Backflow Prevention Programs: How Do I Get Started?
The thought of starting a backflow prevention program can be difficult at best and daunting at worst, if the person charged with this responsibility has limited or no experience in the field of backflow prevention. Often times, the program manager may initially have little knowledge of backflow; however, they are the “point man” for water system operations and, by default, are charged with the responsibility of protecting the drinking water through the development, implementation, and management of a backflow prevention program. The manager’s next thought is … How do I get started?
The internet is a wonderful resource for finding and collecting data on cross connection control and backflow prevention. There you will find actual ordinances and information on programs created by other water systems. These are valuable resources to educate and assist in the creation of a new program; however, one must be aware of the circumstances present within the water system that led to the creation of the on-line program. A one-size-fits-all program is generally not the best solution for a backflow prevention program.
Training organizations exist that assist individuals with starting programs by educating and providing sample materials for incorporation into the program. These are excellent programs that enable the attendees to learn to “talk the talk” in the backflow industry. These training programs are generally offered by policy individuals who are very knowledgeable of the technical aspects of cross connection control and backflow prevention. The one week training sessions focus on the basics of backflow prevention with additional training on surveying and the management of the program. These training organizations excel at training individuals on what to do to get started with the program.
Consultants are an additional resource for getting started with backflow prevention programs; however, there are very few true consultants in the backflow prevention industry. It is strongly recommended that the consultant chosen to assist with the program provide documentation on past projects that encompass the entire program. Choosing a third party consultant is usually very costly and it would be unfortunate to pay for “on the job” consultant training!
Backflow Boot Camp is a week long consulting and training experience designed to provide comprehensive training along with consulting services to enable the attendee to immediately begin work on their backflow prevention program. Not only are attendees advised on what to do, they are shown how to do it using proven techniques. The boot camp combines the same quality training received from the various training organizations and combines it with a decade of actual experience! Upon completion of the camp, the attendee will be armed with all necessary tools necessary to begin their program. Instructors will assist in the development of the actual notification letters the attendee will use … not sample one-size fits all letters. In addition, the attendee will depart with a tailor made ordinance suitable for adoption along with a policy and procedures manual for use in implementing the program. The policy and procedures manual will address regulations, installation and testing requirements (per code), permitting process, and much more. Limited short term post camp consulting (until ordinance adoption and Policy and Procedures manual is finalized) is included with the camp.