective operations.
  • Effectively communicates and coordinates with zoo maintenance staff for system and equipment repairs outside the scope or knowledge for this position but key to overall continuation of operations of these animal life support systems.
  • Daily monitors and interprets water chemistry parameters of the pools to insure water quality and clarity standards are met. Utilizes and calibrates water quality analysis equipment to monitor vital parameters. Water quality analysis equipment includes ion probes, spectrophotometers, pH meters, conductivity meters, commercial test kits, etc. Parameters monitored include: residual ozone, bromine and chlorine levels; pH; dissolved oxygen; ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels; hardness; salinity; coliforms.
  • Assists in the mixing of artificial seawater.
  • Maintains water circulations and water filtration system operations and water quality testing for water features in other exhibit complexes.
  • Maintains water chemistry and water quality tracking documents and records.
Job/Physical Requirements:
  • Job offer is contingent upon passing a pre-employment screen conducted by assigned provider.
  • Must be able to regularly work weekends, holidays, and after normal work shifts. 
  • Required to have a valid North Carolina driver license or obtain within 30 days of employment to drive a state vehicle.
  • Position is considered "Essential/Mandatory Staff" and required to work on adverse weather days and during zoo emergencies.
  • Required to participate in the North Carolina Zoo’s occupational health program, receiving vaccinations and regular health screenings.
  • Must be able to lift and move 50 lbs. with or without an accommodation. Must have the ability to perform strenuous physical work with alertness to surroundings in extremes of weather and challenging physical environments with or without an accommodation .   
  • Must have computer skills with Microsoft Office to professionally document water quality records, compose written documentation as well as work in a variety of databases.
  • Must be able to resolve water quality problems and issues in a timely manner without compromising water quality standards.
  • Must be able to work alone without supervision.
  • Learn about the NC ZOO: https://www.nczoo.org   
  • Learn about employee perks/benefits: https://oshr.nc.gov/state-employee-resources/benefits
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities / Competencies:
  • Demonstrated working experience in the application of water chemistry analysis, including the use of industry standard water quality analysis equipment.
  • Proven working experience in the maintenance of and troubleshooting problems for aquatic systems and associated pumps, filters, ozone generators, automated dosing systems and/or monitoring equipment.
Management Preferences 
  • SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) diving certification 
  • Current AALSO (Aquatic Animal Life Support Operator) certification
  • Current Certified Pool Operator certification
 Minimum Education and Experience Requirements:
  • High school or General Educational Development (GED) diploma and two (2) years of progressive experience in the assigned trade areas; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Necessary Special Qualification May require current certification by the Environmental Protection Agency as a Type I, II, III or Universal technician as required by Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations Part 82, Subpart F.
  • https://oshr.nc.gov/state-employee-resources/benefits
  • $38,516 - $46,115

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