A Proctor Training date has been set for October 7, 2017

Attention ABPA Testers and Proctors:
Mark your calendars!

This training session will be held at Backflow Consulting, Testing and Repair Inc. beginning at 8am. It is scheduled to last until 4-5pm.
CBPA President Charlie Sullivan has been working with the ABPA Certification Committee to set a recurring schedule for Proctor Training.

The first Saturday in October will be the recurring date each year for this training session.
Please mark your calendars!
In order to become an ABPA Proctor you must hold an ABPA Tester Certification and have re-certified at least once. Additional information can be found at abpa.org or by contacting info@backflow.org

A Word Of Warning To Backflow Testers

By Charlie Sullivan

The Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Fire Prevention and Control, requires that all individuals and or companies testing, repairing, or installing a backflow device on a fire sprinkler system be registered with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control.  The requirement has been in place for several years.  Over the last few years there have been some significant changes to the requirements, i.e. tagging of systems (this is a big one), main drain test vs draining a system, etc.  The current requirements can be found in 8 CCR 1507-11 which has been effective since May 15, 2016.  It is your job as a backflow tester performing services on a fire sprinkler system to be knowledgeable of the requirements.  The complete text can be found at the following link:

http://www.sos.state.co.us/CCR/GenerateRulePdf.do?ruleVersionId=6758&fileName=8%20CCR%201507-11

As outlined in 8 CCR 1507-11, Fire Suppression Program, you would be required to register as a Fire Suppression System Contractor – Backflow, which is defined as, “Individuals or companies conducting installation, maintenance, service or testing of backflow prevention devices installed on fire sprinkler systems”.

The testing company and or individual need to be particularly aware of the requirements in Sections 3, 6, 7, and 8.   The Division of Fire Prevention and Control is actively pursuing unregistered backflow testers working on fire systems, issuing warnings to register immediately, actively following up on complaints, and if necessary taking legal action through the courts in regards to repeat offenders.  The cost of registering with the state will greatly outweigh the cost of a court date.

Region 5 Director’s Winter Report

By Fred Spengler

This year has been quite a ride for the American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA).  But as we move into 2017 there is reason to be optimistic for the future.  The organization has moved to a different management company which should help with membership & the newsletter/magazine.

The next big national event is the Backflow & Cross Connection Trade Show to be held in San Antonio Texas on April 3rd through the 5th.  If you have the chance, this is a must go-to event.  The venue is right on the River Walk and just a couple of blocks from the Alamo.  But more important: The seminars will be worth the trip, with two Colorado speakers (Your CBPA President and Vice President) speaking on backflow issues on fire systems and regulations.  Add the other seminar topics and your chance to talk with vendors from all segments of the industry and this event is well worth your time.

Membership and benefits will be the emphasis for this coming year so expect lots of communication from National to you, the membership.

On a local level, I want to encourage all who receive this to become or retain your CBPA membership or, if you reside in Utah, your Utah Chapter membership.  Once a member, actively participate, if only to attend scheduled events.  Of course, there is always need for volunteers.  Please step up and support ABPA’s mission of providing information and education.

The Colorado Backflow Prevention Association (CBPA) will be hosting an event in mid-April (Details in the newsletter) that will discuss fire sprinkler system requirements and an open forum on implementing the new State Regulation 11.39.

Utah Chapter will be hosting their annual conference on February 3, 2017. (Check the website for information)

New Website Coming!

Just a quick note to let everyone know to be on the lookout for our new website, coming soon! We have been in a transition period with our website, http://www.backflow.org, hence this temporary blog. Our new and improved website, after moving to a new domain host, should be up and running soon. It will be the same web address as before, http://www.backflow.org, but it will be using the format found here on this WordPress blog, hopefully with some improvements in functionality. Stay tuned!

Protect Your Test Kits

We all know how cold winters can be here in Colorado. This winter is turning out to be no exception. Sub-freezing temperatures can be brutal on any equipment that involves water. Obviously that is the case with backflow preventer test kits. Part of my daily duties involves certifying test gauge kits, and I can tell you that I have already come across several kits that have obviously frozen. Not all of them had permanent damage, but at least one certainly did. While I will gladly make repairs to those damaged test kits, we all know it’s not cheap and that cost cuts into your company profits.

With just a few simple steps you can protect your test kit from the cold weather:

  1. Drain your test kit after each and every test. Open all the valves on the kit and let as much water drain out as possible. Tilt your kit, shake your kit. Dance with it if you have to. Keep doing it until you are sure that you have drained all the water you can out of it.
  2. Leave the valves open. Once you have drained your kit, don’t close the valves! In fact, open them all the way. This ensures that what water is left inside, if it happens to freeze, has room to expand without (hopefully) doing any damage.
  3. Keep your kit where it won’t freeze. This is a no-brainer, but I have to say it. If you use a pickup for your testing work, keep the kit in the cab with you when it’s below freezing. A test kit can easily freeze in the back of a pickup while you drive between jobs. Also, bring your test kit inside overnight. It wants a warm place to spend the night as much as you do.

By following these three simple steps you can be pretty sure that your kit will be in good working order when it’s time for your next test. Test kits are not inexpensive, and they certainly can cost a significant amount to repair, not to mention your down time if you don’t have a backup kit available. Test gauge kits are a testers bread and butter, so be nice to them.