June 2018 Newsletter
The Test & Maintenance Report is a Legal Document
There are many misconceptions floating around about the duties and responsibilities of the licensed BPAT (Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester) and the proper completion of the T&M (Test & Maintenance) report. Let’s first look at the T&M report. TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) has provided a legal T&M report that may be used by any enforcement jurisdiction that has not obtained TCEQ approval for their specific T&M. Here is where there is misunderstanding by many testers in the industry. If an enforcement jurisdiction has their own T&M report, it will be the only report they may accept, regardless of any additional information they require on the report, such as a customer signature, etc. TCEQ approved it and it is that jurisdiction’s legal T&M document. An exception would be if an enforcement jurisdiction has a paper form, which has been approved by TCEQ and an on-line, or electronic submittal form, also approved be TCEQ, both forms are legal forms even if there are differences in the required information. Some enforcement jurisdictions may use outside electronic submittal companies such as Vepo, which also has TCEQ approval, to manage their T&M reports. Use the report or system for each jurisdiction.
March 2018 Newsletter
Lawn Irrigation Systems – High Hazard or Low Hazard
Commentary – By Fred Baird – Bac-Flo Unlimited, Inc.
The following is a review of irrigation systems, their operation and considerations in the determination of high hazard (Health Hazard) cross connection or low hazard (Non-Health Hazard) cross connection classification.
One of the first things the average person must understand is the fact that water pressure goes from a higher pressure to a lower pressure. Water pressure is not always constant and there are many variables that create these backflow situations. These situations can be very minute such as a pressure fluctuation caused by demand or the complete loss of water pressure due to water main breaks, fires in the area, high demand, piping design, etc. Additionally, pumps and elevations can create back-pressure situations.
May 2018 Newsletter
Mitigating the Risk of Legionella in Building Water Systems
One of the very interesting sessions at the ABPA Conference in Orlando this year was the threat of the Legionella bacteria in our water systems, and how to mitigate the threat. Watts has produced a document that can be found at http://pages.wattswater.com/Legionella.html that explains Legionella and Legionnaires’ Disease (LD) in detail and how to mitigate it.
Outbreaks of Legionella bacteria can cause Legionnaires’ Disease (LD) in any setting, but is a particular concern in healthcare facilities (hospitals, nursing homes, long term care) and hospitality buildings (hotels, motels, resorts). The bacteria can grow in any part of a water system in a building that is continually wet such as tanks, piping, fixtures, or water features. The Legionella bacteria becomes an infectant when combined with water droplets that become airborne in a manner of aerosol generation, and that moisture reaches a person’s nose or mouth where it is inhaled and settles in the lungs.
February 2018 Newsletter
Presidential Award for Chapter Excellence
The PACE Award program started in 1997 to recognize chapters for their positive impact on their membership, their profession, and their community. Chapters are judged on membership, service to chapter members, service to the community, and advancement of the backflow industry. Every ABPA chapter is eligible for consideration and should nominate itself. Our San Antonio Chapter applied and received our first PACE Award in 1999 and has received the award every year since with the exception of 2001 thru 2003. This would not be possible without the dedication of many of the members and the continued attendance at our monthly meetings.
April 2018 Newsletter
Call 811 for a backflow preventer install? Certainly!
Backflow preventers – just like the jobs they are used on – come in all shapes and sizes. That means you have to carry a lot of tools in your kit.
Fortunately, there’s one tool you can always carry with you that doesn’t have to go into your tool bag. You can carry this one in your head, it won’t ever get your hands dirty, and it’s simple to use.
It’s the number 811.
Wherever you are in the United States, a call to 811 will get underground utilities located for you within 48 hours of the call being made. The call, and the subsequent locating, are both free.
January 2018 Newsletter
A New Threat to Water Quality in Texas
There is a new threat to the water quality in the communities that get their water from surface lakes and rivers. It is a tiny-but-highly invasive species, known as Dreissena polymorpha or Zebra mussels, which measure only 1½ inches long. The Zebra mussels starts out as free-swimming microscopic larvae, called veligers, drifting in the water for several weeks and then settling onto any hard surface they can find. They use little sticky threads called a byssus, or byssal threads to attach to things. The byssus grows out of the "back" or hinge of the mussel. They quickly establish large colonies. Zebra mussels compete with native freshwater mussel populations so effectively that the native mussel populations quickly decline or totally disappear. Their destructiveness is conveyed through their ability to attach themselves onto the inside of pipes, valves, pump impellors, and the filter screens used in the collection of the water to be distributed to the industries and residents of the Texas communities relying on the water.