Public Utilities Director

Agency City of San Diego



The City of San Diego

Public Utilities Director

About the City

With more than 1.3 million people, the City of San Diego is the eighth largest city in the United States and the second largest in California. The City of San Diego’s strong economy, diverse population, great educational institutions, unsurpassed quality of life, and world-renowned location makes it the ideal place to work, live, and play. With its great weather, miles of sandy beaches, and major attractions, San Diego has something to offer for everyone.

The City’s Mission, as found in our Strategic Plan, is “To Effectively Serve and Support Our Communities.” Our core values are Integrity, Service, People, and Excellence. The City’s Vision is “A World-Class City for All.”

As one of the region’s largest employers, the City of San Diego has approximately 11,000 highly dedicated employees. Additional information about the City of San Diego can be obtained on the City’s website:

About the Department

The Public Utilities Department owns and operates both water and wastewater systems.  These systems are among the largest and most complex systems in the world due to the size of the service area, topography, and varied climate.

The water system serves the City and its surrounding areas including wholesale and reclaimed water customers. The water system can treat up to 378 million gallons of drinking water per day and includes 49 pump stations, 3 water treatment plants, over 3,400 miles of pipeline, more than 320,000 service connections, and 135 separate pressure zones. 

The wastewater system consists of the Municipal Sub-System and the Metropolitan Sub-System.  The Municipal is a sewage collection and conveyance system for the City’s residents, and the Metropolitan system treats and disposes of the wastewater generated by the City and 12 other cities and districts near the city. Both systems combined have a total of 82 pump stations and serve 2.2 million customers.

Distribution of Water

San Diego not only delivers water to its citizens; it also supplies treated water to the city of Del Mar and the California American Water Company, which serves the cities of Coronado and Imperial Beach, as well as parts of the southern area of the City of San Diego. As a result, 1.4 million people receive water treated by San Diego. These customers use approximately 65.7 billion gallons a year.

After water is treated at the City’s treatment plants, it is pumped to all parts of San Diego over 404 square miles. The Public Utilities Department maintains and operates:

•             More than 3,300 miles of water lines

•             50 water pump stations

•             32 standpipes, elevated tanks, and concrete and steel reservoirs with a potable water storage capacity of more than 200 million gallons

•             More than 24,000 fire hydrants

•             Approximately 290,000 water meters

The pipelines range in diameter size from 2-inch service lines to 96-inch transmission pipelines.

Because of San Diego’s diverse topography, including sea level beach communities, mesas, hills, valleys and canyons, the City maintains more than 120 pressure zones.

The infrastructure is complex, and the Public Utilities Department constantly monitors, maintains and improves its immense water system to insure water is delivered to its customers.

Pure Water San Diego

The City’s Pure Water Program is a multi-phase program that will provide one third of the City’s water supply by the end of 2035. The City has been a leader in proving the feasibility of the Pure Water supply concept to the public and regulators and will soon begin construction of the program’s first phase.  Phase 1 includes new treatment facilities, pump stations, and approximately 30 miles of pipeline. Construction is expected to begin in 2019 with completion expected in 2023.  Phase 1’s estimated total cost is $1.4 billion.

The Opportunity

Under the general direction of the Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Infrastructure & Public Works the Director leads the Public Utilities Department comprised of over 1,600 employees to provide water, wastewater, and recycled water services to the City of San Diego and surrounding communities.

The PUD Will Be Responsible For:

  • Representing the Department at Council meetings and various civic, community, and professional engagements;
  • Leading the City’s largest infrastructure project, Pure Water, a recycling program that will deliver safe, reliable and a sustainable source of water;
  • Optimizing the Department’s organizational structure to ensure enhanced service delivery;
  • Being the voice of the Department relationship with partners agencies and key stakeholders;
  • Overseeing budget integrity; and
  • Providing leadership for general utility operations with a focus on high-quality customer service.

The Ideal Candidate Possesses

  • A progressive management style with the experience necessary to direct a major operating department.
  • The poise and charisma to be the external voice for a large municipal department.
  • The ability to act swiftly and make balanced decisions in a bureaucratic and political environment.
  • Demonstrated success in managing large multi-year capital improvement projects.
  • Focus on enhanced customer service and customer satisfaction.
  • Demonstrated experience in personnel management that displays a balanced approach between equity and firm decision-making while acknowledging and recognizing performance accomplishment and success.
  • An understanding of the processes involved with cost of service studies or utility rate setting surveys.
  • Active and genuine commitment to managing diversity in the workplace and encouraging high performing teams.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Engineering, or a related field, and ten (10) or more years of professional executive level management experience. A Master’s Degree is desired.

Compensation & Benefits

The salary will be commensurate with experience. To learn about the City’s outstanding benefits program, please visit Risk Management -> Employee Benefits at

The successful candidate will be eligible for participation in the City’s Flexible Benefits Plan that offers several optional benefit plans or a taxable cash option; $50,000 in City-paid life insurance; paid annual leave accruing at 22 days per year for the 1st through the 15th year of service. For further information, please contact the Risk Management Department at (619) 236-6600.  Retirement benefits differ for this unclassified position depending on the candidate’s eligible status (new hire, rehire, etc.). For further information, visit Risk Management, Employee Benefits at Some benefits currently offered to employees may be modified in the future.

Application Process

To apply for this outstanding opportunity, please visit You may also mail your cover letter and resume to Koff & Associates, 2835 Seventh Street, Berkeley, CA 94710.If you have any questions, please email the Koff & Associates recruitment representative, Richard O’Donnell, at

The City of San Diego has an active Equal Opportunity/ADA Program for employment and vigorously supports diversity in the workplace.

Deadline to apply is Monday, February 18th.

Koff & Associates