What Are Backflow Preventers & Why Do We Test Them?

Backflow preventers are mechanical assemblies made of many different materials such as brass, stainless steel, various polymers, and elastomers, assembled into a unit that allows water to flow in one direction only. They are used on water lines that supply potable water to our homes and businesses to make sure that any contaminated water that might originate from the homes or businesses does not flow backwards into the potable supply main line. Residential lawn irrigation systems are the most common systems that can contaminate the water supplied to homes, along with aerobic sewer systems. Businesses present a whole different issue regarding water contamination because they all have vastly different issues such a chemicals from car washes, plating companies, tanning factories, wash-down hoses for garbage trucks, wash-down hoses in restaurant kitchens, and hoses used in mortuaries, just to name a few. The issues of potential contaminated water in businesses and the manufacturing world are limitless. That is why nearly every business or manufacturing plant needs backflow preventers installed on the incoming potable water line and many times within the establishment to protect the potable water within the building.

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 icon November 2022 Newsletter

Commentary – “ALERT: Public Interactive Water Features Connected to Public Water Supplies”

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is providing important updates to a notice sent to public water systems (PWSs) in October 2021 on how to minimize the risk of Naegleria fowleri (N. fowleri) ameba (commonly referred to as the brain-eating ameba) for a PWS. As was stated in the October 2021 notice, there were two instances of N. fowleri exposure in Texas in 2020 and 2021 that resulted in the deaths of two children after they visited public interactive water features or “splash pads.” The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) regulates splash pads and TCEQ regulates PWSs that supply water to these features. Both agencies have rules concerning the minimum necessary backflow prevention devices on the supply lines into these types of water features.

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 icon August 2022 Newsletter


ABPA-SA Provides Education and More to Its Members

ABPA-SA has eleven meetings per year with a training program at each meeting. The members are exposed to many facets of the backflow world, including education programs on specific issues with some brands of backflow prevention assemblies that can have mystifying issues with repairs that are needed to restore them back to perfect working order so they can again prevent backflow and therefore protect the potable water systems. Throughout the year the members are also taught the ins and outs of test gauge care so their gauges will perform properly and give reliable data to determine that the backflow assemblies are, in fact, working. They are also taught how to complete their Test & Maintenance (T&M) forms, whether paper or electronic submission. They earn some of their required license renewal CEUs by attending these meetings. Their Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester (BPAT) license must be renewed every three years with TCEQ.

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 icon October 2022 Newsletter

Commentary – “Recycle Water – Protecting The Potable Water System”

Recycle(reclaim) water being supplied by water purveyors to existing facilities, should be reviewed very closely to ensure there are no actual or potential cross connections as noted below:

Some sites being signed off by inspectors as separated by just following as-built plans. AsbuiltSome sites being signed off by inspectors as separated by just following as-built plans. Asbuiltplans should not be relied upon – we have found most are not accurate and up to date.Simple CSI’s (cross connection surveys) prior to providing recycle water to an existing site isnot adequate and many actual or potential cross connections with recycle are being missed.

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 icon July 2022 Newsletter


Hands-On CEU Training every 3 years – A Necessity!

The following deals with the necessity for Backflow Prevention Assembly Testers to receive actual hands-on training every 3 years. Listed below are some of the comments – situations – discussions we get with practically every hands-on (Practical Skills) training course we conduct.

    •  In San Antonio we have had a hands-on CEU requirement for close to 50 years

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 icon September 2022 Newsletter

When Does Your License Expire?

There have been several members who have unknowingly allowed their BPAT (Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester) license to expire recently because they have not renewed in a timely manner. TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) requires a licensee to earn sixteen (16) CEU hours and eight (8) hours of Hands-on training to renew a BPAT license. These hours can be earned in the three (3) year period between the issuance of the license and the expiration date. TCEQ will allow a person thirty (30) days grace to complete earning their CEUs and/or their 8 hours Hands-on as long as they file and pay the license fee BEFORE the expiration date of their license. If those rules are not followed, your license is gone. You will not be able to test backflow assemblies from the date of expiration until the date the license renewal card is received from TCEQ. Any TNMs for assemblies tested during an expired license will be disqualified as an unlicensed test and you will be treated as a person without a license.s

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 icon June 2022 Newsletter