Backflow Prevention Device Testing and Certification

Earlier this year PGMS conducted a survey of RRWSC service area to identify residences where backflow prevention devices were present. Approximately 30% of our customers have these devices installed in the water system on their property. These devices are required to prevent contamination to our public water supply from sources on customer’s premises. The most common sources are swimming pools and irrigation systems but others are possible. When properly installed and maintained these devices prevent potentially contaminated water on customer’s premises from flowing back into our water distribution system and impacting the quality of their neighbor’s and the entire system’s water supply.

It is a state law and TCEQ regulation [TCEQ Rules 30 TAC Chapter 290.47(f)] that these devices be tested and certified annually by a licensed backflow prevention assembly tester.

In May, PGMS sent a letter to our customers with a backflow prevention device requesting they provide documentation that their backflow prevention device had been tested and certified to be in proper working order. The response was mixed, only 45% had supplied the appropriate documentation by late summer.

Consequently the board of directors initiated a review of RRWSC’s tariff and regulatory compliance documentation to insure we are taking the appropriate steps to be in compliance with these regulations. As a result of this review the board, during their November meeting, amended RRWSC’s tariff and adopted procedures to clarify the various parties’ responsibilities in complying with the backflow prevention device testing and certification regulations. In addition, the board directed PGMS to renew their efforts to obtain the necessary testing/certification documentation from our customers.

Thanks to those of you who have already sent this documentation to PGMS. If you haven’t yet complied, expect to receive further communication from PGMS in the near future. Please help us in this effort to protect the quality of our water.