Pima County's next wastewater director will take over just as the the department undertakes the largest construction project in the county's history.

Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department Director Mike Gritzuk is retiring Feb. 1. He'll leave the department in the hands of now-Deputy Director Jackson Jenkins, who begins as director at the same time, according to a news release from the department.

Jenkins has worked with the county for six years, all of them in as deputy director of the treatment division of the Wastewater Reclamation Department. Before that, he worked for more than 20 years in mining-industry management. He'll make $135,000 a year in the director position.

Gritzuk, who makes $137,000 a year, joined the department in 2005. Before that, he spent 17 years as director of Phoenix's Water Services Department. He'll continue to work part time after he retires, overseeing the Regional Optimization Master Plan, which includes a $164 million reconstruction of the wastewater treatment plant at Roger Road and upgrading the Ina Road treatment facility.

The Roger Road work is expected to start in February or March, though construction will proceed in phases as design continues, Gritzuk said this week. The Pima County Board of Supervisors hired Denver-based CH2M Hill to design, build and operate the new Roger Road treatment plant to meet state and federal standards for wastewater quality.

Jenkins' hiring comes after a national search for Gritzuk's replacement. The county plans to fill Jenkins' deputy-director position after he becomes director.

Contact reporter Andrea Kelly at akelly@azstarnet.com or 807-7790.