Page V, Archived News & Articles.....

Any comments or questions about this site, can be

 directed to the staff

The BACKFLOW PREVENTION TECHZONE is a regularly updated compendium of backflow prevention / drinking water related resource materials & information links collected from around the world.  Recent to archived news stories' excerpts, and web site reviews are this collection's focus, for anyone involved or interested in the safety of potable water distribution systems, and backflow prevention or cross connection control programs.  Backflow prevention or cross-connection control education and training, for waterworks personnel, public health and municipal officials, architects, engineers, contractors, plumbers, backflow preventer testers, and students of all ages, are the central point of a series of references and links to basic through advanced technical information about the appropriate use and correct installation of drinking water system backflow preventer devices.  Why they are essential to drinking water plumbing safety and our health  will be explored extensively.  Historical to current web page links,  information, ideas, and techniques from around the world, related to backflow prevention and cross connection control between potable water plumbing, and drainage or non-potable systems, as well as other safe drinking water supply issues encompass the aim of the Backflow Prevention TechZone......

Use Of Reverse Osmosis Increasing In Industrial Sector "Since it was first introduced in the 1950s, reverse osmosis (RO) has most commonly been used for purifying water and removing salts and other impurities in order to improve the color, taste or properties of the fluid for potability. However, RO is finding increasing uses in industrial applications because of its effectiveness and cost-efficiency. How it Works... RO involves separating water from a solution of dissolved solids by forcing water through a semi- permeable membrane. As pressure is applied to the solution, usually by a pump, water and other molecules with low molecular weights (less than about 200 grams per mole) pass through micropores in the membrane. Larger molecules are retained by the membrane. Most RO technology uses a cross flow process to allow the membrane to continually clean itself. As some of the fluid passes through the membrane the rest continues downstream, sweeping the rejected species away from the membrane. RO systems used in industrial and commercial applications, where large volumes of treated water are required at a high level of purity, typically operate at pressures between 100 and 1,000 psig, depending on the membranes chosen and the quality of the water being treated. Most commercial and industrial systems use multiple membranes in series. The processed water from the first stage of treatment can be passed through additional membrane modules to achieve greater levels of treatment for the finished water. The reject water also can be directed into successive membrane modules for greater efficiency, though flushing will still be required when concentrations reach a level where fouling is likely to occur. Industrial Applications... Reverse osmosis systems can be used to treat boiler feed water, industrial wastewater, process water and more." Water Online, March 7, 2006 

Marion to take steps to prevent backflow problems "No specific action was taken Monday, but the Marion City Council is considering options to control potential backflow problems in the community as mandated by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. "There aren't hardly ever any cases reported of contaminated water at a residence," said Bill Johnston, superintendent of the city's water treatment plant. "But the potential for danger is always there." Johnston said as long as there are valves affixed to faucets, there will be leaks. And those leaks, he said, can lead to backflow water filtering through the water system. Not many residential water customers in Marion, Johnston said, will need backflow prevention devices. Only those who own in-ground pools, irrigation systems, or some other form of filtration system that is directly connected to the city's water system will be affected. Business owners also will be affected. ...Mayor Bob Butler said the unfunded state mandate for the installation of backflow prevention devices would be another added cost for business owners and some residents, but it is "probably a good thing" as they will help ensure the long-term health of water users." The Southern, Aug. 1, 2007

Merchants told water is tainted - Chula Vista center connected to pipes carrying treated sewage "Shop owners in a Chula Vista business park knew something was wrong with their water. It tasted bad, smelled funny and had a yellowish tint. “You would flush the toilet, and it looked like it wasn't flushed,” said Amy Wise, co-owner of the Candy Bouquet, which sends out candy arrangements. The Otay Water District assured the merchants that the water was fine, but the merchants weren't convinced. The park's property manager sent a water sample to a private lab and got some shocking news Friday. For two years, occupants of the 17 businesses in Eastlake's Fenton Business Center have been drinking and washing their hands in treated sewage water. Somehow, the park was hooked up to a pipe carrying recycled water – treated wastewater intended solely for irrigation – instead of drinking water. Now the Otay district is dealing with distraught merchants and the question of how this could have happened. Signs are now posted on all the businesses warning people not to drink the water. Two food-related businesses – the Candy Bouquet and Dream Dinners, a store that provides ingredients for make-and-freeze meals – were closed by the county Department of Environmental Health. Yesterday, water district representatives met with the business owners in a hot, empty office at the business park. About 20 people crammed into the tiny room and peppered officials with questions. ...Otay General Manager Mark Watton didn't have a lot of answers, but he did make some promises. The water district would pay for medical tests for workers, and would compensate the businesses for their losses. “We want to do whatever we need to do to make things right,” Watton said. Watton said the water system has been repaired, but the state Department of Public Health requires more clean samples before the water is deemed safe and the two food-related businesses can reopen. Watton said he expects that to happen tomorrow afternoon. Ken August, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Health, said officials are investigating. “We have learned about the situation and we are evaluating it,” August said. Recycled water is not tested as rigorously as drinking water because it is not meant to be consumed. Several shop owners expressed concerns that they or their employees could be sickened by the lingering taint of bad water. Watton said this is the first time he has heard of recycled water being accidentally sent to a drinking tap in the county. Reports tell of cases elsewhere, including San Antonio in 2002 and Calabasas in 1997. The San Antonio Water System recently paid $19,500 to settle a 2003 lawsuit filed by 13 people who alleged they were sickened by the treated wastewater. Otay officials say they are still trying to figure out how the mistake occurred. Watton said when the three buildings of the business park were constructed in 2002, they apparently were connected to a purple pipe, the color that usually designates a recycled-water line, instead of a pipe with drinking water. The business park opened in July 2005, and the water that flowed in was made up of about four parts drinking water to one part recycled water, Watton said. In May, the Otay Water District entered into a deal with the city of San Diego to buy 6 million gallons of recycled water a day from San Diego's two reclamation plants. Otay began pumping 100 percent recycled water instead of the blend of recycled and drinking water. That's when the merchants noticed the funky smell, look and taste. Josh Bristol, the owner of a home-decorating store, complained to Otay officials in an e-mail July 27. Watton said workers flushed the system clean and thought the problem was resolved. Wise, who co-owns the Candy Bouquet with Angela Mason, said she contacted the business park owners a couple of weeks ago when she noticed the water's yellowish tint. The private lab's testing showed the presence of total coliform bacteria. The bacteria is not necessarily harmful, but its presence indicates contamination. The lab warned that the sample appeared to be recycled water, and said occupants should be warned not to drink it. Recycling water for irrigation is not the same as the long-discussed plan in San Diego to send highly treated wastewater back to taps, a program detractors have dubbed “toilet to tap.” Although most businesses in the Eastlake park are open, the owners of the Candy Bouquet and Dream Dinners wait and worry about the damage to their reputations. They said their customers are not at risk. Wise said her business uses only prepackaged candy. Jennifer Kober, owner of Dream Dinners, said customers are required to wear gloves when preparing food and no one drinks the tap water or uses it in food preparation. Only filtered water was used with the ingredients and in the coffee brewed there. Wise said she fears she'll lose customers when they see the county's “closed” notice. “People don't want to know the excuses,” she said. “They just see the sign on the door.”" San Diego Union-Tribune, Aug. 22, 2007

Backflow rules cause backlash "State regulations now require water systems to guard against backflow -- the process by which water can be drawn from a customer's system back into the public water system. There's wide agreement on the need for backflow prevention, and understanding of the fact that it's a state requirement. But the devil is in the details, and the differences between the way that two local water systems are enforcing the rule has some rural pool owners seeing red.  Shelbyville Power, Water and Sewerage System is requiring pool owners to install a very inexpensive inline backflow device. For pool owners who use an outdoor hose or spigot to fill their backyard pool, as opposed to a dedicated pool connection, a hose-bibb vacuum breaker can cost as little as $6 at a home improvement store. Bedford County Utility District, by comparison, is requiring all pool owners, as well as customers with cattle-watering equipment, to use a much more elaborate system, called a Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Preventer (RPBP). One customer who e-mailed the Times-Gazette said the RBP would cost $138, plus installation, plus the cost of a device to keep the RPBP from freezing in the winter months, for a total cost of $250 to $300. Other estimates range even higher -- one copy of a cost estimate given to the Times-Gazette quotes a price of $595 for the backflow preventer plus a cover, not counting installation. ...Times-Gazette has heard from several BCUD customers who are upset at the new regulations, specifically at the contrast between what the city is requiring versus what BCUD is requiring. Davis said he's gotten "a few" complaints from customers about the regulations. He said BCUD is trying to work with customers. Some suppliers are having trouble keeping up with demand for the RPBPs, and he said BCUD is willing to work with customers who are making a good faith effort to obtain the device. He said some customers have said that they no longer use their pools, and BCUD is willing to work with them if they are planning to tear down or remove their pool instead of equipping it with the new device. Davis said he's not certain what route neighboring rural utility districts are taking but will try to ask some of his counterparts at a Tennessee Association of Utility Districts meeting this month." Shelbyville Times-Gazette, Aug. 21, 2007  

An Automated Web-Based Approach To Backflow Prevention Administration "Using the Internet as a backbone, backflow prevention inspection reporting can be streamlined into a simple, efficient business process, thereby saving time and money. This article outlines a proposed system based on such an approach, which we'll call Backflow Web. ...Test inspectors fax or mail their testing reports, which are hand written or printed on their own specific forms, into municipalities to be data-entered or filed. If municipalities data enter the reports, they are likely to make errors, given that the forms are all different (depending on the inspector who performed the test) and may have been illegibly completed (if by hand). Furthermore, data entry is time consuming. The more devices that are to be inspected in the field, the higher the strain on municipality staff. Costs for staff are directly proportional to the number of backflow devices requiring record keeping. Municipalities spend considerable time calling customers and inspectors in order to determine why municipality staffs haven’t received test reports. This takes up a very high percentage of backflow administration time and money. Municipality staffs often must call parties three or more times before a satisfactory answer is received. Until an administrator gets on the phone and reaches the appropriate party, they do not know where the bottleneck lies. It could be that the customer hasn’t gotten around to hiring an inspector, or that the inspector just hasn’t sent in the test report yet. Mailing customer notices, repeat notices, and shutoff letters is labor intensive. And administration of surveys incurs similar data entry labor as well as customer communication issues." Water Online, Aug. 6, 2007 

Utility advises residents to boil water "The Grand Strand Water & Sewer Authority advises residents of Jones Road, Pinto Lane and Grim Lane in Horry County to vigorously boil their water for at least one full minute prior to drinking or cooking until further notice from the GSWSA, according to a news release from the utility company. A cross connection on Jones Road caused the drinking water system to be contaminated, the news release said. It has been eliminated, and GSWSA is currently flushing lines to correct the problem. Residents are advised to flush each faucet inside and outside for five minutes, and to flush water heaters, the release said. In addition, any ice made from water that has not been boiled should not be used for drinking...", Aug. 14, 2007

Some Elected Officials Take Lead in Resolving Backflow Controversy "For several elected officials, controversial backflow prevention valves no longer are on the back burner.  In recent days, two Florida legislators, at least one Hillsborough County commissioner and county attorneys have taken up resolution of multiple issues raised by residents resisting a county mandate to install the expensive, disputed equipment. Last week, Rep. Seth McKeel, whose District 63 in the Florida House covers Sun City Center, and Sen. Ronda Storms, representing Florida Senate District 10 and parts of the South County, outlined a menu of options in letters to Hillsborough’s top governmental leaders.  This week, Commissioner Al Higginbotham, whose fourth district encompasses a large part of East Hillsborough including Sun City Center, initiated problem-solving efforts involving both state and local levels. At the same time, county attorneys are collecting recommendations for revision of the Hillsborough ordinance which, when enforced, angered citizens and set in motion a backflow backlash. ...This matter of cross connection contamination, the subject of county ordinance 03-6 first drafted in 1997 and updated in 2003, became an issue about three months ago when county building services staff began enforcing the ordinance in South County neighborhoods. Hillsborough’s ordinance requires that property owners with both county potable water lines and auxiliary water pumping capacity for irrigation purposes from a pond or shallow well prove that cross connection of the two systems does not exist.  The ordinance further mandates that, once the proof is provided, a backflow prevention valve costing hundreds of dollars be installed at property owner expense to ensure what has been proved impossible does not then occur.  The county code calls for fines or jail for failure to comply with its provisions. South County residents, particularly in Sun City Center and Apollo Beach, strenuously objected both to the methods used by county personnel and to attempted forced installation of the equipment. ...Some of their grievances were detailed in a July article in The Observer (Backflow Valve Controversy Raining Unanswered Questions).  Among their complaints: inspectors seeking neighborhoods to target based on location adjacent to a lake, for example; purchase of valves from plumbers at prices in the $500-$700 range; county personnel sending plumbers to suspect properties without consulting owners, and required subsequent annual inspections by plumbers at rates set by the craftsmen.  ...McKeel and Storms noted that fact in their letters to Hillsborough’s commissioners and county administrator.  The two legislators, members of the Hillsborough  delegation, offered five possible options to meet citizen-requested “relief from the cost associated with the installation of the backflow preventions…” They suggested that compliance with the ordinance might be delayed until “the next non-emergency plumbing permit was pulled for that property,” and/or that homeowners be allowed to amortize the cost of valve installation over a period of time or assume only a portion of the charge if the county is unable to take on full cost of each valve placement, and/or that the county assume responsibility for maintenance, inspections and testings after valve installations. McKeel and Storms went on to recommend the county might consider capping the valve installation and permit cost at a maximum of  $300, with charges for bad valve components not to exceed $100 and annual inspection fees set at no more than $20. And, finally, the two state lawmakers noted that since Hillsborough is in the process of “currently replacing older water meters with newer meters that combine the double-check valve with the meter as a test program”, age-restricted communities might be designated as the test sites. Higginbotham’s office responded almost immediately. The district four commissioner told The Observer this week “we’re on it”, adding he wants to examine the matter from the state perspective as well as on the local level. Because the county ordinance, while locally drafted, necessarily is related to state regulations, he said he’s set a meeting with the county’s lobbyist in the legislature, Edie Stewart, for Monday (August 13) to discuss the state vantage point.  He’s also, he added, requested county staff cooperation with a field test to evaluate under completely realistic conditions whether the functions of a backflow valve can be subverted in the manner and as easily as Brown contends. When advised of the field test possibility, Brown pointed out an “ideal test site exists in Sun City Center,”  on a county-owned parcel hosting a backflow valve. Such a field demonstration, Brown said, would be done with harmless, colored water sufficient to show how readily some equipment can overcome the public water system pressure. As such details are being worked out, county attorneys continue to gather information pertinent to the ordinance at the center of the controversy.   Assistant County Attorney Sheri Murphy told The Observer early in the week she expects” recommendations and input” related to ordinance revision from members of the county’s Cross Connection, Backflow and Back Siphonage Control Board when it meets Tuesday, August 21.    The board consists largely of county staff, area plumbers and irrigation contractors. The session, slated for 2:30 PM at NetPark on East Hillsborough Avenue, is open to the public.  Asked if public comment regarding the ordinance, its implementation and enforcement, would be part of the proceedings, Murphy replied “if the board wants to open it up to the audience.” And, back in Higginbotham’s office, the commissioner’s senior aide, Jess Johnson, said this week he’s going through the 37 pages compiled by Brown and containing what Brown calls “a compendium of questions and concerns” provided by area citizens.  Johnson said he’s organizing the 250 questions and statements for replies from the most pertinent sections of county government with the dual purpose of obtaining responses and educating himself in the intricacies of the backflow controversy." The Observer, Aug. 9, 2007  

Charles Town behind on ordinance "An audit by the West Virginia Department of Health shows that Charles Town needs to make some changes to its public water system that will cost city residents in coming years. According to City Manager Jane Arnett, Charles Town has not yet implemented a state backflow prevention ordinance as cited in an annual sanitary survey. “We were notified through an audit by the health department,” Arnett said after the Charles Town City Council meeting held Monday. “That was our only violation, that we had not implemented the backflow prevention ordinance.” All residences, new and old, will have to install backflow preventers, along with industrial and commercial areas. Backflow preventers “prevent contamination from a unit back into the public water system,” according to Arnett. The industrial areas in Charles Town will need to install the preventers right away, Arnett said. Commercial areas will make changes at the discretion of the superintendent of the water treatment plant, and new residential areas will come into compliance." The Journal, Aug. 8, 2007

Recyclers Siding with Criminals "On behalf of BOMA San Diego, I would like to thank you for including a blog item about the rampant copper theft occurring in San Diego County. I should note that SDG&E and construction sites are not the only victims of this pervasive and insidious crime. In fact, the Building Owners and Managers Association of San Diego (BOMA) has been working on this issue for some time on behalf of our members who own and manage commercial real estate in San Diego and have experienced these thefts firsthand. What's being stolen from our member's property are backflow prevention devices. Commercial property owners in most jurisdictions are required to have back flow prevention devices installed to prevent irrigation water from "back-flowing" into a property's potable water source. While the scrap metal value of these stolen preventers is about $200, building owners and managers have spent from $3,000 to $6,000 to replace these items and purchase additional security and locks. We have encouraged our members to take preventive measures to avoid the loss of their preventers. However, it is clear to us that the central problem with these thefts is how easy it is to sell salvage copper and brass to recyclers in the San Diego and Southern California region. In order to address this matter, BOMA supported AB 844 by Assemblyman Berryhill which would have created a statewide law applicable to all jurisdictions to enhance enforcement efforts by local law enforcement. Unfortunately, the recycling lobby in Sacramento was able to kill this legislation citing government mandates and a desire to prevent local agencies from adopting their own ordinances. So instead of working it out, the recyclers sided with the criminals and will ultimately make the job of law enforcement more difficult. This is a sad statement about both the indirect complicity the recycling industry has with the criminals stealing these materials and the state of politics in Sacramento where legislation that was supported by property owners, police, prosecutors and local government would be killed by an industry that turns a blind eye to criminals making a few bucks at the expense of thousands to the victims. We hope you will continue to report on this important topic and hold people who stop common sense measures like that of Assemblyman Berryhill accountable for their decisions to back criminals and not the victims of these property crimes." Voice of San Diego Org, Aug. 6, 2007

Mix up sparks new procedures for reclaimed water service installation "After discovering that two of 458 residential reclaimed water service boxes had been inadvertently switched with drinking water boxes, the Town of Cary will now conduct tests of household drinking water before a certificate of occupancy is issued for any new home that also has reclaimed water service. ...In both cases, the switch occurred after town inspectors had certified that the two types of water systems in both locations had been properly separated and marked. The town is continuing to try to determine exactly who made the switch and caused the services to be crossed. ...In 2000, the Town of Cary became the first municipality in North Carolina to offer reclaimed water, a popular service that has received national attention for its environmental benefits." The News & Observer. July 30, 2007   For more on the Town of Cary ’s reclaimed water program, visit

Cary Water Mix-up Causes Real Stink (Includes a video report) "Water woes caused a real stink for some Cary residents. A cross-connection had some people hooked up to the town's reclaimed water system. The mix-up meant treated wastewater was pouring out of faucets inside homes and drinking water was used to irrigate lawns. After five months, the Town of Cary crews were out Wednesday morning finishing repairs at Vinay Jain's home. "Definitely there was a very big smell in the water. Mostly chlorine I'm assuming. But it was like, it was not good to taste," said Jain. Mike Bajorek with the Cary Public Works Department told NBC 17 they don't know how the mix-up happened. "We are looking into that right now, to see what, who relocated the boxes that identify which pipe is which," said Bajorek. Cary officials first became aware of the cross connection Monday when the Jain's called them after their water was accidentally shut off. ...They also say the Jain's home isn't the only home affected by the pipe switch-a-roo. A similar problem was also discovered at a home on Spencer Crest Drive. "We went through a similar process of cutting off the reclaimed water and going to ensure that all the homes had service. and that's when we discovered this other residence," said Bajorek. ...Cary officials say they've checked all the homes of their 500 reclaimed water customers and assure NBC 17 that their water is safe to drink." , July 25, 2007

Backflow Valve Controversy Raining Unanswered Questions " When it comes to Hillsborough County’s forced installation of expensive backflow prevention valves on some Southshore properties, the questions are raining but answers are in a drought. Queries are spilling into the email inboxes of elected officials and being tossed from neighbor to neighbor and directed to local news media.  Responses, though, are in short supply as many among the elected representatives and employed staff simply do not reply.  Amid the resounding silence, however, early this week a small drop hinting at possible reconsideration of the “onerous” county ordinance behind a ham-handed enforcement effort issued from county attorneys.  ...Controversy over the county’s mandated installation of backflow preventer valves on certain South County residential properties began to gather steam about a month ago.  Apollo Beach and Sun City Center residents complained inspectors from Hillsborough’s building services department targeted them for notices of violation because their properties included capacity to pump from a pond or shallow well for irrigation purposes.  Such auxiliary water systems constitute potential for cross connection contamination of the potable water supply, the county has alleged.   Satisfying the county’s unproved allegations initially can cost the homeowner $700 or more. Hillsborough’s mandated use of backflow preventer valves has been supported by a county ordinance dating back to 1997 and last revised in 2003. It calls for citing homeowners first with a 48-hour notice requiring they engage a certified plumber to prove no cross connection exists.  Upon compliance, a second notice of violation requires property owners then to pay plumbers to install the valves within 21 days.   And following installation, homeowners are ordered to pay for annual inspection of the devices at rates set by the plumbers.  Water customers who do not comply can lose their potable water connection, be fined up to $500 and spend up to 60 days in jail. ...All of it, however, is being questioned with increasing vigor as residents scrutinize the rules, particularly so as officials have been unresponsive.  Marilyn Balkany, longtime Sun City Center resident and activist, for example, points to the county ordinance and citation concept which demands homeowners with auxiliary watering systems prove no cross connection  exists and then requires the expensive backflow valve installation to deal with a contamination proved not to exist. “It (opposition to the questionable logic) is just a matter of common sense,” she asserted this week. Balkany said she’s directed an inquiry to Brian Blair, an at-large county commissioner...  ...Jerry Tootle, a Hill neighbor, resisted the heavy-handed modus operandi of the county personnel.  He was cited with both the 48-hour notice to prove no cross connection and with the 21-day mandate to install the valve, he said.  But, rather then capitulate to the demands, he removed the pump which had pulled irrigating water from the pond and capped the irrigation water line. When the county inspector returned to ascertain that no cross connection could exist, he then demanded that a pipe on an adjoining property be removed, Tootle said.  “I told him I wasn’t touching that pipe; it wasn’t on my property.” Tootle, a former automated systems designer for such mass communications giants as Verizon, said he considers the Hillsborough enforcement effort “opportunistic,” based on looking for opportunities to issue violation notices. In Hillsborough County, he added, the enforcement effort has deviated from the state’s intent to preserve a safe water supply and is operating outside guidelines established to attain that goal. ...While many public officials have not responded to inquiries from The Observer or from concerned residents,  three elected leaders have offered opinions on at least some of the issues.  ...Lastly, an encouraging sign of pending change that may positively affect Hillsborough County citizens came in an email this week to Brown from Assistant County Attorney Sheri Murphy.  Murphy verified that revisions to the county ordinance governing backflow valves now are under review." The Observer News, July 19, 2007    

BCUD requires backflow prevention ""Water, water everywhere," begins a Lewis Carroll poem from the famed book "Alice In Wonderland," in which the character makes the all-important statement, "but not a drop to drink." Thanks to the efforts of the employees of the Bedford County Utility District (BCUD), the county's water system is safe and ready to drink. "We have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the county's water," said General Manager Marty Davis. "In that regard, our Board of Directors voted last week to require Reduction Pressure Backflow Preventer (RPBP) devices for county homes." (Ed. note: We sure hope they're addressing the thermal expansion issues this creates) ...According to Davis, county homes with in-ground or above-ground pools, hot tubs, or even livestock troughs that are filled by water hose connections must have a RPBP device attached to the water line. The device fits between the water meter and the first branch line of the water line to the home. "If someone is watering a garden, they only need a hose bib," said Davis. "But if they are actively filling a trough, a pool or a hot tub with a hose connected to the water line, they must have the device to protect the county's water system due to the potential of back-flow contamination." ...Davis commented the state's Division of Water Quality and Supply began implementing changes in the way water is used several years ago for the protection of the water systems. At first only businesses, broiler barns, hog barns and livestock watering systems were required to have an RPBP device. ..."We have been required to phase in the installation of the RPBP," said Davis. "Now is the time to install them at homes in the county." Reading material provided to BCUD customers explains the reasoning behind the need for the RPBP installation. The entry of pollutants or contaminants into the drinking water supply or backflow occurs when either back siphonage or back pressure is created when the water supply is ended or when the source overcomes the pressure in the water system. The water coming from the hose runs back into the water source, sucking back into the originating system the chemicals and other pollutants in the receiving container the water was filling. "No one would want to turn on their water in the house and find the chemicals from their neighbor's pool in their glass of water," said Davis. "The RPBP prevents this from happening because it stops the back flow and reduces pressure which causes the problem."" Shelbyville Times-Gazette, June 21, 2007 

Connections prove costly "The City of Greater Bendigo council will spend almost $200,000 more than they expected on connecting the CBD’s sports grounds, parks and gardens to the recycled pipeline. In April the Bendigo Weekly reported the council and Coliban Water were in a dispute about the level and quality of connections needed to let recycled water flow between the pipe and the reserves. Council’s Presentation and Assets director Jos Duivenvoorden said it would be a "more costly experience than we anticipated". That cost was last week put at $180,000. ...Complex heavy-duty valves, backflow prevention and "cross-contamination avoidance infrastructure" will also be required at all sites, according to council’s Parks and Natural environment co-ordinator Mitch Kemp. "We were a bit unaware of what was required going into this project in terms of connection," he said. "Only after we embarked on it we realised how complicated those connections need to be." Mr Kemp said the minimum cost for each of the 10 connections was about $30,000. "They are very expensive, but it is an investment that is very worthwhile," he said. The overall cost of connecting the facilities is expected to be $550,000." Bendigo Weekly, July 13, 2007 

Birth-control pills poison everyone? Environmentalists silent on threat from water tainted with estrogen "While environmentalists are usually vocal about perceived threats ranging from pesticides to global warming, there is a silence when it comes to one threat already harming the water supply: hormones from birth-control pills. According to the National Catholic Register, EPA-funded scientists at the University of Colorado studied fish in a mountain stream near Boulder, Colo., two years ago. When they netted 123 trout and other fish downstream from the city's sewer plant, they found 101 were female, 12 were male, and 10 were strange "intersex" fish with male and female features. It's "the first thing that I've seen as a scientist that really scared me," university biologist John Woodling told the Denver Post. The main culprits were found to be estrogens and other steroid hormones from birth-control pills and patches that ultimately ended up in the creek after being excreted in urine into the city's sewers. The Register says Woodling, University of Colorado physiology professor David Norris, and the EPA team were among the first scientists in the U.S. to learn a cocktail of hormones, antibiotics, caffeine and steroids is flowing through the nation's waterways, threatening fish and contaminating drinking water. ...The problem is not just limited to Boulder. Similar stories have been reported from coast to coast. ...Two years after the Boulder findings, there has been no effort among environmentalists to stop the estrogen pollution of Boulder Creek. ...In New Jersey, traces of birth-control hormones and other prescription drugs were found in municipal tap water in 2003, and scientists were just beginning to look into the issue of impact on the human body. Rebecca Goldburg, a New Jersey biologist working with Environmental Defense, told the North Jersey News: "I'm not sure I want even low levels of birth control pills in my daughter's drinking water." ...The issue is beginning to be talked about in some online blogs. In, Shane Edwards writes, "To give this publicity would pit nature against consequence-free sex, and that just won't happen. But what disturbs me about this even more than the environmental impact (and the reality that this will NEVER be dealt with because of its political ramifications) is what this is doing to us. I mean, if these effects are happening with fish and frogs, what is happening to us?"", July 12, 2007  

Water Safety & Flow Control / Learn About Educational Resources to Keep You Informed (These DVDs are FREE for the asking) "The Watts Backflow Prevention Set DVD includes informative videos on backflow prevention including: Spotlight On Backflow Prevention This video provides an overview of the concepts of protection and conservation of safe drinking water, selection of backflow devices and Watts manufacturing process. -- Backflow Prevention Maintenanceand Repair - Small Diameter The video spotlights the repair and maintenance of small diameter backflow preventers, such as the Watts 007 and 009. -- Backflow Prevention Maintenanceand Repair - Large Diameter  The video spotlights the repair and maintenance of large diameter backflow preventers, such as the Watts 009, 909, 990 and 992."

Designed to prevent pollution "Parksville is preparing for new provincial water regulations and it’s eventually going to mean a hit in the pocket book for many residents. Mandatory installation of back flow prevention devices costs several hundred dollars with installation, depending on the size of the piping, said the city’s manager of engineering, Mike Squire. “Those costs would increase for larger industrial users.” The Ministry of Health requires every large water purveyor to develop and implement a cross connection control program. The idea is to provide protection from contaminants entering the water distribution system by eliminating the possibility of cross connections with non-potable water sources. ...“We’re targeting high risk users first ... that could include things like photo labs or veterinary clinics.” Surveys will be done to identify where the program should be implemented first. Initially industrial, commercial and institutional users are the focus. Following that, a letter will be sent, explaining the requirements, if any for cross connection control. “First we need the teeth and that is the bylaw that will be passed by council,” said Squire. “The device could require installation in the mechanical room or at the property line,” he said. “Eventually we’ll be able to knock off a lot with public information. There’ll be a grace period of a year.” Regular inspection of the devices, once installed, will also be a part of the city’s requirements. “It’s being done for the same reason as when you go to the dentist you put on a mask,” said Squire, noting a couple of instances that increase the risk of back flow water entering into the potable water system. “Don’t put a submerged hose in the laundry or the bathtub.”" The News, July 3, 2007   

Water Safety_Secure Section Updates "The secure section of our web site contains critical water security and hydrant security data including funding and grant information, specification change information, documented contamination events, Military articles and references, Governmental recognition of the vunerability to water disribution systems and many other articles and references. Although we feel it is crucial that the general public be made aware of this vulnerability that threatens the water supply flowing into our homes, we require registration in order to explore the contents of this web site...  "...The site contains a wealth of information regarding the vulnerability of accidental or intentional backflow thru a fire hydrant and also links to funding opportunities... ...These are some of the new items you can find by logging into the secure section of our site:  *Davidson Valve Protects Communities AND Firefighters -  Including the Davidson ATV in new and existing fire hydrants, firefighters – stalwart defenders of safety in our communities - are also provided an additional level of protection.  **14 Features of an Active and Effective Security Program - Systems should develop and promote an explicit, visible, and easily communicated commitment to security. This commitment must go beyond a few simple sentences in your system's mission statement and personalized t-shirts. In this day and age security should be an important factor in all that you do. ***Medical Field Trains for Water Terrorism - A new medical website has been launched to assist healthcare providers and public health personnel recognize and manage waterborne disease and the health effects of water pollution resulting from either natural OR intentional contamination of water. ****"South Carolina Man Threatens Water Supply" A man was charged Wednesday with threatening to poison the capital city's water system with hydrochloric acid illegally buried in a hole in his backyard, police said." June 28, 2007 

Puzzling case of the plumber, woman "Until now, the plumber who slashes your throat in the driveway as a prelude to robbery ranked low on the list of suburban worries. But 12 days ago, Marilou Johnson disappeared from the prosperous Washington Township subdivision where she lived. By Sunday, Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel was holding up David J. Wright, 37, as a plumber who slit Johnson's throat in the driveway of her home, in pursuit of her diamond necklace. Wright was charged on Monday with murder, while the sheriff described the motive as money, "plain and simple." I tried to imagine the circumstances under which you call a plumber and become a victim of a brutal crime in a manner this strange and inexplicable: The plumber arrives, offers an estimate for plumbing services, slits your throat -- and then removes the necklace from your throat. Check out (the) plumbing business. Few crimes make sense, and even fewer murders do. But plumbers are historically a well-paid and prideful group. Is the plumbing business so bad right now that a skilled tradesman would be suddenly overcome by the glitter of a client's necklace, and abandon decades of honest labor to pursue a life of crime? While Wright may be innocent of Marilou Johnson's murder, his street-crime portfolio is heftier than his plumber creds. ...The state division that licenses plumbers has no record of Wright being licensed "or registered as an apprentice, journeyman or master plumber or contractor," so far as Bob Konyndyk, the chief of the state plumbing division, can tell. He also said his staff was unable to find advertisements in which Wright even sought work as a plumber. ...There's more to this story than plumber gone wrong. Even so, the next time the faucet leaks, you might want to be careful about whom you choose to call." Detroit News, June 26, 2007

Protection and Conservation of Safe Drinking Water "Consumers turn their faucets on and what they believe to be "safe drinking water" is immediately available, pure and plentiful. They assume the water is safe simply because no one has warned them otherwise. "Safe drinking water" is Federally mandated and regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. As a professional body, and under these mandates, the water utility is responsible for ensuring overall protection of safe drinking water under all foreseeable circumstances. However, despite these strict regulations, extremely dangerous situations continue to occur when backflow contaminants are inadvertently allowed to enter our safe drinking water supplies! The purpose of this booklet is to provide an understanding of how far-reaching and critical backflow contamination problems are and to urge the development of the most effective backflow prevention programs possible. To illustrate this, we have compiled a number of case histories - true accounts of hazardous, even fatal, situations when ineffective backflow prevention techniques were employed. Backflow prevention is a long-term investment with ongoing requirements."

Underground issue threat to tap water "A search is about to begin for a little-known threat to local water supplies. Although the quarry has an unexciting name, backflow preventers can make a world of difference in what comes out of a tap. Backflow preventers stop contaminated water from flowing back into water supply lines. A city program, spurred by state requirements is now taking shape to check on systems that should have preventers to make sure they are working and have been tested. Kevin Wolpert, city water quality specialist, said the initial focus will be on underground sprinkler systems. Other structures that may need backflow preventers are pools, decorative ponds and auxiliary water supplies, such as private water wells. One way an irrigation system could contaminate a water line would be a sudden or temporary loss of pressure in a water line, Wolpert said. This could cause water pooled around a sprinkler head to be siphoned into the system, carrying pesticides, herbicides and any other contaminants with it. A backflow preventer stops that from happening. ...The next step will be to send letters to the owners who haven't already been notified advising them that state law requires backflow preventers to be in place and tested annually. The annual testing issue may be the ``biggest hurdle'' for some irrigation system owners and others to accept, Wolpert said. ``The customer will have to pay for that and they have to know the state requires backflow preventers to be tested once a year,'' he said. ``I'm not trying to hunt (irrigators) down, and the city isn't trying to burden people,'' Wolpert said. ``If people knew the potential for harm (from contamination), they would want this.''" Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.comm June 11, 2007

Anti-backflow devices not fitted, official says "Many of West Feliciana Parish’s commercial water customers have not complied with a state law requiring backflow prevention devices, the parish’s water system manager said. The devices are designed to prevent water from flowing back, or being siphoned, into the public water system and possibly contaminating the water supply. The state plumbing code requires the devices, water system manager John Hashagen said. The parish’s water system employees are installing the devices on the smaller water meters that serve residential customers, but the plumbing code requires that a licensed plumber install them on larger meters, Hashagen told the Police Jury on Thursday. “I’m letting the jury know that we have a lot of people who are not in compliance,” he said. Hashagen said the code also requires a separate backflow-prevention valve at residences that have lawn sprinkler systems, to prevent the contamination of a household’s water. Those devices must be installed by a licensed plumber and calibrated annually, he said. ...Hashagen said Dr. Jimmy Guidry, the state health officer, is advising water companies that they have an obligation to discontinue service to customers who do not comply with the code.", June 9, 2007


Oregon Student Finds School's Toilet Water Cleaner Than Fountain's "Middle School student  Kyleray Katherman had a hunch something was amiss with the school's drinking fountain water. And right he was. For an English assignment, he tested the bacteria content at four water fountains and one toilet to challenge a ban on students from bringing bottled water to class. It seems some were using it to sneak in alcohol. Guess which was cleaner? It wasn't the water fountains. ...Katherman, 13, used Q-tips and petri dishes, swabbing the spigots of four fountains and sampling one toilet, dunking the cotton in the bowl's center and then dragging it around the rim for a complete sample. He took the results to the school lab put them under a light to speed up the bacteria's growth. The petri dishes with fountain water were swarming with bacteria. The sample from the toilet was clean, probably because the toilets are doused with cleansing chemicals daily. "I wanted to see the looks on their faces," Katherman said. Either allow water bottles back, Katherman urged, or install "down-pour" systems used in office water coolers. He took his results to the North Bend School Board with an eye-opening PowerPoint presentation. Administrators quickly replaced the spigots and casing at three of the water fountains and custodians gave them all a thorough cleaning. More teachers are providing water in classrooms now, but the ban on water bottles remains. "It was a great lesson. We don't always see things in and about the school that are in need of repair," said Scott Edmondson, the school's principal, adding, "You'd be surprised how clean the water is in a toilet."", June 11, 2007


Cross-connection is an issue for lawn care "The next time you turn on your faucet, thank local water providers and their cross-connection systems for the safety of the water that flows from the pipe. Wayne Cook of the Shelbyville Power, Water and Sewerage System is a member of the cross-connection department, a division that could just save lives. "Our primary focus is keeping the water safe for customers," he said. "That means inspecting different areas, testing systems and planning improvements for the years ahead." Presently the company is strategically working towards backflow prevention. The company's customers received via mail a flyer outlining two types of backflow prevention vacuum breakers for water hoses or hard pipe connections. ...While these flyers were directed primarily to citizens with in-ground or above ground pools, anyone using a garden hose this summer should have a vacuum breaker. "The devices, regardless of whether they are for hard-piped plumbing needs or for hoses attached to the outdoor faucet, are necessary to prevent water from siphoning back into the main water line," Cook said. "Folks don't think about the suctioning power a hose can have. This could be a potential harm to the water system." Diagrams explain the process of backflowing water as similar to sipping from a straw. The inhalation of the liquid in the straw causes a flow in the opposite direction than normal flow. ..."These pieces can protect our entire community's water," he said, explaining that the small pieces cost an average of $5 at most plumbing retail stores. "There are also frost preventative attachments," he said. "These have a back ring that can be pulled over the connection to prevent freezing possibilities in the winter. These are a little more expensive, but they still average only $15." According to state and federal codes, all citizens with equipment like pools or lawn irrigation systems are required to have a backflow prevention system attached to water sources. ... "A vacuum breaker, these small but necessary devices, can literally save communities," Cook said." Shelbyville Times-Gazette, June 9, 2007


The Evolution of Backflow Test Kits "Backflow test kits have been around for about 30 years. Before we think about how test kits will change in the future it is interesting to look at where they have been.  Prior to 1970, backflow prevention assemblies were tested with devices that probably didn’t qualify as "test kits" by today’s standards. One such device was a mercury manometer. This device required a 30-inch mercury manometer to achieve the 15 PSID range required for testing backflow prevention assemblies. It also required mercury "catch pots" to protect the water supply from the mercury in the manometer. A second device consisted of two pressure gauges and some valves mounted on a plywood board. A third device, which is still in use today, is the old reliable sight tube. The differential pressure gauge (DP) test kit was developed around 1970." Plumbing Standards, Oct. - Dec. 2000


Internal Check Valves: Essential to Proper Backflow Prevention "It’s easy to take water for granted. Many consumers think there’s an endless supply of drinking water, and it’s available at their fingertips. Just turn on the faucet and, like magic, there it is! Perhaps Samuel Taylor Coleridge had it right when he wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in the late 1700s: “Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.” The fact is, around the globe, scientists are discovering our water supply may seem abundant, but our drinkable water supply is in high demand and short supply. That is why the plumbing industry has dedicated considerable efforts to protecting what drinkable water we have through devices and technologies that have evolved over the last century. ...Backflow and cross contamination are some of the most common risks to our water supply. Backflow prevention first drew attention in the late 1800s when a textile mill caught fire and river water was used to put it out. During this event, contamination of the supply water ensued, thus raising awareness of the need to protect our water supply. ... As a result of the textile mill incident in the late 1800s, external check valves were introduced in order to protect the water supply. Initially, a single check valve was installed alongside the discharge outlet and used to prevent backflow, but they were proven unreliable, so a device with two checks was eventually developed in the early 1900s. However, even these valves were not foolproof. The first valves were prone to fouling, due to foreign matter within the plumbing system or even buildup of mineral deposits.... ...A backflow prevention valve is only useful if it works properly. Even the slightest leak has the potential to contaminate the drinking water supply, thus putting many people at risk. ...Technology has advanced, as has the reliability of most engineered products—including check valves. With recent innovations, the plumbing industry has the advantage of a wider selection of solutions when it comes to protecting the water supply." PMengineer, May 14, 2007 


Backflow Industry- Think Spring "...I suggest it is time to take a look around our homes and look at our water system and be sure we are not polluting or contaminating our systems by what we do to make our lawn and gardens grow, as well as keeping our clothes and dishes clean. ...Those of you who know me have heard me refer to the family home as the most dangerous building connected to the public water system. I believe that there are more cross connections per foot of water piping in the average house than in any other building. Is this because the owners have a death wish or hate their neighbors? Is this because the owners are stupid or just don’t care? Of course not, the answer is definitely no on all counts! I do not believe that any homeowner thinks to himself "if I hook this up to my plumbing system, I may make the whole neighborhood sick". Why, then, are cross connections so prevalent in the family home? Most owners just don’t know because they have never been taught. The owner may be a "Rocket Scientist", but he doesn’t know that a major fire two blocks away could cause all the water in his pipes to be sucked out..."  Plumbing Standards, Spring 2007


Bin Laden’s next target? "Augusta (Georgia) is spending millions to guard its fire hydrants from terrorists. Whatever it takes to protect our precious bodily fluids.    Have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water? Have you never wondered why I drink only distilled water, or rain water, and only pure grain alcohol? It’s incredibly obvious, isn’t it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids… That’s the way your hardcore Commie works. — General Jack D. Ripper, in “Dr. Strangelove”  Fear is a growth market.  And you’re the buyer. Americans, seized by paranoia, will throw money at anything that promises to protect us from harm. That’s why nobody blinked last week when the Augusta Commission approved a plan to spend $3.2 million over six years to defend the city’s fire hydrants from terrorist attack. Seriously. Two new employees will be hired exclusively to retrofit the hydrants with something called the Davidson Anti-Terrorism Valve, designed to keep foreign substances — anthrax, bubonic plague, cyanide, tennis balls — from entering the water supply. ...Water supplies have always been vulnerable. Confederate troops slowed Sherman’s march, though obviously not enough, by fouling the water with slaughtered animals. Since the U.S. invasion, Iraqi insurgents have routinely sabotaged Baghdad’s infrastructure, including water pipes. After 9/11, when anthrax was still going through the mail, American cities began guarding their reservoirs. A December 2001 Wall Street Journal report highlighted another vulnerability, well-known to plumbers: backflow. That’s when the water reverses course in the pipes because of a change in pressure. Backflow is why, when you wash your car, you’re not supposed to leave the hose in a bucket of soapy water — or botulism toxin. Backflow can occur just about anywhere on a water system. But Mainline contends that fire hydrants are the system’s greatest weakness. “Every time a pesticide truck hooks up to a fire hydrant to flush out, it could just as easily be pumping something in,” says Green. Augusta requires that new buildings install backflow-prevention devices. Many existing buildings have yet to be retrofitted. That means any home or office could be as great a potential threat to national security as a fire hydrant. You read that right. No place is safe. ...(But) Seriously. On the scale of potential terrorist threats, what is the risk of a chemical or biological attack on the water supply of Augusta, Ga., through its fire hydrants? “I would say it’s immeasurably low. You can’t go below zero, right? It’s preposterously low,” says John Mueller of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at Ohio State University. Mueller is the author of “Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them.” ...Total security is a pipe dream. “The problem is that there are simply an infinite number of targets,” Mueller says. You can’t guard them all. And by focusing efforts on one — say, fire hydrants — “you’re just very slightly inconveniencing the terrorists.” Congress asked the Homeland Security Department to draw up a list of potential terrorist targets. From salad bars to subways, the next ground zero could be literally anywhere." Metro Spirit, May 23, 2007


Water Security Initiative "The Water Security (WS) initiative is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that addresses the risk of intentional contamination of drinking water distribution systems. EPA established this initiative in response to Homeland Security Presidential Directive 9, under which the Agency must “develop robust, comprehensive, and fully coordinated surveillance and monitoring systems, including international information, for…water quality that provides early detection and awareness of disease, pest, or poisonous agents.”  EPA is implementing the WS initiative in three phases: (Phase I) develop the conceptual design of a system for timely detection and appropriate response to drinking water contamination incidents to mitigate public health and economic impacts; (Phase II) test and demonstrate contamination warning systems through pilots at drinking water utilities and municipalities and make refinements to the design as needed based upon pilot results; and (Phase III) develop practical guidance and outreach to promote voluntary national adoption of effective and sustainable drinking water contamination warning systems..." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Is The Nation's Water Supply Safe?  "Biological warfare, unprotected national borders, and threats at sea … all are on the hit list for those who seek to strike terror in the hearts of Americans. Even with the extraordinary security measures our government leaders are establishing, we live in an era of continual threat. Most citizens don’t realize that one of the most easily accessible and dangerous vulnerabilities that terrorists could exploit remains largely unchecked – America’s fire hydrants."


Water Declared Safe, But Residents Are Wary "Although city officials told Southeast Queens residents last week that their drinking water does not pose a health threat, residents remain skeptical and many are drinking only bottled water.  Last Thursday, the Department of Environmental Protection alerted 12,000 residences in St. Albans, Cambria Heights and Hollis that above-normal levels of tetrachloroethylene, commonly known as PERC, were found in monthly samples taken on May 1.  The health effects of PERC, which is most often used by dry cleaners and in auto repair shops, are unclear, particularly in low doses. Chronic exposure to elevated levels can lead to dizziness, confusion and nausea. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency deems it a probable carcinogen.  ...The city agency also assured them the water did not pose a risk.  But many in the neighborhood are not taking their chances. Earl Hall, a Cambria Heights resident since 1990, said even before the announcement, he didn’t drink the local water. “I never trust the tap water for drinking,” he said as he stood next to two gallon jugs of water and a package of 24 bottles in his kitchen on Monday.  Some of his neighbors are unsure about when they will start drinking tap water again — if ever. Timothy Smith, who lives around the corner from Hall, said he plans on drinking bottled water indefinitely. He was already suspicious of the water last week, a day before officials announced the contamination.  “Before they notified us, I thought, ‘That water doesn’t taste right.’ It tastes like it wasn’t fresh,” he said.  DEP responded to the threat by flushing fire hydrants throughout the affected area, thereby drawing fresh supplies into the system.  ...The source of the toxin remains unclear. Ian Michaels, a Department of Environmental Protection spokesman, said Cambria Car Wash, at 208-15 Linden Blvd., was being investigated after an illegal connection to the water system was discovered. In addition to the hook-up, there was no back valve installed, meaning used water could reverse flow into the system.  Michaels said his agency isn’t sure if the car wash is the source, and other businesses in the area are being examined..." Queens Chronicle, May 21, 2007


Thousands of Buildings Lack Required Water Valve, New York Records Show "As many as 85,000 large residential and commercial buildings in New York City lack special valves on their water connections that could prevent hazardous substances from being sucked into the public water system, according to city records. In investigating the presence of a chemical, tetrachloroethylene, in the drinking water supply in parts of Queens last week, city officials identified a car wash as having contributed to the contamination at least partly because it did not have the valve installed on one of its water supply lines. The amount of the contaminant was considered too low to pose a serious health problem. The records also show that about 26,000 buildings in the city represent an especially high risk because factories, gasoline stations or businesses that handle hazardous materials housed in those buildings have not installed the device, called a backflow prevention valve. State law has required that the device be installed on certain categories of buildings since 1981. Critics say the city’s lax enforcement of the rules on backflow valves endangers the water system and encourages owners to ignore the law. They also say the city does little to ensure that owners have the valves tested once a year to make sure they are not clogged, as required in the state sanitary code. Last year, only 2,085 such tests on the valves were conducted in the city, according to a 2006 report by the Department of Environmental Protection, which operates the city’s water system. But fewer than 2,000 violations were issued for the thousands of property owners who failed to conduct the tests, according to the report. City officials admit that compliance goals set by a city industry task force in 2000 have not been met. But they insist that the city’s water supply is safe. The backflow prevention valves are generally located near water meters inside commercial, industrial and large residential buildings. They are attached to water lines completely separate from wastewater lines that run to the sewers, and are designed to prevent contaminated water within a building’s systems from being drawn back into the water mains. ...Stewart O’Brien, executive director of the Plumbing Foundation City of New York, an industry group, said the city’s failure to rigorously enforce the rules put thousands of New Yorkers at risk. “These valves are like sprinkler systems in buildings,” Mr. O’Brien said. “If you don’t have a fire, it’s not an issue. In this case, nobody worries about it unless there’s an incident.” Some businesses object to the high cost of installing the valves, which can be $8,000 to $16,000. For their part, licensed plumbers have a financial interest in seeing the law enforced because they install the valves and perform the yearly inspections. Emily Lloyd, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, said that historically, the backflow valve program had not been as high a priority for the department for assuring water quality as its testing and monitoring program. “But testing is really the way we assure the public of water quality,” she said. ...Still, Ms. Lloyd said, the law requires that the drinking water system be adequately protected from backflow episodes. And following the recent contamination in Queens, she said, the department will try to increase the number of inspections it does to determine whether buildings are properly equipped. The Real Estate Board of New York, which represents the owners of many of the largest buildings in the city, has criticized the law requiring the devices as being cumbersome and confusing. ...The chance of contaminated water flowing back into water mains is considered relatively small, though potentially serious. ...But the contamination in Queens this month, detected during routine water testing, underscored the potential danger. Tetrachloroethylene is known to cause liver problems and an increased risk of cancer if consumed over a long period. The city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene did not consider the contamination an immediate health threat because the amount of the chemical found in the water was minute, and the contamination was expected to last only a few days. Still, officials told people who were concerned to use bottled water for cooking and drinking until the problem cleared up. ...After inspecting hundreds of buildings in the area, officials are focusing on the Cambria Car Wash on Linden Boulevard, which they suspect was at least a partial source of the contamination. Ms. Lloyd said that the car wash drew water from a contaminated well and from two connections to the city water system, one legal and the other illegal. Somehow, the tainted well water crossed over into the illegal connection, which did not have a backflow preventer, and seeped into the water mains. The level of tetrachloroethylene in the well was considered low, however, and officials believe some other source, still unidentified, also contributed to the contamination. Ms. Lloyd said her department was authorized to issue violations and eventually terminate water service to buildings without a backflow prevention device. But records show that in the past 25 years, the city has shut off the water to only three commercial buildings that did not have the valve installed." New York Times, May 19, 2007


Keep better tabs on tap danger, city told "Testing of valves that keep pesticides, E. coli from water falls behind... You may think twice the next time you drink tap water in Denver. For several years, the city's Parks and Recreation Department has failed to test hundreds of devices that prevent pesticides and other dangerous substances from slipping into the treated water system and into residents' pipes. Last month, Denver Water threatened to shut off the city's water service and get the state involved if the parks department didn't get its act together. "Noncompliance must be dealt with not only as an ethical responsibility to the public, but in order for Denver Water to be in compliance with state regulations," wrote Robert Stevens, a Denver Water supervisor. "This means that Denver Water must ultimately deal with noncompliance by discontinuing water service." The devices are designed to permit water to flow one way. They contain two valves that snap shut if negative water pressure threatens to reverse the flow. They primarily are used in sprinkler systems. If the backflow devices fail, Stevens warned, drinking water can be contaminated with herbicides, pesticides, E. coli and other potential hazards. Marlena Fernández Berkowitz, a spokeswoman for Mayor John Hickenlooper, said the testing lapses are the result of staff reductions because of budget cuts and "staff turnover that limited the number of certified individuals who could perform the tests." Berkowitz said there haven't been any reports of contaminated water or devices failing, which Denver Water confirmed. ...The mayor's office downplayed the seriousness of the issue. Under normal circumstances, Berkowitz said, between 5 percent and 10 percent of the devices fail an initial test. They must be repaired and retested. Of those, fewer than 5 percent were actually in disrepair, she said. "When we needed to adjust for budget cuts, we were confident that there was little chance of a public health issue," she said. Berkowitz said the city's Purchasing Department will seek bids from private contractors to help conduct the tests. By state law, the parks department is supposed to test its 800 backflow devices annually. Last year, it tested 125. Denver Water has issued a third and final notice on more than half of all the devices. "It's absolutely concerning," McGuire- Collier said. "But we understand the challenges that they face in trying to test 800 backflow preventers given the problems they've had in keeping staff and the fact that their budgets have been so severely cut." ...Denver's Parks and Recreation Department has failed to complete required annual tests on 800 backflow devices. Records show a steady decline in the number tested each year after 2003: 2002 -- 444;   2003 -- 472;   2004 -- 350;  2005 -- 159; 2006 -- 125" Rocky Mountain News, May 17, 2007


Backflow Device Manufacturer Profiles "To make it easier for our readers to use the various backflow prevention and cross-connection control related devices on the market, we are happy to provide the following contact information of manufacturers that produce such devices." (article also provides a list of all 22 ASSE Backflow Prevention & Cross-Connection Control Standards)... Plumbing Standards, Jan.-March 2003


Water checkup - City requiring some homeowners to check water backflow "Using your sprinklers just got a little pricier - or maybe not. Either way, city residents may not know about the extra cost. The city of Twin Falls is sending out thousands of letters to water users reminding them to have backflow checks or risk losing water service. However, what appears to be a routine checkup for homeowners might be anything but. In response to federal and state requirements, the city passed ordinances nearly a decade ago to require all users of city water to annually have their water systems - mostly sprinkler systems - inspected by certified testers. But notices have been mailed to residents for only about three years, Twin Falls Public Works Director Lance Bates said. City code does not specify a notification schedule. As a result, some residents have received notices two years in a row, others none at all. About 400 notices were sent out this week, according to a city employee. The notices are staggered, Bates said. New homeowners automatically receive notices. But Bates said he did not know other details, including how many notices have been mailed, which residents are prioritized to receive them first or how many are scheduled to be mailed. Mayor Lance Clow said the program has been phased in since the city passed the law in 2000 and that it is excessive for the state or federal government to expect every home to be checked yearly. "We are following what we believe is the intent of the law - if they (state officials) don't like it, they can tell us they don't like it," he said. "It's an unreasonable enforcement requirement and the only other way we could do it is saying 'We're going to come around and charge (everyone) $50 for testing.'" Violators ultimately could see their water service shut down, according to city code, but officials said such action has never been taken. In addition to the reminder, the city included phone numbers for 14 backflow testers, most of which charge between about $30 and $90." Times-News, May 5, 2007


Nicor sitdown with workers little help "Company meets with former employees over water contamination -- but no progress is reported as officials deny there was a problem. And state agencies do nothing to help....  For the first time since local legislators asked for an investigation into possibly contaminated drinking water, former Nicor employees sat down with representatives from the gas company to discuss their concerns. But it's unclear whether the April 5 session will have any effect on the ex-workers' claims that their chronic illnesses were caused by drinking contaminated water at an Aurora Nicor building. According to a legal document filed in 2004, dozens of current and former employees say their health problems -- including joint pain, memory loss and loss of bowel control -- are connected to the improper backflow protection in the building at 408 S. River St. in Aurora. A city inspection found the building was missing a device which would have prevented chemically treated water in the boiler from mixing with the drinking supply. In October 2003, a letter from the city of Aurora warned that "this type of connection poses a threat to the quality of potable water for both the employees in the building and the city's water main." Nicor has denied vigorously that any workers ever were exposed to dangerous water. The company has said repeatedly the issue of improper backflow was investigated in 2003 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. "Nicor has continually acted in good faith in regard to meeting with employees about the Aurora facility," Nicor spokesman Annette Martinez said last week. "While we are sympathetic to any health challenges these individuals may face, the allegations made regarding the water at our Aurora facility are unfounded and inaccurate. Concerns raised with respect to the potable water supply at the Aurora facility have been fully and completely reviewed and investigated by Nicor Gas and by federal, state and local government entities." According to OSHA records, two tests on water from the River Street facility showed methylene chloride -- a chemical used to strip paint and decrease chemical buildup in pipes -- was present at three times the limits allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency. When a third test came in well below the limits, OSHA closed the complaint, although the findings were not retracted. "I can turn on my faucet, it runs brown, and after you let it run for 20 minutes, now it's fine," said Rick Daniels, a Waukegan attorney working with the sick Nicor employees. "The presumption with absent backflow should be that the water was contaminated..." Beacon News, May 6, 2007


City to require sprinkler system permits - Bad plumbing might lead to bad water "After continued poor water samples, Electric City has decided residents will need a permit to put in automatic sprinkler systems. City maintenance director Ken Dexter advised the council April 24 that only about 10 percent of sprinkler systems he has inspected have been installed correctly. There are about 100 automatic sprinkler systems in the city. A water sample showing 15 parts per billion of arsenic has attracted interest from the Department of Health. The agency is requiring the city to advise residents of the sampling once every three months until the readings come into line. The city has experienced a number of poor readings this past year. Dexter said that he is suspicious that sprinkler systems have partially been to blame. He said inspections show that most sprinkler systems do not have approved backflow assemblies. The council decided to require permits before sprinkler systems can be installed so the problem can be solved before installation. The city charges $10 for the inspection. The city sent out 105 "notice of survey of premises" notices to residents Feb. 28. Dexter, who is certified to make the inspections, is checking each resident's plumbing system. Those who are in violation will be given ample time to correct the problem. Dexter said when residents use high pressure air to blow out their irrigation systems as they go into winter, contamination could occur if the system doesn't have proper backflow protection...." The Star - Online, May 2, 2007


Copper Becoming A Hot Stolen Commodity (online video report, short commercial seen first) "Police say capers are targeting something called back-flow devices from businesses, parks, even schools...", March 21, 2007


Metal thieves targeting Tustin water valves "A valve (RPBP backflow preventer) that supplies most of the water to Tustin Hospital was recovered by police at a local scrap recycling plant just hours after it was stolen Thursday, the latest in a wave of metal and copper thefts to hit the city over the past few weeks. The distinctive red valve, which weighs about 50 pounds, was yanked from a set of yellow pipes that provide Tustin Hospital with water around 4 a.m. A twin valve next to it, which provides backup water supply, was left behind, officer Mark Turner said. It's the third valve in two weeks to disappear from Tustin, including one that supplied water to a church, Turner said. With the price of copper and other metals hovering around record highs, thieves are also cutting the power to commercial buildings and ripping thick copper wires from the outside walls, Turner said. Business owners show up in the morning to find they have no power; thieves take the stolen wire and turn it into a couple of hundred dollars worth of profit, he said. ...Figuring the thief would try to sell the valve for scrap, Turner took a picture of the matching valve and showed it to nearby scrap dealers. A few hours later, Turner's phone rang. A man was at Global Metal Recycling in Santa Ana with the stolen valve. Anthony John Delgado Sr., a 45-year-old transient, was arrested on suspicion of receiving stolen property. Officers found plumbing wrenches and materials along with crack pipes and needles in the car Delgado was living in, Turner said. The stolen valve was reinstalled and was up and running Thursday afternoon.", April 26, 2007


Employer wins lawsuit from plumber's 'drive-by testing' City's water supply was at risk from backflow  (subscription required, but accessible via Google for now, see this article's listing here, at )  "It's a situation you don't see every day in the world of employment relations. A 12-person jury last week found a local journeyman plumber guilty of fraud and awarded $2,270 to his former employer, Astoria Plumbing and Tile, to cover the costs of redoing some of his work and for wages paid for some of his jobs. "It's rare for employers to sue employees, because their typical remedy when an employee has done something wrong is to fire them," said Kenneth Dobson, Astoria Plumbing and Tile's attorney. He said he couldn't think of another case like it. At the bottom of the dispute lies the city's sewer and water distribution system. Plumber Theodore "Ted" Hettervig worked for Astoria Plumbing and Tile from October 1997 through August 2004. He was later accused of falsifying city-reviewed reports of tests on at least one type of backflow device. The state revoked his certification to perform those tests in April 2005, after finding the charges were likely true. Fit tightly, backflow devices prevent water pumped from irrigation, fire suppression and other systems from flowing back into the main waterlines, ultimately shielding drinking supplies from contaminants or pollutants and protecting public health. early as 2001, city workers began noticing anomalies in some of Hettervig's test results, said Wesley. At first, the pressure readings reported were higher than expected. They were "mechanical or hydraulic long-shots," Wesley said. "It led me to believe there was something wrong there." The readings later fell back to normal levels, he said, "But this time, all the readings were nearly identical; there was almost no variation. That revealed something else strange." Dobson, who specializes in environmental and business law, said that would indicate the test results were fabricated, something those in the industry refer to as "drive-by testing." It's a term "used for somebody who goes up to a place where they're supposed to test and either doesn't get out of the truck and just writes down numbers, or just looks at (the system) and doesn't perform the test but writes down numbers to save time," he said. ..."I think most of the people testing these backflow preventers take their jobs very seriously and perform as expected," he said. "I don't have any reason to believe this is a widespread problem at all." Neither does Astoria Plumbing and Tile owner Ann Samuelson, who is also a Clatsop County commissioner and member of the Jewell School Board. Still, she wanted the issue on the record to prevent similar cases from happening in the future. She said the lawsuit wasn't about the cash award, but about plumbing principles. "I wanted to get something down that shows if you behave this way, there are consequences," said Samuelson. "This was about integrity and accountability." ...In a verdict filed March 29, a Clatsop County jury found he had committed fraud, resulting in $2,270 in economic damages to Samuelson's business. Her attorney said there has been "no evidence anybody got sick" as a result. But Samuelson had to notify about 30 customers whose backflow preventers may have been tested improperly, or not tested at all. That included clients ranging from homes with irrigation systems or boilers to apartment buildings with fire-suppression systems, to hotels with ice machines, Dobson said. "It was a relatively modest verdict, but it sends a signal to plumbers in this community that drive-by testing and falsified backflow results aren't going to be tolerated," he said." The Daily Astorian, April 5, 2007


Groups Launch Backflow Assist Program "The Backflow Prevention Manufacturers Association, in conjunction with the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials Backflow Prevention Institute, has created a program called Backflow Assist to help individuals and entities that do not have the resources to install needed backflow assemblies. The program installs backflow preventers. At this time the program is limited to testable assemblies 2 in. and smaller in size. Both associations say they are committed to assisting the people in their communities who choose to help those in need. The first installation of a proper backflow device through the Backflow Assist program is to be installed at St. Phillips Lutheran Church and School in Milwaukee, according to IAPMO. A backflow protection device will be installed on the church’s boiler and mop sink. IAPMO will tag the plumbing to show what is safe and unsafe in the water lines. These improvements will bring the church up to plumbing code for the city of Milwaukee. “The whole process was very easy,” said Barb Allard, spokeswoman for St. Phillips Church. “All I had to do was fill out a short application and everything was done via e-mail. This will benefit the church greatly; who knows what something like this would have cost?", April 24, 2007


Deficiencies discovered in state inspection of Bristol-Bluff City water facilities "Until recently, a loss of pressure in the water lines serving the Bristol-Bluff City Utility District could have resulted in water from the Bristol sewage treatment plant flowing back into the system’s lines. If that had occurred, it potentially could have contaminated the drinking water that more than 3,000 Sullivan County and Bristol residents rely on every day. That deficiency and more than a dozen others were discovered in a state inspection of the water utility and its records. The inspection, issued last month, resulted in a score of 61 out of a possible 100 points and put the Bristol-Bluff City Utility District on a short list of unapproved water systems in Tennessee. Safeguards have since been put in place to prevent backflow from the sewage plant... ...The inspection looks beyond water quality to ensure proper testing is conducted, proper procedures are followed and extensive records are kept. Irwin said the district lost significant points for failing to maintain appropriate records and specifically spell out important operating procedures. ...The potential for backflow from the sewage treatment plant was also inexcusable, Irwin said. The state requires industries that produce dangerous water – the wastewater treatment plant, for example – to install a backflow prevention valve at their water meter. Such a valve keeps water from gushing back down the water supply pipes if a water main breaks or other catastrophe causes those supply pipes to lose their pressure and become an enormous vacuum. For more than three years, officials at the utility district knew of the danger and took no action, according to Irwin’s report. “The system has been aware of this issue since at least 2003,” the report reads in part. “The wastewater plant has never had a (backflow prevention valve) in place, potentially placing the health of the public at considerable risk.” Within days of receiving the report, the problem was rectified, but Irwin said she never got a satisfactory explanation of why such an important piece of equipment wasn’t installed decades ago. “I said, ‘I don’t know what your reason was, and it doesn’t matter. You put one on and you put it on yesterday,’” Irwin said of her reaction to finding no backflow valve in place.   COMMUNICATIONS PROBLEMS Donna Lawson, who has managed the district’s water filtration plant for years and was appointed utility manager in November, said communications breakdowns led to the lack of a backflow prevention valve. “From what I can tell, it’s basically, communication wasn’t as good between the district and the water treatment plant as it should have been,” Lawson said. Bill Sorah, Bristol Tennessee’s deputy city manager for operations, said that until the TDEC report, he and the contractor who operates the city’s sewage treatment plant were under the impression that they were in compliance with state regulations. A number of individual elements at the plant had their own backflow prevention valves, there just wasn’t one on the main water line into the facility, he said. “The utility district had found the protection to be adequate, but TDEC didn’t think so,” Sorah said.", April 22, 2007


Plumbing mix-up prompts health scare "A MAJOR plumbing blunder has prompted a health scare at South Barwon Football Club. It was yesterday revealed untreated water had been connected to the clubrooms' internal water supply for the past two months. The City of Greater Geelong said intensive tests were being carried out on the water at McDonald Reserve in Belmont after the mishap was discovered. City of Greater Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood said the City's health department had not received any reports of ill effects caused by the cross connection of the water supply but urged anyone with concerns to contact the department on 5227 0270. A city spokesman said a licensed plumber carrying out works on behalf of the City had inadvertently connected untreated water being used to irrigate the reserve to the clubrooms' internal water supply in February. ...The water involved was sourced from the decommissioned Ocean Grove and Torquay retaining basin which was formerly used as a domestic water supply. Cr Harwood said there was no recycled water or waste water involved. ...Water from the decommissioned basins would have been stored on-site for a lengthy period and is not disinfected, according to Barwon Water. ...A City spokesperson said there had been ``very limited'' use of the clubrooms since February and the council had received no requests for use of the building during the period. Cr Harwood said council was working to rectify the problem and would investigate how the cross connection occurred. He said additional irrigation piping had been installed at the drought-affected ground recently as part of its renovation in preparation for the coming football season. ``It seems likely that the cross connection occurred because of some very old and undocumented irrigation piping installed at the ground many years ago,'' Cr Harwood said. Barwon Water chief executive Dennis Brockenshire said the cross connection involved city-owned pipes inside McDonald Reserve and not Geelong's water supply system. He said there was a backflow prevention device at the meter at McDonald Reserve which ensured there was no risk to Barwon Water customers or the water supply system outside the reserve boundary." The Geelong Advertiser, April, 19, 2007

Police report increase in brass pipe thefts "...Milpitas Police Department reports an increase in thefts of brass pipes and valves at businesses throughout the city. Suspects are stealing brass water backflow prevention valves, and likely selling them to metal recyclers. Suspects turn off water mains and remove aboveground water backflow valves for recycling. Police say these types of thefts can be prevented. The police department recommends that businesses place security lights and cameras around their business. A few tips can help businesses reduce the chance of theft. Secure water backflow prevention valves and piping with a lockable box or cage. Secure shut-off valves to prevent suspects from turning off the water. Hire private security. Report any suspicious or unauthorized persons or vehicles to Milpitas Police Department..." Milpitas Post, April 12, 2007

City mulls backflow options "Installing backflow values on business water supply lines has been a focus for Ed Mort, city of Venice utilities distribution supervisor, for the past few years. That's when city officials began in earnest requiring backflow safety devices mandated by the federal government 30 years ago to help protect the public water supply. New state and federal laws are pressuring cities to comply by 2010. The devices, called reduced-pressure backflow assemblies or RPBAs, stop backflow from a business or residence into the public drinking water system. That can happen, for example, when a water main pipe breaks. That has the potential to suck your toilet water back into the city water supply. It rarely happens, since most modern toilets have their own backflow devices built into them, but less expensive models don't, Mort said. There's also the potential to siphon pool water, still water in a curled-up garden hose or reclaimed water from irrigation pipes back into the water supply. Now that most commercial properties are in compliance, Mort's setting his sights on your home. Mort went to city council in March to seek guidance on how to best address compliance issues for residential customers. Options included continuing the current program -- where the customer is responsible for installation, testing and repair of RPBAs -- or for the city to take partial ownership of the program. The city is currently charging $1.97 monthly to residential customers to cover paperwork involved. The charge covers the cost of notifications, surveys and inspections. Mort estimates it will cost the city $250,000 annually to monitor compliance and conduct site surveys and annual cross-connection inspections, and for additional equipment and staff training. ...Customers who remain out of compliance could have their water turned off, Mort said. Customers have 60 days to comply. After that, customers still out of compliance are sent a second letter giving them another 30 days. However, residents need not fear the long arm of Venice's utilities department just yet. The city hasn't set a deadline for residential properties. "We will be gradually going into different areas until we complete the whole city," Mort said. Residents will be notified as the project progresses....", April 15, 2007


Copper thieves wreaking havoc in metro-Phoenix "Lights in city parks have been going dark. Water has stopped running. And when authorities arrive on the scene, the culprit is often the same: copper thieves. They have been striking all over the Phoenix area, seeking metals they can bring to scrap yards in exchange for cash. ...Mesa officials, police and utility representatives from Salt River Project will talk about how the spike in copper thefts is hurting cities, businesses and homeowners. David Plumb, Mesas director of utilities, said his department has been getting calls from residents complaining their water has been turned off. But when city officials arrive on the scene, they discover the real reason: Thieves are taking the copper ‘‘backflow prevention'' devices off waterlines. ‘‘Our utility service people are getting called frequently, and frequently being two to three times a week,'' Plumb said. Gilbert and Chandler police, as well as others across the state, also have received calls about copper thefts. Chandler police, for instance, received 200 calls involving copper thefts from the beginning of 2006 through March of this year." Mohave Daily News, April 8, 2007 15 backflow preventers stolen from The Medical Center of Sarasota (Video Report) "The reason behind the theft is unknown, but crews working on the site say they believe the equipment may have been stolen for scrap metal.", April 6, 2007


Two Dead, Five Injured in Confined Space Incident in Oregon "The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Division of Safety Research (DSR) is currently conducting the Fatal Accident Circumstances and Epidemiology (FACE) Project, which is focusing primarily upon selected electrical-related and confined space-related fatalities. ...On October 10, 1986, a self-employed contractor (specializing in backflow devices) was in the process of inspecting the backflow valve on the city water line at a sawmill when the accident occurred. The contractor descended into the underground vault which housed the water line and backflow device and collapsed. The shipping supervisor of the sawmill attempted to rescue the contractor and also collapsed. ...The self-employed contractor was a one-man operation that according to the state investigators had no safety program or confined space entry procedures. The contractor was licensed and certified by the state to inspect and approve/certify backflow prevention devices. ...The sawmill where the accident occurred has a city water line running underground (through a vault) along the front of their property. The below ground vault which measures twelve feet long, six feet wide, and eight feet deep with a 30 inch manhole at the ground level was installed in 1978 to house a backflow device on the city water line. A backflow device is required to protect the city water supply from possible contamination in the event of a negative pressure on the water line. The sawmill's fire protection system is connected to this water supply; therefore, a backflow device is required. The city requires the annual inspection of backflow devices by a person trained and certified in cross connection control. The independent contractor (the victim) called the superintendent of maintenance on October 6, 1986, to set up a date and time to inspect the backflow device on the water line. The date and time mutually agreed upon was October 10th at 3: 30 p.m. The contractor arrived at the sawmill at 3:30 p.m. on October 10th and proceeded with the inspection, which he had completed annually for the past three years. The steel cover was removed by the contractor and a ladder was lowered into the eight foot deep vault. There was 14 inches of water in the bottom of the vault. At 4:00 p.m. a truck driver stopped at the sawmill office to inquire about a load of lumber he was to pick up. When he walked out of the office he noticed the victim's truck and an open manhole close to where he would have to drive through. He walked over to the open manhole and saw a body in the water at the bottom of the vault. The driver went back to the off- ice and reported a man was down in the vault. The emergency squad was called by the secretary. After calling the emergency squad, the secretary and truck driver went outside to the manhole. The secretary called for help and the first to arrive at the scene was the shipping supervisor, who entered the vault in a rescue attempt. A few seconds later, one of the maintenance men arrived on the scene and descended into the vault to assist in the rescue. Neither man was wearing respiratory protection and within two or three minutes both men had passed out. Two policemen arrived at the scene, entered the vault (without respiratory protection), and had to be helped out. The paramedics arrived and attempted rescue (without respiratory protection) and also had to be helped out. The firemen arrived on the scene, donned their breathing apparatus, and went in to remove the three men at the bottom. Two were face down in the water (the contractor and the shipping supervisor) and the third man (the maintenance man) was in a sitting position against the wall, his head was not in the water. The three men removed from the hole (the contractor, the shipping supervisor, and the maintenance man), the two policemen, and the two paramedics were transported to a local hospital. The contractor and shipping supervisor were pronounced dead on arrival by the attending physician. The maintenance man was hospitalized in serious condition. The two policemen and two paramedics were treated and released." NIOSH Faceweb, Feb. 7, 2007


Surveillance for Waterborne Disease and Outbreaks Associated with Drinking Water and Water not Intended for Drinking --- United States, 2003--2004 "...During 2003--2004, a total of 36 WBDOs (water borne disease outbreaks) were reported by 19 states; 30 were associated with drinking water, three were associated with water not intended for drinking, and three were associated with water of unknown intent. The 30 drinking water-associated WBDOs caused illness among an estimated 2,760 persons and were linked to four deaths.  ...Water utilities manage the drinking water in public systems before the water reaches the water meter (or before the property line if the distribution system is not metered). These public drinking water systems are subject to EPA regulations. Drinking water concerns arising after the meter or property line (e.g., Legionella colonization in plumbing, plumbing contamination and cross-connections within buildings and homes, and drink mix/soda machine deficiencies) might not be under the jurisdiction of water utilities and might not be regulated under current EPA drinking water rules. ...Of the eight WBDOs associated with deficiencies... three (37.5%) were associated with drink mix/soda machine deficiencies resulting in copper intoxication; three (37.5%) were associated with commercially bottled water; one (12.5%) was associated with a cross-connection in the plumbing inside a building.  ...Distribution system deficiencies make up the largest proportion of the SWTD deficiencies occurring before the water meter or property line during this surveillance period. During 2003--2004, six drinking water-related WBDOs involving distribution system deficiencies occurred. Four (66.7%) of the six WBDOs involved cross-connections to nonpotable water sources. These four outbreaks demonstrate the importance of identifying and clearly labeling potable and nonpotable water lines to prevent cross-connections, which can result in illness. Distribution system deficiencies make up the largest proportion of the SWTD deficiencies occurring before the water meter or property line during this surveillance period. As the use of nonpotable water increases in the United States (e.g., for landscape and agricultural irrigation, toilet flushing, industrial processing, and power plant cooling), the risk for cross-connections between potable and nonpotable water supplies will also probably increase. ...Three WBDOs were associated with illness attributed to ingestion of copper from drink mix/soda machines. In two of these outbreaks (Minnesota, June 2003; South Carolina, July 2004), problems occurred with backflow of highly acidic, carbonated water from the carbonators back into the building piping and resulted in copper leaching from the pipes. The cause of the malfunction in the third WBDO (Minnesota, November 2003) was less clear and appeared to be a problem with the internal plumbing of a juice machine. Proper installation and maintenance of drink mix/soda machines, with particular attention given to check valves, are critical. ...One WBDO (Pennsylvania, January 2004) involved a drinking water pipe being inappropriately cross-connected with a nonpotable water source within a building. This WBDO illustrates that cross-connections can be problematic, not only within the distribution system, as illustrated by four outbreaks discussed regarding deficiency 4, but also within building/home plumbing. Potable and nonpotable water lines should be clearly labeled, and plumbing systems should be assessed to prevent and ensure that opportunities for cross-connections do not exist. Approved devices can prevent both the backflow of nonpotable water into the potable water system from backpressure and backsiphonage, but the devices must be maintained and periodically tested. The risk for contamination can be reduced by water utilities 1) being cognizant of the potential for the intrusion of contaminants into the water distribution system during transient low or negative water pressure, 2) maintaining an effective disinfectant residual throughout the distribution system, and 3) detecting and repairing pipeline leaks" Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, Dec. 22, 2006 


Older water purifiers could backfire "If you’re using an older model reverse-osmosis system to purify your drinking water, you may actually be contaminating it — and it could make you sick. ...The problem with the older purification systems normally found under kitchen sinks “generally occurs when a sink is backed up and there’s a sudden drop in water pressure,” he said. “Like when a hydrant is flushed or city crews are working on a main. The backed-up water gets siphoned out of the sink (backflow via submerged drainline) and into the line, contaminating the water.” Derrick said the older models have one tube running to the glass spout, whereas the later models have three tubes connected to it — something that can be observed by looking under the sink. ...Generally, people wouldn’t detect anything is wrong because the contaminated water recirculates back into the system. “Usually, there’s no odor or color,” he said, adding: “You don’t necessarily have to get a whole new system. You can get a new filler spout with three lines running to it — a water supply line and two drain tubes. I’m not sure the new ones are available locally yet, though, because it’s pretty much a problem that’s only recently been looked at. But plumbers and hardware stores can order them.  The older models are grandfathered in — until you work on them. Then they have to comply with the new plumbing code. Delwin said he’s “not trying to cause a panic. I just want to let the public know they may have a problem that can cause sickness. You’d be surprised what kind of germs and bacteria are in drain lines. That’s why plumbers get hepatitis shots.” Plainview Daily Herald, April 1, 2007


Backflow Prevention for the Fire Protection Industry "...There are four basic types of fire protection systems used in the industry. The number one type, and probably the most prevalent, is the wet pipe system. An antifreeze loop can be tied into or fed from the wet pipe system. The other three types are: a dry pipe system, a pre-action system, and a deluge system. As the name implies, a wet pipe systems has water in the fire protection system. The system is charged when a fire develops, and the individual sprinkler heads closet to the fire are discharged. The antifreeze system is similar the the wet pipe system; however, it is used in large applications which include sprinkler heads that may be located outside of the building,such as in a loading dock area. Instead of installing a dry pipe system, engineers will design an antifreeze loop as part of the wet pipe system for these applications. ...What Type of Backflow Protection is Required?  According the AWWA M14 Manual, a Class I and a Class II system do not require backflow protection on the fire protection system if it is installed with approved potable water piping and components. Class III systems require some form of backflow protection, whether it is an air gap or a double check valve assembly. Class IV and Class V require either an air gap or a reduced pressure assembly. Class VI systems requires a reduced pressure assembly. ...There has been a lot of controversy between the fire protection industry and the cross connection control industry. "How many people have died?" has been asked; but that should not be the point. The point should be protecting the potable water supplies to ensure safe drinking water. ...As an industry, we need to determine the level of hazard, and base the type of backflow protection required on the hazard. We should not require RP’s on all installations - the fire protection industry could come back and say that no protection is needed, and we will lose the battle to protect the potable water supplies." Plumbing Standards, Oct. - Dec. 2000


3 city workers accused of bribery... Plumbing inspector allegedly caught in sting "It was a shakedown by sign language. When a contractor needed a city plumbing inspector to sign off on questionable work at a West Side home, the inspector shot up five fingers, authorities say. A bribe was in the air, but the contractor needed clarification. Fifty dollars? he asked the inspector. No, $500, came the reply, authorities say. City inspector John Chamberlain, 58, and two former city employees were charged with bribery Thursday as the investigation of corruption in the city's Building Department continues under the city's inspector general, David Hoffman. It brings the total charged so far to nine people, seven of them onetime city employees. "There is no place in city government for this kind of corrupt activity," Hoffman said, adding that portions of the bribe discussions were secretly recorded. Chamberlain, who made more than $85,000 a year, allegedly took $1,500 in bribes in December and January -- $500 to sign off on work that allegedly exceeded the scope of a city permit and $1,000 to provide a fraudulent letter. On Dec. 12, the contractor got shaken down, allegedly by Chamberlain, but the contractor told him he would have to call his son for the money. The contractor reported the shakedown to the inspector general's office, which sent an investigator to pose as the son. The investigator allegedly paid $200 in one meeting, then $300 in another. The investigator also pretended he wanted to hire an unlicensed plumber for another rehab project but needed a letter from a licensed contractor saying he was going to do the work, to get city permits. Chamberlain got a fake letter from a real contractor and charged the inspector $1,000 for it, the allegations state. ...Judge Thomas Hennelly on Thursday set bond for Chamberlain and Harris at $10,000 each." Chicago Sun-Times, March 30, 2007
Recycling yards must help stop copper thieves "All these copper thieves are really getting on our nerves. The latest theft was at Cabrillo Park in Upland, where AYSO youth soccer teams practice and play. The crooks stripped out copper wire after they opened 12 utility boxes at the park, knocking out the lights and depriving Upland children of a place for evening practice sessions. That's a pretty low blow, robbing kids of their fun. But then it's not a news flash that criminals and drug addicts are not terribly concerned with the feelings of others. Police figure most of the Inland Empire's many copper thefts are perpetrated by methamphetamine users to feed their soul-sapping habit.  ...In 2006, there were 170 reported copper thefts totaling $450,000 just in the city of Ontario, police said. Copper prices have soared because of skyrocketing demand in the superheated economies of China and India, where most of the Inland Valley's pilfered copper goes after it's "laundered" through recycling centers. The thieves tend to work quickly and in the middle of the night - they're mostly meth-heads, after all - so not many of them get caught in the act. Some do, fortunately. Upland police arrested a couple after finding stolen backflow valves in their car in February, for example... ...It appears the only way to really slow down this copper drain is at the recycling centers... ...In fact, when police officers stopped at an Ontario scrap yard a few weeks ago to share information about copper thefts, several vehicles waiting with materials to recycle quickly drove off. Hmmm, that's a bit suspicious.", March 22, 2007


Putting bad water down the drain "It's a common assumption that water going down your drain won't end up coming out your kitchen faucet. In some cases, that belief might not be true. East Lansing officials announced an initiative Tuesday to help prevent contamination of the city's water supply. The Cross-Connection Control Program is designed to make sure nonpotable water, such as dirty dishwater, does not mix with the city's drinking supply. ...After an evaluation from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, or DEQ, in 2005, the city's drinking water system received a "marginal" rating, and Sneathen was advised by the department to create the program. One year later, the city received a "satisfactory" rating. "They maybe weren't going after it as diligently as they are now," said Jim Watling, DEQ's district engineer. "It's an important public health measure. The East Lansing folks have just revamped the program." ...A cross-connection control problem can occur when backflow or back-pressure forces used water back into the drinking water system. Possible situations that can lead to backflow problems include faulty hose connections, irrigation systems, boilers, toilet-fill valves and swimming pools. Several years ago, a building in East Lansing was affected by this problem when antifreeze from the building's cooling system accidentally leaked into its drinking water supply. No one was injured as a result of the contamination, and sources at the DEQ and Department of Public Works could not provide when or where in East Lansing this incident occurred. ...In order to comply with the DEQ and to prevent any further contamination problems, East Lansing already has begun inspecting high-priority properties, such as city buildings, bars and restaurants, for backflow issues throughout the city. ...The city plans on inspecting medical buildings next, with residential housing to follow soon after. "It's a continuous program," Scheuerman said. "We are hoping to make the full rounds within the next five years." The cost of the inspections will be split between the city and the owner of the property, Sneathen said, adding that it will not be more than "a few hundred dollars" per inspection. If a violation is found during an inspection, the city can assess fines (if they don't correct the violations) or, if necessary, shut off the property's water supply. Cyndi Roper, Great Lakes policy director for Clean Water Action, a national nonprofit group that focuses on clean water issues, is familiar with backflow problems in communities. "We have worked on this issue in other places," Roper said. "It's important to make sure you don't have unsafe pressure and unsafe connections. It's good to know it's a priority in East Lansing." The State News, March 22, 2007


Flushed faces after mix-up "EMPLOYEES at a Bangholme water treatment plant were drinking water typically used to flush toilets and urinals for more than two weeks. In a plumbing mix-up this week admitted by Melbourne Water, about 25 employees at its Eastern Treatment Plant in Bangholme had been drinking Class-C recycled water, which is normally unfit for human consumption. Melbourne Water released a statement this week describing the problem. “Water was supplied through a tap that should supply drinking water,” it said. The water authority will now investigate the mix-up to determine why a tap marked as drinking water was in fact running the low-grade recycled water. Eastern Treatment Plant manager Mike Smith said the recycled water had been screened, chlorinated, filtered and chlorinated again. But he admitted that several employees had complained they were ill during the time the recycled water was running through the tap. “We have had several reported cases of gastro-intestinal illness and these will be investigated to see if they are related to the incident,” Mr Smith said. “We are doing everything we can to support our people. “It has happened as a result of a cross connection and should not have occurred. “We are treating this matter very seriously and we will be taking all the necessary steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.” Mr Smith said the water was normally used to flush toilets, urinals and other activities around the plant – but was never intended for drinking...." Star News Group, March 22, 2007


Staff ill from recycled water "At least 12 Melbourne Water workers have fallen ill after recycled water unfit for human consumption was mistakenly piped to a drinking tap.The treated water was accidentally connected to a drinking tap in an administration building at the Eastern Treatment Plant at Bangholme, in Melbourne's south, for several weeks before the error was discovered yesterday. Plant manager Mike Smith said workers had been affected by gastro-intestinal illnesses. The Department of Human Services is investigating how the error occurred. investigations have shown that from March 1- March 19 the recycled water flowed from a tap that should have supplied drinking water. Melbourne Water discovered the plumbing problem yesterday and quickly switched off the faulty supply, Mr Smith said. “It has happened as a result of a plumbing error and should not have occurred,” he said. “There are approximately 25 employees and contractors who use the building. The tap is marked for drinking water purposes and there will be an investigation into how the cross connection occurred. “We have had several reported cases of gastro-intestinal illness and these will be investigated to see if they are related to the incident. We are doing everything we can to support our people." ...While recycled water was fully screened, chlorinated, filtered and again chlorinated before it was supplied, it was not considered suitable drinking water. It was not supposed to be used in the new administration building, despite being used to flush toilets and urinals in other buildings, he said." Herald Sun, March 20, 2007


Thefts create plumbing problems "The geyser of water shooting into the air was the first clue that something was wrong Friday night at the Ellen Meade Studios and School of Creative Learning in Bradenton. But the water woes weren't due to a normal plumbing problem. When they called authorities, Ellen Meade officials discovered they were part of a growing number of victims to be hit by thieves stealing plumbing devices from homes and businesses around Manatee County and north Sarasota County. The copper and brass devices -- which prevent water pumped into a customer's home from flowing back into the main water distribution system -- are probably being resold as scrap metal, said Dave Bristow, spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. Unlike at the Meade studios, most victims of the plumbing thefts discover they've been targeted when they go to turn on their water and find the taps dry. The thieves shut off the water flow to most places where they steal the devices, said Sue Glasgow, an official with the Manatee County Utilities Department. Glasgow said about 150 devices have been reported stolen... ...One thing is clear, though: whoever is stealing the devices has some plumbing knowledge. "This is plumbing work. They know how to turn the water off at the meters before pulling out the backflow devices," said John Zimmerman, a water utilities manager for Manatee County. ...High copper and brass prices have caused similar thefts nationwide. Byron Bishop, a developer in southern California, designed a theft prevention device out of necessity when thieves kept hitting his and his neighbors' properties for the devices. Bishop's lock hit the market several months ago, and he said sales have been brisk. One end of the $200 stainless steel lock is clamped to the backflow preventer, while the other side is anchored by concrete. ...Metal theft is a common crime, with thieves hitting sewer lift stations and water distribution systems for the stainless steel and aluminum used there. On Sunday, Manatee County sheriff's deputies arrested Bradenton resident Bruce Straubel, 43, in the theft of stainless steel boxes from a sewer lift station. The deputies said they saw Straubel cutting the lift station lock. When they stopped him driving away, they found two of the boxes, each worth $6,000, in his truck, according to a sheriff's report. Straubel is in the construction business and was possibly using the stolen materials himself, Bristow said. But Bristow said it's unlikely the stolen backflow preventers are being reused by plumbers because they all have serial numbers.", March 19, 2007


Home sprinkler systems suspect in water problem "Electric City is systematically checking water systems of businesses and residential properties, trying to find out what is contaminating the city's water system. City workers have been turning up unsatisfactory water samples and have been asked by the Department of Health to conduct a systematic check of all connections. The current effort to check some 500 connections will also bring the city into compliance of state law and, according to city workers, take some time to complete. The city sent out 105 "notice of survey of premises" notices to residents Feb. 28, informing those with automatic lawn sprinklers that officials would be coming by to check their systems. The letter explained that public water systems are required to develop and implement cross-connection control programs. It further stated that the city must assess the degree of hazard posed by each customer's plumbing system upon the public water system. "Some residential customers," the letter continued, "pose a special concern because of the scope and complexity of their plumbing systems, special uses of water on the premises (such as sprinkler systems, pools and hot tubs)." City maintenance director Ken Dexter said last week that out of 10 systems he has already checked, only two meet standards. ...When residents use high pressure air to blow out their irrigation systems as they go into winter, contamination could occur if the system doesn't have proper backflow protection. ...Where there are non-compliance concerns, residents will have 60 days from the time of notification to fix the problem, or their water will be shut off, the city's letter stated." The Star - Online, March 14, 2007


Backflow & Cross Connection Control "The number of backflow prevention devices installed improperly by both the professional plumber and the property owner or their maintenance personnel is reaching a level that is difficult to believe. Backflow prevention devices must be installed in the proper manner so that they both can fulfill their purpose in protecting the water supply and also be tested and repaired in a safe, timely way. They must also be protected from the elements. ...In this article we will try to cover basic installation requirements while keeping in mind that each installation is different and presents new challenges. ...The solution to many of these problems is simple. Chose the proper assembly or device needed for the protection required. Ensure it is installed in the proper position, follow the manufacturers installation instructions, check your local codes, and have it tested annually. As the ASSE motto says "Prevention Rather Than Cure" by following these few simple guidelines the public water system can be protected." Plumbing Standards, Jan.-March 2001


Serious Cross Contamination In Yard Hydrants ""...if the stopper in a standard ‘weep hole’ hydrant ever leaks, it is undetectable at ground level as it is leaking out the weep hole deep into the ground... When a back siphonage condition occurs, that leak out will become a leak in, sucking contaminated muddy water into the supply line. If the hydrant is located in a horse or cow barn, animal byproducts will leach into the potable water supply." ...Due to the deaths associated with e-coli outbreaks and other pathogens that have contaminated our water supplies, there has been great concern regarding cross contamination between the potable water supply and the soil, which carries animal by-products, fertilizers and other hazardous materials. Most of us are familiar with a standard "weep hole" Yard Hydrant as they have been around for years. Hundreds of thousands of them are sold each year. They are used in campgrounds, RV parks, ranches, farms, gardens and anywhere water is needed away from a building. However, most of us are unaware of the at the base of the hydrant. The common weep hole yard hydrant consists of a head for attaching a hose, a riser pipe and a shutoff valve deep below the frost level. The term "weep hole" is derived from the fact that when the weep hole hydrant is shut off, a hole in the side of the valve opens to drain all water from the riser into the soil below the frost line, much like a Stop and Waste Valve." Plumbing Standards, Jan.-March 2003


Backflow Industry- "Guide to Cross Connection Devices and Assemblied Application and Selection" ..."Nice title, don’t you think? Actually I plagiarized it from the newest educational manual produced by ASSE. We all seem to know about the "Big Four"; RPZ (ASSE 1013-2005), DCV (ASSE 1015-2005), AVB (ASSE 1001-2002) and PVB (ASSE 1020-2004), but what about the other 18 ASSE standards for backflow protection? What are they used for, where and how do we install them?"  Plumbing Standards Fall (Oct-Dec) 2006   Posted on-line later was this "Fall 06 Backflow Industry Column Correction & Apologies"


What to Know About Backflow "VIDEO presentation (30 minutes) by the Lincoln Nebraska water, building, & health dept. officials, originally broadcast Nov. 11, 2006 on 5 City-TV, covers commercial & residential issues/problems....." Note: REAL PLAYER required to view this video....


Suspected copper thieves arrested in Upland "Police arrested two people Wednesday morning after backflow valves apparently stolen for their valuable copper were found in the suspects' vehicle. Upland police arrested Bruce Bartholomew, 45, and Gloria Alvarez, 26, both of Montclair, after officers saw them acting suspiciously at 2:21 a.m. in the area of Ninth Street and Industry Way, according to a police statement. Upland officers pulled the two over in the area, in which there have been previous thefts. Officers found six backflow valves in the car. Investigators later found that the valves had been stolen from businesses on Industry Way, Seaboard Court and Corporate Court, according to the statement. Upland police had area businesses under surveillance after a rash of backflow valve thefts, apparently taken for their copper content, Sgt. Cliff Mathews said. "We started having this problem on a fairly regular basis a few weeks ago," Mathews said. "We'd had an ongoing problem with the theft of backflow valves in the city." Thieves target the valves for their resale value at recycling centers, Mathews said. The valves - made of copper - cost, on average, between $600 to $800 each. ...Ontario has seen an increase in the number of valve thefts during the past two months, Wirtz said. "It doesn't take that long to take them," Wirtz said of the valve removal. "It's not a lot of work for the money." The valves sit outside the businesses in plain view. They prevent water from city pipes from flowing back into the businesses' water supply, Mathews said. ...In 2006, there were 170 reported copper thefts totaling $450,000 in the city, police Detective Jeff Wentz said. Businesses can purchase valve covers for a few hundred dollars. While the covers are not completely theft-proof, they provide a deterrent, Matthews said. Alvarez and Bartholomew were booked into West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga on suspicion of grand theft, according to the police statement. The charge is a felony that could land a person in prison for up to three years, Mathews said.", March 2, 2007


Backflow problems and prevention "Grant Phipps managing director of Watts UK explains how legislation allows installers freedom to fit PRZ valves to avoid backflow prevention. ...Backflow - a reversal of the normal flow of water in a pipe system - can have comical results. In the late 1960s wine flowed through the taps of the surprised and delighted residents of Cincinnati, USA, when a local winery left a water supply valve open after flushing its fermentation tanks. But backflow can also be dangerous, causing drinking water contamination… or worse. For example, a maintenance man connected a large liquid petroleum gas tank to a water main to wash it out. Unbeknown to him, there was still gas under pressure in the tank. By opening the water supply valve, he back pressurised the water supply main with gas, causing three nearby houses to explode. ...These examples are extreme. But backflow is a real threat - the US Environmental Protection Agency reckons that at least 100,000 cases of cross contamination occur in the USA every day. That makes it a pressing health & safety issue, and its prevention a priority. ...One solution to these problems is the reduced pressure zone (RPZ) valve. ...Installers in the USA have used RPZ valves since the early 1970s when Watts Industries launched its 909 RPZ. Now the British Government has decided to allow their use in this country. The new Water Regulations which replace the Model Water Byelaws free installers to fit RPZ valves here for the first time. Until these regulations, UK installers have had to install a break tank with a ball valve. However, pressure is lost from the mains with this arrangement so a pump also has to be fitted complete with a level switch to control the pump. This is complex, bulky and expensive, compared with the RPZ valve. The RPZ valve can only be operated once its type of protective use has been approved by the local Water Regulations Inspector and its correct fitting and operation has been independently checked by one of the 150+ RPZ-licensed inspectors operating in the UK. However, its simplicity, low cost compared to break tanks and ease of installation make it an attractive option for installers." Plumbing


Two Men Arrested For Water Theft "City Manager-Police Commissioner, Clovis Watson, Jr., arrested two men today for tapping into a City water hydrant and stealing City water. David Earl Spencer (WM DOB 01-18-1954) and Joshua Ramsey young (WM DOB 06-17-1986), employees of W.G. Johnson & Son, Inc., were arrested and transported to the Alachua County Detention Center on Friday, 07-29-2005, and charged with theft of water. The two men were observed pumping water into a W.G. Johnson & Son, Inc. truck from a water hydrant located at the corner of NW 158th Avenue and NW 141st Street in Alachua. Although the men were charged with theft, the primary point of concern was that the City's drinking water system had been compromised. Arbitrary connections such as this by unauthorized persons make the system vulnerable to possible contamination. As a municipal utility provider, the City of Alachua is responsible for ensuring the safety of our citizens. Policies and procedures are in place to follow when connecting to the City's water system. The City's water department personnel closely monitor all connections into the system to ensure that proper backflow devices are utilized and to secure the integrity of the system...." Alachua Post, Feb. 18, 2007


Backflow Protection for Safe Drinking Water Data Book  A Guide to the Latest Regulations... "SYNOPSIS --Except where not deemed necessary for safety or sanitation by the Administrative Authority, each plumbing fixture shall be provided with an adequate supply of potable running water piped thereto in an approved manner, so arranged as to flush and keep it in a clean and sanitary condition without danger of backflow or cross-connection. ...GENERAL REQUIREMENTS --1. No installation of potable water supply piping or any part thereof shall be made in such a manner that it will be possible for used, unclean, polluted or contaminated water, mixtures, or substances to enter any portion of such piping from any tank, receptor, equipment, or plumbing fixture by reason of back-siphonage, by suction or any other cause, either during normal use and operation thereof or when any such tank, receptor, equipment, or plumbing fixture is flooded, or subject to pressure in excess of the operating pressure in the hot or cold water, 2002


Water Supply Protection "The following information is intended to help the sanitarian identify correct food service equipment plumbing installations. A cross-connection is an ACTUAL or POTENTIAL link between the potable water supply and a source of contamination (sewage, chemicals, gas, etc.). A cross connection can be a temporary or permanent direct connection, by-pass arrangement, jumper connection, submerged inlet, removable section, swivel or change-over device, etc. that could connect a potable system to a non-potable source. Ideally, it is best to not have any cross-connections, but in certain situations they are unavoidable. When an installation requires a crossconnection, it must be properly protected with an acceptable backflow prevention assembly or device to eliminate any potential for a reverse flow back into the potable water supply. An unprotected cross-connection threatens the health and safety of individuals and may contaminate food or beverage products utilizing water from that system." State of Michigan,


Coldest temperature of the season moving in "It’s time to brace yourself — and your plants and pipes — for what forecasters say will likely be the most frigid weather of the season since winter began. Temperatures are expected to drop to the low 20s Saturday morning — and stay there for hours. ...This looks like the coldest morning so far,” Close said. ...Residents should go through the familiar drill of draping blankets over sensitive plants, Moll said. Residents should also take steps to protect their pipes, said Jeff Thomas, co-owner of Reliable Plumbing in Spring Hill. Homeowners should make sure exposed pipes are insulated to prevent damage from water freezing inside them, Thomas said. Letting the faucet drip intermittently also is a precaution. Thomas also recommends removing hoses from outdoor spigots. Frozen water around the hose bib can expand and damage the spigot. Commercial property owners should drape a blanket over backflow prevention equipment to prevent a costly service bill, Thomas said. Frozen water “will blow them wide open,” he said. “If it freezes and breaks, you have to replace them.” Hernando Today, Feb. 15, 2007


City water valve busted as man flees from police "A Dyersburg man was charged with felony evading arrest after speeding away from police and breaking a city water valve on Saturday. ...According to the police report, Leow's silver Lincoln Aviator was seen southbound on the U.S. Highway 51 Bypass with headlights repeatedly turning on and off. Believing the driver was signaling for help, police watched the vehicle as Leow attempted to turn onto Brewer Road. Leow overshot the turn and plowed into trailers parked at West Tennessee Power Equipment and drove over a water backflow device, busting it and causing water to erupt across the parking lot and bypass." Dyersburg State Gazette, Feb. 12, 2007


BACKFLOW PREVENTION LESSON 22 "After the water treatment facility sterilizes and distributes the water, it is still subject to contamination. Water contamination typically occurs through cross-connections and backflow situations. Plumbers must be able to recognize, prevent and fix backflow emergencies. This lesson is concerned with backflow preventions. Numerous cases of illness due to cross-connections have been documented. The problem is never solved since plumbing is continually changing. It is installed, repaired, removed, changed and extended. Sometimes, untrained people perform the plumbing. Usually, backflows are caused by cross-connections that are affected by a repair, general maintenance, or due to emergency situations. Plumbers must be trained and certified to perform inspections and repairs." Roto-Rooter's Plumber Training Manual


Backflow preventer thefts costing businesses thousands "Recently there has been a rash of commercial irrigation and domestic water backflow preventers stolen for their scrap metal. While the scrap metal value for the brass and copper contained within these fittings is only about $250, brazen thieves are making short work of stealing as many as they can, sometimes twice from the same properties. Backflow preventers are easily recognized, usually placed above ground along the street frontage for most commercial properties. The U-shaped pipe acts as a valve to prevent irrigation or other water from "backflowing" into the potable water source for the building. Most jurisdictions in the county have mandated the use of these valves in commercial buildings. The thieves drive up, sometimes dressed in orange vests to look like city employees, take a saw and cut the valve off at the pipes. The whole process can take less than two minutes. These thefts have occurred in broad daylight and also have happened at prominent and visible locations. Replacing these backflows can cost as much as $3,000 to $6,000. Their removal by thieves will also interrupt water service for your property and tenants as well as the possible water damage created from the water running uncontrolled through the open connection. BOMA is working with local authorities and the recycling/scrap metal industry to stem the tide of these thefts. BOMA has already met with the local waste industry association to brainstorm ways to notify the public about these thefts in an effort to prevent them in the future. Although there is no perfect solution to eliminate the theft of the units, and, in fact, those who have taken the measures outlined below have still experienced the loss of the valves, the following actions are being recommended by law enforcement, landscapers and plumbers: * Enclose your backflow valve(s) with a protective cage (if you haven't already). * Secure it with a non-tamperproof lock (a breakaway lock is easily opened and not recommended). In case of emergency, your maintenance crew should have a copy of the lock's key. * The cage should be securely mounted to the ground. * Have the cage spot-welded to the bolts to prevent its removal. * Stamp, label or identify the metal with a recognizable code or name of your own. * Post a visible warning sign with something to the effect of: "Theft and damage to this unit will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." * Camouflage the unit by planting screening landscape a foot or so from the backflow. This will make the unit less visible while still allowing for maintenance access if needed. * Inform your onsite building management, security or other staff of the problem and make sure they keep an eye out for thieves. It is also a good idea to inform your tenants so they can contact you should they see something suspicious near these valves." The Daily Transcript, Feb. 8, 2007


Police seek info on park valve thieves "The Reno Police Department is seeking information from the public through the Secret Witness program on a recent series of thefts of water backflow prevention devices from City of Reno parks and other locations throughout the city. The above-ground brass devices, also known as anti-siphon valves, are used with landscape sprinkler systems to prevent water from back up past a certain section in the pipes, to keep biological material from traveling up the pipe and contaminating the water supply. The devices come in various sizes, depending on the size of the system pipes. Officials from the City of Reno's Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department say that seven of the devices have been stolen from parks over the past two weeks by unbolting them. ...Parks officials say local landscape contractors have spoken of similar thefts from properties around the area, and that some of the devices have reportedly shown up at local recycling companies. Persons with information can provide that information anonymously to the Secret Witness program by calling 322-4900, or can provide information to the Reno Police Department Detective Division at 334-2115." Reno Gazette-Journal, Feb. 1, 2007


State making cities enforce 20 year old law "If your home was built before 1995 or you own a business, the state of Florida wants to make sure your water supply is safe. It could cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to comply with a 1987 (backflow prevention / cross-connection control) law. The city of Fort Myers sent out letters over the past week to 5,700 homes and businesses requiring an inspection. If you live in any other city - get ready. Your letter could be coming soon. A state health department mandate says it's time to make good the 20-year old state law. The city of Fort Myers passed an ordinance to start enforcing it in 1995, but they didn't start until now. Paul Flores with city's utility department said, "we're trying to preserve the water quality of the city." For most businesses and homes with separate irrigation meters, you'll have to pay a private certified tester to inspect your (backflow preventer) pipes. ...Within the next year, it could cost the owners thousands. Manager Sue Donahue said, "it's just a shame to hit the people all at once like that. They ought to give us more time to do this. I'm not disagreeing with the fact it might be a good idea to put one out there but I'm saying it's a hardship on the people." And why enforce it now? Flores said, "it's a major education. I can't respond to why it's taken this long but it's just the health department recently said 'hey, you really need to enforce the ordinance.'" WINK News, Feb. 5, 2007


Potable water up and running "The independent certified operator for Wilhoit Water Co.-Yavapai Estates has successfully turned on a potable water connection between a City of Prescott fire hydrant and the company's formerly arsenic-tainted line, Arizona Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes said last Friday. Prescott Pump Service this past Monday began issuing safe drinking water directly to the taps of the more than 250 customers of Wilhoit in Chino Valley. "The company sent out notices on Monday afternoon that the interconnection was live and activated, and that customers were securing water from the City of Prescott," Mayes said. "Customers will continue to receive that water until arsenic remediation equipment has been implemented." The safe connection began flowing a few days after the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality delivered to the company conditional Approval of Construction, which permitted the City of Prescott to install a water meter and a backflow prevention device on the fresh pipe." The Daily Courier, Feb. 6, 2007


14 Features of an Active and Effective Security Program "(Water) Systems should develop and promote an explicit, visible, and easily communicated commitment to security. This commitment must go beyond a few simple sentences in your system's mission statement and personalized t-shirts. In this day and age security should be an important factor in all that you do, including by: *Incorporating security into your utility-wide mission or vision statement by clearly addressing protection of public health, public safety, and public confidence. *Including a safety and security statement or update in your Consumer Confidence Reports. *Actively participating in regional and state preparedness planning, drills, and your state and regional Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN)." The Safe Drinking Water Trust, Jan. 31, 2007


Police investigate series of park equipment thefts "Police are trying to solve a recent series of equipment thefts from Reno parks and other sites throughout the city. The devices aim to prevent water from backing up past a certain section in the pipes and to keep biological material from traveling up the pipe and contaminating the water supply. Thieves are targeting water backflow prevention devices, Reno authorities said Thursday. The above-ground brass equipment, also known as anti-siphon valves, are used with landscape sprinkler systems. ...Seven of the devices have been stolen from parks over the past two weeks by unbolting them. This has resulted in costs estimated at $6,000 in materials and labor to replace the devices. Parks officials say local landscape contractors have spoken of similar thefts from properties around the area, and that some of the devices have, police said, reportedly shown up at local recycling sites." Reno Gazette-Journal, Feb. 2, 2007


Thomasville leaders chart course for '07 "After committing last year to painful tax hikes and budget cuts to rebuild the City of Thomasville's cash reserves, council members during their annual retreat Saturday discussed ways to rebuild the city's battered economy. ..."How can we create a more business-friendly atmosphere?" asked City Manager Kelly Craver, who served as facilitator for the retreat. The responses included improving communications with county economic development officials, reducing water availability charges for fire sprinkler systems and even demolishing vacant industrial plants to create ready sites for new development... ...Murphy, who serves on the public services committee, cautioned against putting unnecessary restrictions on businesses. He pointed out that a forthcoming mandate requiring backflow prevention devices to prevent contamination of city water will cost some businesses thousands of dollars." The Dispatch Online, Jan. 29, 2007


Residential well to tap Woodbine aquifer "Plano will soon have another first for its town, at least as well as the city engineer can remember. In Monday night's city council meeting, members adopted a motion to allow for the drilling of a residential water well. According to city officials, Hedy Rittenmeyer applied for the permit for her home on Plantation Lane. "This doesn't happen very often," City Engineer Alan Upchurch said. "It's not like we process these things everyday." According to city records, the property owners will use the well's water for landscape irrigation. Upchurch said there have been applications for some commercial wells, but he can't remember any requests for a residential well. ...The drilling should take approximately two weeks although the permit has been filed with the city for a few months. "The main thing we were concerned about is to make sure there is no cross-connection potential for the well water to get back into the public water system," Upchurch said. "Our public works had talked to the well driller and the people out there to make sure that they knew the requirements that were to be had to prevent such types of cross-connection or backflow." Andrus understands the delays. "It's the first one the city has attempted to permit," he said." Star Community News, Jan. 26, 2007


Wilhoit Water Co. to complete connection "Within the next 24 to 48 hours, residents of the Yavapai Estates subdivision and Antelope Valley Apartments should have safe drinking water flowing through their taps, Arizona Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes said Wednesday afternoon. By Friday, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the City of Prescott will have completed their work, paving the way for an interconnection between a fire hydrant with potable water and Wilhoit Water Co.'s storage tank located off Havasu Avenue and Picacho Boulevard. Once the water is in the tank, the company will pump it directly into these residents' homes. Over the past couple days, crews "blue staked" and dug a pipeline to complete the connection from the City of Prescott hydrant to the wells, which were flushed of the arsenic-tainted water they once contained. ...After crews have installed the necessary pipe and meter from the hydrant to the well tank system, ADEQ will send an inspector from its Flagstaff office to inspect the connection and ensure it doesn't leak. "You can get bacteria and contaminants in the pipe (if crews don't build it correctly)," Owens said. "You need the right pressure in the line or it can cause health hazards." Linda Hill, the independent certified operator for Wilhoit Water Co., said Prescott Pump Service today or Friday will test the new waterline and ensure the water is chlorinated. The City of Prescott will install a meter and a backflow-preventing device so no distributed water goes back into the city's line, she added." Daily Courier, Jan. 27, 2007


Got ugly pipes? "All new homes built with irrigation systems in Manatee and Sarasota counties are required to have a backflow preventer - brass pipes that stick up a minimum of 12 inches high. The preventer guards against water backing up into the county's water supply. A Manatee County couple has designed their business to take advantage of what many would say is an aesthetic problem. They hope homeowners will want to hide the pipes with an outdoor decorative product, like a rock made of fiberglass. "A lot of people I run into call it, 'That ugly thing in my yard,' " said Sue Glasgow, cross connection coordinator for Manatee County. ..."Sarasota and Manatee are these absolutely beautiful places, but then you see these backflow pipes on every lawn," Gillian Doig said. "We think we can offer a product that is lovely and practical." The rocks come in six sizes and four colors and are designed to fit backflows, well heads and cable boxes. They also protect plumbing fixtures from weather damage and accidents. ...Glasgow can't recommend one backflow preventer over another but she likes the idea of something covering pipes. "It's a good investment because it keeps the pipes from getting hit by a lawn mower and protects them from the elements and freezes," Glasgow said. "The concept of covering those pipes with something affordable will be around a long time."" Bradenton-Herald, Jan. 22, 2007


Council balks on backflow "The Colony City Council stopped for the moment the next step in implementing a new water protection program and fee the has raised concerns among some water customers. By a 6-1 vote, the council decided to delay the implementation of its backflow protection program until it could hold a work session and determine exactly how to comply with the state's law. Council Member John Marshall voted against the delay, saying the city should move forward with the program as planned. A previous council approved the program, and some version of the action was undertaken to stay in compliance with state law. The law is intended to prevent the city's water system from sucking in contaminants during periods of low water pressure. Planning Director Bateman told council the city experiences about 2,300 of these episodes each year. However, Utilities Director Gordon Scruggs said he knows of no instance in which the city's water supply was contaminated by one of these instances. The city's program will require residents and commercial users defined by law to pose a potential hazard to meet certain requirements and have a yearly inspection on its backflow protection devices. On the residential side, homeowners identified as part of the program, will be subject to yearly inspections of their backflow devices and pay a $3.33 monthly fee on the water bill to cover the cost. Commercial users will be charged $7.08. Council members questioned whether the program entirely targeted the right hazards or the right customers. Members questioned whether owners of newer homes, who have sprinkler and irrigation systems often accompanied by backflow devices should be the ones paying the cost of the system. Council Member Joe McCourry said he was concerned that the city's program would put the onus on those with backflow prevention devices, while simple hoses on old homes without backflow devices could pose the greater risk. "To me, this is getting ready to consider something that doesn't put us into full compliance with the law," he said...." Star Community News, Jan. 20, 2007


Freeze tampers with city pipes "With lows in the 20s for the past few nights, the chilly weather has frozen more than citrus crops: it's also tampered with pipes and backflow prevention devices around the city. Backflow prevention devices are used to protect water supplies from contamination. By city code, they are installed at commercial and multihome areas. According to Water Distribution Supervisor Mike Taylor of the Municipal Utilities Department, dozens of calls have been made to the department, with repairs needed on both city and residential properties. "We had a crew out on Sunday, where three of us spent several hours turning people's water off and on," he said. "We worked for about six hours yesterday fixing backflow devices. We had 50 or 60 repairs and turn offs." Although such problems are unusual for Redlands, with its normally warmer winter climate, Water Operations Manager Dave Commons finds that most customers are not taking the damage too hard. "Our response in the field is that the customers are understanding, and haven't been too upset," he said. Taylor has tips for those who want to prevent their pipes from freezing. "When it gets this cold, leave a little water dripping from faucets and hoses," he said. "It keeps water moving, and as long as water is moving, it can't freeze."", Jan. 17, 2007


Urban Nepalese Drink Contaminated Water "Nepal, they say, is the "Land of Rivers." Unfortunately for urban Nepalese, however, the only choice of drinking water is heavily contaminated and otherwise of low quality. Perhaps most worrisome of all, water being indispensable to life, the right to safe drinking water belongs to every citizen. In this, however, the Nepalese have been cheated by fate. There are universally agreed-on physical, chemical, biological and mineral standards for potable water as prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO). Numerous indicators suggest, however, that the urban Nepali population as a whole is drinking water that is highly unsafe relative to these same requirements. Owing to high levels of contamination, the Nepalese have suffered chronically from water-borne diseases like typhoid, cholera, dysentery and hepatitis, yet the government has reacted with only bureaucratic busy-work and no practical results. ...Who is to blame? The culprits are many. For instance, drinking water supplied to the capital of Kathmandu by the public distribution system is far from potable. ...Urban Nepalese are actually imbibing a slow-acting poison. Intake water is not properly tested or treated and enters the pipelines of the urban supply system for only a few hours a day, which creates a backflow effect after turnoff. Waste, contaminated ground water and microorganisms from the storm and sanitary sewage lines that generally run in parallel pipes, enter the supply system and contaminate the drinking water. ...A serious problem -- but there has been no concerted effort to control and reduce the contamination. For now, Nepalese are being insidiously poisoned, which will continue indefinitely if, as the data show, nothing fundamental is done by either communities or the government to tackle the contamination problem." OhmyNews, Jan. 17, 2007


Waterloo eyes 3.45% tax increase "Waterloo homeowners will see an increase in their property tax bill this year if city council passes a budget proposal revealed yesterday. City councillors got a first look at a planned $111-million operating budget last night, which includes a 3.45 per cent hike in property taxes. ...The proposed increase is lower than it was last year, while water taxes are to rise more than six per cent and tax on sewage services to go up more than 11 per cent. Coun. Jan d'Ailly, finance committee chair, said the property tax hike was reasonable... ...The city bases its tax hikes on a municipal price index. It represents the cost to the city to provide goods and services and usually runs higher than inflation, which is based on a consumer price index. ...The city will likely face legal action from the Ministry of the Environment if it doesn't spend $215,000 to protect its water system from contamination through backflow, city staff warned council." THE RECORD.COM, Jan. 16, 2007


Water surveys needed to determine contamination "A second mailing of cross-connection control surveys is going out to Beatrice Board of Public Works customers. BPW customers not returning the first cross-connection survey, mailed out in November and December, can expect another one in the mail, Bob Feit, BPW director of administrative services, said Wednesday during the BPW Board of Directors meeting. The BPW Water Department is required by state law to send out surveys every five years to their customers to determine any possible contamination to the city's water. As of Wednesday, the BPW had only 65 percent of the surveys returned. A 100 percent return of the surveys is required. BPW is asking customers who have not returned their surveys to do so as soon as possible. “Please send your surveys back,” Feit said. If the surveys are not returned, Feit said BPW will have to make telephone calls and possible door-to-door visits to collect the surveys. ...The survey asks water users if they have an underground sprinkler, hot tub, swimming pool or commercial business in their home. Questions to commercial and industrial businesses ask about pumps, ice machines, fire sprinklers and suppression systems and chemical and product disposals." Beatrice Daily Sun, Jan. 11, 2007


Resident tells Mohawk board that valves require installation of expansion tanks "Mike Disotelle went before the Mohawk village board on Monday to contest the village's backflow prevention program. Disotelle, a teacher who has been a Mohawk resident for four years, had a problem with his water heater because of the village's program, which differs from state code. Through the village's program, double-check valves were installed on all water heaters. The valves are there to create pressure to prevent chemical contamination from reaching the water supply, but New York State code only calls for them to be installed in hazardous places, such as a company that deals with chemicals or a hospital. Disotelle's problem began when he came home one day to find his hot water tank spraying water, ready to explode, which cost him $800 in repairs. The problem is that Mohawk's program doesn't require the residents to have an expansion tank installed with the valves, which Disotelle said many residents don't know. New York State code number P2903.4 states that if double-check valves are installed, then an expansion tank “shall be installed ...” “That doesn't mean optional, it means they have to be installed,” said Disotelle. Disotelle said that only two or three places in the state have a backflow prevention program such as Mohawk's, and one of them, Cortland, rescinded theirs through an amendment to their water ordinance. ...Co-supervisor of the Mohawk Municipal Commission, Arthur Baum, sent a letter to residents that stated the expansion tanks are optional, which Disotelle said is an inaccuracy. ...Village Trustee Ed View said they chose Lamont Engineering to consult them on the matter because the company is reputable and the board went by what the company told them. He said that maybe they should have gotten a second opinion at the time. View also said that a water heater in the firehouse had a similar problem as Disotelle had. Bob Wright, a water engineer, said that the village has the right to keep people safe, but the village board didn't do a good enough job of doing their homework on this issue because hot water tanks aren't designed to take the pressure that is created from using the double-check valves without an expansion tank. ...Wright and another engineer went before the village board in February of 2006 and suggested that the board either not put the double-check valves in, or also install the expansion tanks. “All the problems just provide validity to the state code,” said Wright. “Most places in Mohawk aren't considered hazardous, but these double-check valves are creating the hazard,” said Disotelle." The Evening Telegram, Jan 9, 2007


Thieves pilfer water pipes: Ventana Lakes loses four valves in December "Thieves struck the Ventana Lakes Property Owners Association last month, stealingfour backflow valves from sprinklers. “Three were stolen a couple of weeks ago and then last week another was stolen,” said Paulette Eaton, the POA’s manager. A backflow valve is a prevention device used to protect water supplies from contamination from water used for landscaping. And according to Ms. Eaton, they are expensive. “They are made of brass or copper,” Ms. Eaton said. “And replacing them will cost us between $130 and $300, depending on the size. Each one stolen was different.” According to Mike Tellef, a spokesman for the Peoria Police Department, stealing of these parts has become a recurring problem in the city. Last fall, police arrested subjects for stealing copper wiring from construction sites. “Brass fittings and copper are worth quite a bit on the scrap market,” Mr. Tellef said. To help prevent thefts, members of the association are volunteering to patrol the area in their own vehicles. They want to keep a constant watch on the community to deter thieves. “We’re hoping the people who are bad will see them patrolling and never know when they won’t be,” said Bob Waggener, a Ventana Lakes resident who is organizing patrols. “Then they will be too nervous to try again.” According to Mr. Waggener, about five people have signed up for patrol and they need more volunteers.", Jan. 8, 2007


Sprinklers douse townhouse fire with minor damage "Former firefighter Gretchen Schmeisser watched in disbelief as flames from her overheated van threatened to destroy her three-level Colorado townhouse. Her shock soon turned to excitement as she realized that two of the home's fire sprinklers had activated and were helping control the heat and flames. "If we did not have sprinklers in this garage, the entire townhome building — all seven homes — would have been lost to this fire," said Jerry Pope, partner of Timberline Builders and one of the developers of the 71-unit community, located in southwest Colorado. ...The municipality asked Timberline to install sprinklers in all rear-facing units, or about half the development, since firetrucks and equipment could not easily access these homes. A multipurpose system, such as the one Lenberg recommended, combines the cold-water plumbing and the fire sprinkler system into one. Water continually circulates to the fire sprinklers each time an occupant uses a cold-water plumbing fixture. This ensures fresh water is always available. These combination systems can cost as much as 15% less than stand-alone systems because of the reduced labor, a systems manufacturer said. Since these systems are fed by a home's domestic water supply, there is no need for check valves, backflow preventers or a separate water meter, further cutting installation time and costs."


Sarasota County implements backflow prevention program "In an effort to ensure safe drinking water for its citizens, Sarasota County has begun implementing a backflow prevention program in accordance with a statewide rule. The purpose of the program is to protect the county's public utility system from possible contamination from untreated water. As part of the program, Sarasota County Utilities customers who also use another source of water on their property must install a backflow prevention device and have it tested annually to ensure it is working properly, according to a Sarasota County press release. Backflow prevention devices are installed to keep contaminated water from entering public drinking water through direct cross-connections in residential piping, the press release states. For instance, a resident using a well or a nearby creek, canal or pond for landscape irrigation could allow contaminated water to flow back into county utility lines. Indirect cross-contamination can occur when a garden hose is submerged into a swimming pool or is connected to a pesticide dispenser, the press release states. ...All Sarasota County's commercial water customers must install a backflow preventer device at their service connection or at a location approved by Sarasota County Utilities, Cash stated in the release. All non-metered fire line connections to Sarasota County's water system are required to install at minimum a Double Detector Check Assembly (DDC). Sarasota County is now notifying residents by letter if water sources on their property require them to install a backflow prevention device, according to the press release. Residents who are required to install the device can locate licensed installers and testers in the yellow pages under "Backflow" section in local phone directories, Cash stated in the release. Cash also encouraged homeowners associations to contact private contractors who may be willing to negotiate group discounts for multiple properties requiring backflow testing." Bradenton Herald, Jan. 2, 2007




Any comments or questions about this site,

or inquiries about available backflow prevention programs  or cross connection inspection & training services 

can be directed to the staff of the

Backflow Prevention Techzone and

Midwest Backflow Prevention