The April Group Meeting was held on April 18, 2018 at the Skagit PUD. The meeting was called to order at 10:05am by Chair Mick Holte. He thanked Courtney Shilling for hosting.
Treasure’s report from Dennis McLaughlin:
Bank balance is $27,600.00
Discussion on the Pros and Cons of Electronic Backflow Test Submissions:
Currently Bellevue, Mercer Island and Covington have electronic test submission.
Some concerns were:
- It takes some public education to get everyone onboard.
- Notify by email but reports still need to be printed out – not using less paper.
- C3 Backflow interfaces with the Tokay database but there is an extra expense.
- Jeff Coleman with City of Olympia reported they use XC2 and it has a portal that can download test reports, however, tech support and customer service from XC2 is lacking with this program. He reported there are challenges with data for the ASR, it doesn’t always help.
- Dale Baxmann while at the UW, they purchased and used XC2 for the campus backflow program. By doing so, they are now able to create monthly data export files that can be imported into the SPU XC2 database eliminating data entry. The test results can be reviewed and any rejects (assembly records don’t match up or bad tester info) can be send back to the UW for clarification. On the other hand, he reported that when he tests in the Covington Water District for his own company, they have Tokay, and he is charged $1 per login to submit his test reports. He felt it was convenient and took less time. The added cost is passed on to the customers.
- Jimmy Saxon, backflow tester, commented that he was concerned with falsified information.
- Wednesday Smith asked if online submissions would eventually eliminate your data entry position person. The general consensus from the attendees was that there was plenty of work for CCS’s to do in other areas of our jobs. It was mentioned that it takes some time before the program works itself. There may be a possibility that the data entry position would be eliminated if there is a dedicated person doing only that job.
Courtney Schilling and Mike Lee gave a presentation on the City of Bellingham’s program and how it works. Bellingham has been using the Tokay program since 2016. Courtney presented a PowerPoint presentation and showed how to enter tests online. She also showed how the accounts were set-up and managed. She said that every morning you have to accept or reject the backflow tests that were submitted before they are processed in the system. She said you can set up parameters, security and the program was very user friendly.
All attendees agreed that this was going to be the next step going forward with the Cross Connection program.
It was suggested that we offer this subject as part of the Annual Cross Connection Control Seminar that will be held in October. Ideas included:
- John Sizemore with the City of Bellevue show how electric submission is working for them with the XC2 program.
- The City of Bellingham could show how the Tokay program works for them.
- Have a representative from C3 Backflow present their program.
- Chris Sutton – Backflows Northwest, present how it works for the backflow tester.
Jimmy Saxon commented that he wants to set up a backflow simulator at his house for testing practice. He would provide a shed for it and be responsible for it. He is looking for the Group to donate it. More discussion will be had at the next meeting in May.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:30am.
Those present were Dale Baxmann, Tim Cantwell, Jeff Coleman, Debbie Crooks, Julie Davis, Brian Gumke, Mick Holte, Jeff Kobylk, Dallas Lawrence, Mike Lee, Dennis McLaughlin, Casey Parks, Andrew Piekarski, Jimmy Saxon, Courtney Shilling, and Wednesday Smith.
Date: May 16, 2018
Agenda: Department of Health Question & Answer Meeting
Location: Issaquah Public Works, 670 1st Avenue NE, Issaquah, WA
Contact: Todd Freeman (425) 837-3470