HPAC Magazine

Winners of this year’s Bad and Ugly cross connections contest

By HPAC Magazine   

HPAC General Plumbing back flow prevention contest cross connection control inspectors testers

This year's winners are both from the Edmonton area.

Joey Schuster (centre) receives a Watts test kit from Dylan Gerlack WCS AWWA CCC committee past Chair (left and Robert Caudron WCS AWWA CCC committee Chair (right).

In the world of potable water protection and backflow prevention, certified specialist testers and inspectors across Canada find cross connections that are controlled, and in many cases also find bad cross connections with no control.

In an effort to raise greater awareness of cross connections and to educate water industry representatives in the field, the Western Canada Section of the American Water Works Association (WCS AWWA) Cross Connection Control (CCC) committee launched its Bad and Ugly cross connections contest in 2014.

The contest has been going strong since that first year when testers and inspectors from across the country were invited to send in photos and explanations of the bad cross connections they had witnessed.

This year’s winners of the Bad and Ugly contest were Joey Schuster of Edmonton, in the Tester category, and a repeat winner in the Inspector category was Tayte Southerland  of EPCOR, also in Edmonton. (Southerland was also a winner in 2018).

Interesting choice for a boiler fill station (photo: Joey Schuster).

Garden Hose

Schuster found his bad cross connection in the mechanical room of a building (photo right): “I went into the mechanical room to test the main line double check valve assembly (DCVA).

“I immediately spotted the garden hose cross connection between the hot and the boiler. After testing the DCVA (it passed) I removed the hose and called the building owner.

“I explained to them the dangers of a cross connection and gave them the option to build an auto fill that included a Watts RP [reduced pressure backflow prevention device]. They agreed to the fix on the phone, but I took the hose with me just in case.”


Tayte Southerland (left) with Dylan Gerlack WCS AWWA CCC committee past Chair, receiving $100 Gift Card from the WCS AWWA Committee.

For Tayte Southerland, the bad connection in this building required some reworking.

“To correct this, the double check valve assembly (DCVA) must be relocated downstream of the by-pass and outside of the meter setting,” says Southerland.

“This relocation will provide proper isolation of the water supply.”

See the photos below.

The bad connection (photos: Tayte Southerland)

The relocated DCVA.

How the corrected setup is now installed.

The WCS AWWA CCC committee sends a special thank you to Watts Canada for supplying the test kit this year and for many previous years since the contest has run.

The committee also thanks all of the BFP Testers and Inspectors for submitting pictures into the contest, and to all of those who protect the water systems across the country.

For those interested in participating in next year’s contest, visit: wcsawwa.net



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