NacChat 29- Going with the flow!
State and Federal regulations require all cities to perform Customer ServiceInspections (CSI) to ensure individual businesses in Nacogdoches have installed all necessary plumbing controls to prevent back contamination of the public water system.
In this episode of our NacChat Podcast, Amy sits down with City Engineer Steve Bartlett as they discuss what some of the new changes that the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality is asking for. Bartlett also talks about what is back flow and why grandfathered in business are required to deal with it.
To listen to the full episode, click here!
What's going on with the cities water? Bartlett tells Amy about the recent visit from The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). (1:01) .
What is a backflow preventer? (1:42)
The state is requiring some changes that we are asked to enforce at the local level. What are these changes? (2:51)
Why has the state has changed their views on the plumbing of grandfathered in businesses? (3:52)
Bartlett describes how the business effected are taking the news. (5:16)
Amy asks if other cities have dealt with this issue. Bartlett explained that this is a long process that will eventually cover the entire state. (7:15)
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has sharpened their enforcement of cross connection regulations since the 2016 contaminated water incident in Corpus Christi, where a backflow device failed at a local industry’s facility. After receiving formal notice, installation of the below described improvements is required within 90 days at any facility that is not in compliance.
“The enforcement of backflow prevention devices is in response to the State’s mandate and we are making CSI visits to every business and working with our customers to have them install the necessary backflow prevention controls,” City Engineer, Steve Bartlett said. "This is an important component to ensure the public water system is as safe as possible."
Residential properties are not included in this inspection process. Businesses not in compliance will be required to install a Reduced Pressure Zone Backflow Preventer (RPZ) assembly at their meter. This fixture must be installed by a licensed plumber as close to the meter as possible and must be located before any private fixture like a sink, faucet or hose connection. Business owners may also be required to install cross connection plumbing controls inside their building. A copy of an individual's CSI report will be provided in order to identify specific locations and fixtures around the facility that must be protected with a properly installed backflow prevention device.
All applicable backflow prevention assemblies must be tested annually by a licensed Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester (BPAT). Businesses will also be required to submit a copy of an annual backflow assembly test report to the City of Nacogdoches every year. Not all assemblies require testing but fixtures like a RPZ will need a documented test annually.
City of Nacogdoches staff members are available to answer questions and assist the public with understanding the process of installing and testing backflow prevention devices. Please feel free to contact, Bart Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org or Steve Bartlett at email@example.com with questions.
Amy Mehaffey began her work with the City of Nacogdoches in July 2015. Prior to this, she worked as a 4-H Specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. In this role she did marketing and promotion for the Texas 4-H Youth Development Program and served as the event coordinator for Texas 4-H Roundup, the agency’s largest event. Amy graduated in May 2015 with her PhD in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Sciences with an emphasis in youth development. During the pursuit of this degree she also received a certificate in Prevention Science and a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the Bush School of Government and Public Service. Previously, she completed a Master’s of Science in Agricultural Communications at Texas A&M University and a Bachelor’s of Science in the same field at Texas Tech University. Amy is also a freelance photographer and enjoys Texas A&M football in the fall. She is married to John Michael Mehaffey who is a professor of Animal Science at Stephen F. Austin State University. They are proud parents to Hattie Mae Mehaffey, born September 1, 2016 and are expecting another, Hunter Leigh Mehaffey in July 2018.