HPAC Magazine

2017 Bad and Ugly contest highlights cross connection gaffes

September 18, 2017 | By HPAC Magazine

While it is a functional device, this backflow preventer installation is noncompliant.

A domestic cold water branch supplying water and descaler to commercial air compressors.

In the world of potable water protection and backflow prevention, a certified specialist tester or inspector will find cross connections that are controlled and in too many cases, a bad cross connection with no control. The WCSAWWA National 2017 Bad and Ugly Cross Connection Control (CCC) contest winners submitted installations that illustrate the need for cross connection education and awareness. Two prizes are awarded, one to an active tester in the field and one to a CCC inspector/regulator.

Inspector Sylvain Boudrias of Darpsec in Brossard, QC, received a gift certificate from backflow manufacturer representatives on the WCSAWWA CCC committee for his entry. During a building audit, he found a backflow prevention device installed just slightly below the ceiling in the mechanical room. It had an ingenious mechanism under the relief valve; if the relief valve was leaking, the technician was closing the valve underneath, noted Boudrias. Although it was a functioning device, the installation was definitely noncompliant, reported Boudrias.

Glen Borth (l) receives his pressure differential gauge (Conbraco) from Danny Wilson, member of the WCSAWWA cross connection control committee.

Journeyman plumber and cross connection specialist Glen Borth works in Southern Alberta. He discovered a commercial air compressor chiller tied into the potable water supply and a descaling chemical added without a RP.

“Our water industry representatives, inspectors, plumbers, and testers all share a responsibility to protect our water supplies. Cross connections do exist and are a potential to contaminate or pollute our potable water. Let’s do our best to find and correct these cross connections before the damage is done. We are looking forward to another year of “bad and ugly” photo submissions in 2018,” said Danny Wilson.

A panel of Cross Connection Control educators and regulators from the Western Canada Section AWWA Cross Connection Control Committee judged the cross connection photos. The contest promotes cross connection control awareness. Backflow manufacturers Zurn, Watts and Conbraco provided the contest prizes. www.wcsawwa.net



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