city of kitchener backflow prevention program

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City of Kitchener Backflow Prevention Program A Pro-Active Approach to A Pro-Active Approach to Protecting the Potable Protecting the Potable Water Supply in the City of Water Supply in the City of Kitchener Kitchener

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Post on 02-Jan-2016




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City of Kitchener Backflow Prevention Program. A Pro-Active Approach to Protecting the Potable Water Supply in the City of Kitchener. Presentation Agenda. Background Introduction purpose & definitions Backflow Prevention Program problem identification by-law implementation timing - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • City of KitchenerBackflow Prevention ProgramA Pro-Active Approach to Protecting the Potable Water Supply in the City of Kitchener

  • Presentation AgendaBackgroundIntroductionpurpose & definitionsBackflow Prevention Programproblem identificationby-law implementationtimingQuestion & Answer

  • BackgroundPublic Health Officials as well as Water Purveyors have long been concerned over potential sources of water contamination.

  • Program PurposeThe City of Kitchener has chosen to take a pro-active approach with respect to protection of the safe, clean drinking water it supplies to its consumers. This has resulted in the establishment of a Cross-Connection Control Program which will supervise the installation of mechanical safeguards in both the public and private water distribution system.

  • Program Purpose Enact Backflow Prevention Regulations to give the City the authority to implement the program, Identify any and all cross-connections where potential contamination of potable water may occur,Maintain a database of qualified backflow device testers and cross-connection auditors,Maintain a database of water users who have backflow prevention devices.

  • DefinitionsOwner - any person, firm or corporation having management control over a property to which this bylaw applies and includes the owner registered on the title of the property and any occupant of any building or structure located on such property.

  • DefinitionsHigh Hazard - any cross connection involving a substance that, if ingested, could result in serious illness or death.Medium Hazard - any cross connection involving a substance which, if ingested, could cause health problems but unlikely to cause death.Low Hazard - any cross connection involving a substance which could create a nuisance but unlikely to cause serious health problems.

  • Definitions Backflow - a reversal in the normal direction of flow within a piping system. This can occur in two ways.

  • Definitions Example of Back Siphon effect

  • Backflow Situations Common cause of Backflow due to the siphon effect

  • Backflow Situations

  • Definitions Example of Back pressure

  • Definitions Backpressure-process piping pressure may overcome the incoming city pressure

  • Many of these situations, which may seem innocent enough, have the potential to create disaster in the potable water supply

  • Program Initiatives Require that the building owner/property manager provide a professional audit of the entire potable water supply and distribution system for their building(s) and prepare an audit report listing any and all cross-connections.

  • Program Timingthe implementation schedule is to be determined by the severity of the potentials for contaminationprotection of existing supply lines will be phased in from high hazard to low hazard

  • Backflow Prevention RegulationsSelection of Backflow Prevention DevicesInstallation of Backflow Prevention DevicesTesting of DevicesInspectionsDate of Compliance Cross-Connection ProhibitedPersons Permitted to Carry Out Work

  • Public InvolvementThis initiative is still fairly new from an enforcement perspective and the Kitchener Building Division is open to suggestions regarding the implementation of this program Questions,comments can be directed to Marc Hilker; Backflow Prevention Officer for Kitchener Utilities at 741-2840 or [email protected]

  • Question & Answer Session

  • AcknowledgementsAWWA The Birks CompanyConbraco Watts Zurn Wilkins CSACameron InstrumentsUniversity of Southern California Kitchener Utilities

    Thank you for attending

    Welcome all-My name is George Ensing-Building and Plumbing Inspector with the City of Kitchener. My Primary job with the city is to implement and administer a Cross Connection Control Program which I will define in broader terms later. My professional history dates back to 1988 when I entered the plumbing trade as an apprentice and spent the next 12 years in the commercial / industrial / institutional area of the industry.I have been a backflow prevention device inspector tester for the last 8 of those 12 years and an inspector for three with a running total of 15 years. I have always tried to focus on new developments in the industry such as alternative heating systems, solar energy, wastewater reclaim and Living Machine Technology. Any innovative idea is of great interest to me because of their potential to become more mainstream in the future.Backflow Prevention is just one of these examples. The potential for contamination of a public water supply has been an issue for many since its inception.This relatively brief presentation will cover the significant points of interest to all those affected by the new Bylaw, including the purpose and objective. There may be some info you are aware of but I need to assume that no-one knows anything to avoid gaps in the information stream.I will describe some definitions relating to the technical aspect of Cross ConnectionsWe will cover some key points in identifying problem connections to the water supplyAs well as the priorities and scheduling of the programWe will conclude with a Question and Answer period as well as Acknowledgements

    Clean, safe drinking water is something that many of us have taken for granted in the past but due to recent water woes in many communities, the idea of protection has become much more popular not only for the purveyors but in everyones home as well. I could personally name a dozen friends and family members who have some sort of filtration in their drinking water tap at homeProvincial Regulations call for protection at all sources of contamination and it is the legal responsibility of the owner of that system to ensure that pollution does not occur.Backflow Prevention devices have been in use for decades where concerned individuals realized a need for guarding against a reversal of flow, however only recently have authorities begun to modify existing bylaws or enact new ones with regard to Backflow.Taking a proactive approach to protecting our water supply will avoid the potentially dire consequences of a reactive program.

    Many municipalities have initiated programs only after an incident has occurred.

    I refer to two incidences which will hopefully display the scope and history of the problem.

    READ TWO ARTICLESThe bylaw passed by council gives our dept the teeth it needs to enforce compliance Costly upgrades are not always required-some hazardous connections are not even necessary and could be simply disconnected or capped off.To determine what solution is best the city will require an audit or survey of all potable water supply systems, both public and private.These audits will be reviewed by the city to determine if the best solution is indeed being recommended to the customer. No permits for upgrades will be issued until this approval is granted.Only Qualified surveyors will be permitted to audit the water systems. Any individual who wishes to engage in Backflow related work will have to register with the city and prove they have taken the proper training.Further to this definition the idea here is that anyone who alters the water supply for their own purposes would ultimately be responsible for those changes and any hazards which they might create.In some cases this idea has strained the relationship between landlord and tennant. But in the event of a non compliance issue the owner named on the title of the property would bear the burden of the upgrades as well as any liabilities for damages.

    High or severe - example would be a laboratory faucet with a hose attached which is used for filling beakers and other containers relevant to the work. Be it benzene or bacteriological samples.Because of the potential in this situation they are deemed a high risk for contaminationMedium or moderate- and example would be the connection of a water supply to a residential hot water heating system. These systems may contain brackish water which could backflow into the homes drinking water and potentially be consumed by the residents.Low hazard- An example of this could be an automatic coffee brewing machine-this backflow would certainly not kill most people but would cause a nuisanceTell story of UofG softener bursting and filling main with polymer resin beads to several buildings.

    Here we see the normal flow in a pipe with the single check valve being pushed open by the normal direction of flow. Notice the pressure drop across the check valve. Any restriction within the piping system will create this drop in pressure.Here is the effect within the piping when there is a draw or reversal of flow. This may be caused by a main break or simply regular service to the system. Im sure many of us have experienced this inconvenience on occasion. We call a plumber to repair a faulty valve which involves turning off the supply and draining down the water in the system. The draining of the water actually creates this siphon effect.Here we see a typical flow diagram within a municipal systemNotice the drop in pressure at the connection of a smaller service pipe into a residenceThis pressure drop occurs under normal flow at every point of restriction in the system be it a garden hose in your back yard or an automatic top up line to a chemical storage tank

    In an unforeseen circumstance such as this one where an auto accident has severed the fire hydrant the higher pressure in the house now flows towards the break, taking with it any substances that may be connected to the water supply in the house!This is not the only situation where this event can occur. Other examples would include a water main break due to freezing conditions or fire fighting in the neighborhoodHere is another situation where different principles apply.Instead of the reversal being caused by a siphonic action, the reversal is created by a high pressure overcoming a lower one.This is very common in a heating boiler application. The heating boiler may raise the temp and pressure of the water in the heating portion of the system which has a make-up water line connected. This make-up line is usually fed from the potable supply.Once the heating pressure is higher than the potable pressure we have a backflow situation.

    Imagine if the Back Pressure occurred in this factory!These tanks are filled with Benzene, PCBs and Glycolic acid.The boiler heats the water used n the process and the potentials are severe!Safety is achieved by the installation of the RPZ device on the water make up line shown here.Further protection would be required at the connection to the boiler itself to protect the process system from unwanted entry of boiler chemicals.A simple solution to this cross connection could be achieved by removing the vertical section of piping from this installation creating an air gap which is defined as the unobstructed distance through open air between the lowest point of a water supply outlet and the flood level rim of the fixture or device into which the outlet dischargesThe same could be achieved through disconnecting the supply to this tank and redirecting the top up line above the tank with a physical air gapJust one unprotected source as reviewed earlier in our presentation could create a serious potential for widespread illness.

    Important to note that upgrades are not always required. Many hazardous connections to the supply are not used and therefore not necessary so a disconnection is the best practice.For these incidences the surveys conducted on the water system are the customers best source of information for developing a plan. They will also help our division in assessing the degree of hazard to apply to a facility.All surveys will be reviewed by the city for compliance with the CSA Standard as well a price gouging.All surveyors will be screened by the city to ensure they are adequately trained and experienced in backflow related work.Typically - the target facilities start with the most severe hazards and work back toward moderate and low

    This means that facilities such as Hospitals, plating plants, food and beverage producers and premises with restricted access such as prisons and government buildings will be approached first

    Next the focus will be on moderate facilities such as commercial properties like restaurants and laundries offices with the last being multi residential

    Individual homes will be approached as well if the property is known or suspected to be operating a private water system or home based businessAt this point I will discuss some of the particulars relating to the Bylaw itself and the related CSA Standard B64Read parts of relevant Bylaw and standard--highlight them

    All aspects of this program deserve reasonable criticism and comment.No BFP initiative is guaranteed to prevent all incidents of backflow and in no way can it guarantee that all sources of pollution will be exposed through the audit process but it can achieve a reasonable amount of security in protecting the integrity of safe drinking water.Millions are spent province wide to produce and deliver safe drinking water to the consumer.Protecting our water is paramount and this initiative puts up another defensive barrier in the multi-tiered approach to managing the system safely.