Published March 11, 2020

Position Details

Position Title: Registered Sanitarian/Sanitarian-in-Training
Supervised By: County Commissioners
Supervises: None
Salary: Hourly

This is a non-exempt part time position, not to exceed 1560 hours per year unless approved by Pondera County Commissioners. This position will accrue overtime compensation under the guidelines of the Federal Fair Labor Standard Act and applicable Montana statutes. Pay cycle is monthly.

Work Unit Overview

The Environmental Health Department addresses the interaction between human health and the environment. Through a variety of programs and services, the Department strives to provide public health protection, offer educational and training opportunities, supply timely and beneficial information, and enforce health protection standards as outlined by Pondera County, State of Montana or Federal government guidelines. Our health is affected by the quality of air, land, food and water resources. Maintaining and improving public health by managing those environmental factors that affect health is the goal of the County Sanitarian’s office.

Job Summary

The Sanitarian performs a variety of professional and technical environmental health duties relating to environmental health and sanitation. The goal is to help protect people and communities from public health risks. Duties will vary requiring individual judgment by following generally prescribed standards and procedures set by the Public Health and Environmental Health laws and rules of Pondera County and the State of Montana. Employees assigned to this position must possess a comprehensive understanding of environmental health issues.

More specifically and pursuant to Mont. Code Ann. §37-40-101(3), Practice the profession of sanitarian means:

(a) giving advice on or enforcing compliance with state and local regulations applicable to local government jurisdictions and programs concerning food service, food processing, public accommodations, trailer courts, campgrounds, day-care centers, schools, swimming pools and spas, air pollution, solid and hazardous waste collection and disposal, sewage treatment and disposal, vector control, underground storage tanks, drinking water, land subdivision, and milk sanitation; (b) cooperating with government agencies on matters of public and environmental health, including epidemiological investigations and emergency response to investigators; and (c) providing educational and training programs in environmental standards and public health

Registered Sanitarian

Essential Functions (Major Duties or Responsibilities)

These duties are the essential functions and are not all-inclusive of all duties that the incumbent performs.

  • Direct programs and conduct field inspections which include, but are not limited to, retail food service establishments, food processors, wholesalers, public accommodations, trailer parks and tourist campgrounds. This may also include pools, spas, tattoo parlors, daycares, community homes, schools, jails and other institutional and recreational sanitation. Recommend appropriate action against violators of the health code and enforce codes pertaining to inspection of licensed establishments.
  • Participate in subdivision review relating to environmental and sanitation concerns.
  • Conduct inspections of on-site subsurface wastewater disposal systems to assure compliance with current regulations, providing compliance recommendations, when applicable, and issuing permits when all regulations have been met. Analyze and review septic permit applications to ensure compliance with applicable state and local regulations. Identify application deficiencies or areas of noncompliance and recommend approval or denial of applications based on analysis. Conduct site evaluations, inspect wastewater treatment system installation, soil testing, and review groundwater monitoring. Issue septic permits in accordance with local regulations. Non-compliance is reported to the Broad of Health and, when necessary, to the Pondera County Attorney.
  • Provide guidance for private well-water testing procedures.
  • Maintain operational records, reports and correspondence, pursuant to applicable local and state laws and regulations.
  • Analyze and review plans for new or remodeled food service establishments and public accommodations by examining plan designs (i.e. materials used, adequate plumbing features and layouts, etc.) for compliance with laws and regulations. Provide assistance in correcting areas of noncompliance and coordinate permitting processes.
  • Collaborate with and provide education to organizations, fund raisers and non-profit organizations holding food events for the public.
  • Conduct health informational and educational meetings for the general public on a variety of health issues as directed. Participate in various meetings to promote improvements in the field of public health.
  • Provide opportunities for instruction and education to the food service industry and the public on safe handling and prevention of food borne illnesses.
  • Provide technical and regulatory assistance to the public and, when necessitated, conduct investigations into any routine regulatory questions or complaints related to various environmental health issues (e.g., indoor/outdoor air quality, water quality, septic problems, food safety, hazardous material spills, radon, new or emerging communicable diseases, vector borne illnesses, rabid animals, etc.). When necessary, conduct follow up evaluations to any relevant complaints.
  • Investigate food-borne illness outbreaks in coordination with the communicable disease team when required. Analyze relevant information to identify suspected sources of the food-borne illness, investigate food-handling practices, and provide input for epidemiological studies detailing involved food, symptoms, and any related information to assist in determining causes and prevent future outbreaks.
  • Investigate complaints on unsanitary conditions and nuisances to determine whether public health laws are violated and recommend appropriate level of response based on analysis, or refer complainant to an appropriate source/agency for resolution. Maintain records and reports of findings.
  • Testify in court when required in matters relating to actions taken against violators of public health laws.
  • Perform the duties outlined in the Department’s disaster manual in the event of a disaster or public health emergency including, but not limited to, emergency flooding.
  • Direct the County junk vehicle program.
  • Maintain Registered Sanitarian (RS) license through the State of Montana Board of Sanitarians.
  • Possess a valid Montana Driver’s License and good driving record.
  • Conduct other related work as requested by the Pondera County Commissioners, Courts, Board of Health, Pondera County Health Officer and other agencies.

Physical Demands & Working Conditions

  • The demands and conditions described here are representative of those Employee must bend, stoop, and kneel to inspect food service establishments, sewage treatment systems, and other locations.
  • May be required to lift up to 50 pounds.
  • Work is conducted in an office and in varied settings while inspecting.
  • Occasionally works with difficult individuals during the course of investigative/enforcement functions.

Supervision Exercised

List jobs reporting to the subject position and level of supervisory authority.

This position does not regularly supervise other County staff. The position may provide training and guidance to employees with less experience, occasionally coordinates special projects as directed.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Knowledge of the principles, practices and management of Environmental Health Sciences.
  • Knowledge of Federal, State, and County Public Health Regulations and enforcement procedures.
  • Skill in the operation of databases and standard office software and public relations.
  • Ability to determine compliance with laws and regulations.
  • Assess a wide variety of environmental/sanitary situations through inspections and investigations.
  • Communicate effectively both verbally and in writing with the public.
  • Skill in assuming responsibility for the quality and integrity of investigation decisions and follow-up until the situation or issue has been resolved. If the issue is not resolved report to appropriate agencies or entities.
  • Ability, in emergency situations, to collaborate with Pondera County’s Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) planning personnel regarding understanding and applying knowledge of all related environmental health issues.

Education & Experience

This job requires a current license as a Registered Sanitarian (RS).

Sanitarian-in-Training

Essential Functions (Major Duties or Responsibilities)

These duties are the essential functions and are not all-inclusive of all duties that the incumbent performs.

All essential duties and responsibilities include those listed for a Registered Sanitarian BUT can only be performed under the direct supervision of a Registered Sanitarian.

Education & Experience

This position requires a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Health or equivalent from an accredited college or university. Evaluation for equivalency is a case by case process but begins with 45 quarter hours or 30 semester hours in the physical and biological health sciences with specific courses in biology, chemistry and microbiology. The incumbent must obtain their license as a Registered Sanitarian within ninety (90) days of being hired.

Application Instructions

Applications and job descriptions are available at the Montana Job Service website or at the Pondera County Clerk & Recorder’s office in the Courthouse: 20 Fourth Avenue SW Conrad, MT 59425; (406) 271-4000.

Pondera County is an equal opportunity employer. The County shall, upon request, provide reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities. 

This job description is intended to reflect core areas of responsibility and an incumbent employees’ knowledge and skill set needed to complete those functions. This document is not intended to catalog each individual duty; employees are routinely called upon to address emerging employer requirements in alignment with individual work units and assignments of jobs. The job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the employer change.