March’s Group meeting was the BAT Forum held at the La Quinta Hotel in Tacoma. The meeting was called to order at 9:05am by Past Chair Mick Holte. After some basic housekeeping announcements, Mick turned the floor over for the vendors, whom had booths set up, to introduce themselves to the attendees. The endors included Bavco, Coast 2 Coast, Mechanical Agents (Wilkins), Branom Instrument Co, Hollabaugh Brothers, and Watts featuring Syncta. If you are interested in learning more about these vendors and how they can assist you, links to their websites can be found through the Group’s website at www.backflowgroup.org. Our first speaker of the BAT Forum was Rachel Neville from Washington Certification Services. Rachel gave a presentation on the BAT certification program. A three year reporting period ended in 2018 and thus a new reporting period (1/1/2019 – 12/31/21) has begun. Most BATs and CCSs now have until the end of 2021 to meet their next professional growth requirement, but there is no need to wait. You can meet your requirement anytime between now and your deadline date. Rachel also shared a “best kept secret” regarding BAT exams: there is a copy of the non‐illustrated field test procedures in the exam room for your use if you so choose. At the end of her presentation, Rachel wanted everyone to know that if there are any questions regarding an exam you took or your employee took, she is happy to discuss the exam with you, even if the exam was years back. After Rachel’s presentation, a short break was taken so attendees could visit with the vendors, network with other attendees, and enjoy the continental breakfast provided by The Group. Returning from break, Brian Gumke, Vice Chair, held a raffle drawing for some of the door prizes generously donated by the BAT Forum vendors. Prizes this year included gift cards to Bass Pro Shop and Home Depot, a Seahawks mat and Cocoa‐Cola Wall clock, a BAT backpack, and a Kindle Fire tablet. Thank you Vendors!
Dominic McLaughlin then took the floor to discuss Type II Detector Assemblies as a follow‐up to the Group’s last meeting at WETRC. Dominic touched on the differences between a Type I and a Type II Detector Assembly and how these differences affect the testing procedure. There was discussion on whether two test reports or one test report should be used for detector assemblies. It was noted that by utilizing two test reports, the bypass assembly’s make, model, and serial number could be documented easier than trying to fit all of the necessary reporting information for both the bypass and main line on one test report. However, even though two test reports are utilized in reporting the test, this does not constitute two assemblies. All detector assemblies are one assembly comprised of three or four check valves. If a check valve on the main line fails, the entire assembly fails. Therefore, after the repair is complete, both the main line AND bypass assemblies must be tested again. There was also discussion about the procedure for testing detector assemblies. It was discussed at the Group’s February meeting at WETRC that meter readings should be recorded before and after a test is performed on a detector assembly. After reviewing the 10th Edition, it was found that it states meter readings “should” be taken, not “shall”, and therefore is optional to the tester. Another discussed point of the testing procedure was whether the tester was to verify flow through the detector meter and record their findings. Dominic stated he spoke to Henry Chang and verifying flow was only recommended, not required. However, upon reading the USC 10th Edition Manual it does not state that this is only a recommendation, but is included as part of the testing procedure for detector check assemblies. Dominic will follow‐up with Henry Chang and report back to the Group on whether verifying flow through the detector meter is required or recommended procedure. Dominic’s discussion completed with a recommendation from Chris Sutton to be watchful of installations of Type II Detector Assemblies as some assemblies are not coming assembled from the manufacturer as required and installers are utilizing the wrong ports on the main line assembly to configure the bypass check. Following Dominic’s talk, Brian Gumke held another raffle drawing to give away more of the amazing vendor donated door prizes. Thanks again to our wonderful vendors!
Finally, Mick Holte opened the floor for any questions or concerns that either BATs or CCSs would like to discuss. The first concern brought up was by CCSs in the North end regarding leaving test cocks open upon winterization. Test cocks should be left closed so as not to allow non‐potable water from entering the assembly if it should be subjected to flooding. The next item concerned testing late customers. Most purveyors will grant extensions if there is communication established between the BAT and the CCS. It is crucial for BATs and CCSs to work together toward the goal of protecting the water service and to do so with civility and understanding. Lastly, a few items were brought up to help facilitate communication. CCSs would like BATs to include the contact information for the customer that requested the backflow assembly test as this is sometimes not the same as the customer on the water service account. Also, if an assembly fails, it would benefit the water purveyor to know if the BAT has followed up with the customer on the repair or the timeline for the repair.
The BAT Forum concluded with raffle drawings for two oil paintings created by The Group’s Treasurer Dennis McLaughlin. The BAT Forum was called to a close at 11:48am. Thank you everyone who attended and updated their memberships. Those in attendance included: Michael Anderson GCF Backflow, Kevin Babic City of Sumner, Forrest Bailey City of Tumwater, Montgomery Brant City of Sumner, Ron Brown RA Brown Backflow, Jason Burnett Archer Construction Inc., Kathy Caldwell City of Redmond, Tim Cantwell Woodinville Water District, Dave Carter City of Bremerton , Tyler Christian City of Monroe, Branden Clark City of DuPont, Heather Crittenden Patriot Fire Protection, Debbie Crooks City of Kent, Fred Foreman City of DuPont PW, Sione Fuluvaka Central Kitsap School Dist, William Goetz Firgrove Mutual Water, Kristen Grigsby Firgrove Mutual Water, Brian Gumke Northshore Utility District, Scott Hallenberg Tacoma Water, Craig Hamburg City of Tacoma, Dylan Harbison Sammamish Plateau Water District, James Harmon KC Wastewater, Keith Heuer King County Wastewater, Katarina Hirai Silver Lake Water, Lane Hobbs Lanes Quality Service, Mick Holte City of Renton, DarenH. Holter City of Tacoma, Kelly Jensen DJ’s Plumbing, Jeff Kobylk City of Edmonds, Terry Leonard Ace Backflow Only, Jeremy Linkkila Patriot Fire Protection, Rob Main On‐Site Testing, Dennis McLaughlin Retired, Dominic McLaughlin McLaughlins Peninsula BF serv, Jason Moe Batman Testing, Mike Nelson City of Puyallup, Robert Nelson Seattle Housing Authority, Chic Nessly Sammamish Plateau Water District, Rachel Neville WA Certification Services, Von Nix City of Port Orchard, Sabrina O’Donnell Tacoma Water, Don Risto City of Battle Ground, Ursulla Ronscavage City of Bonney Lake, Dave Sheldon Northen Waters Inc, Courtney Shilling Skagit PUD , Wednesday Smith City of Redmond, Esmelin Solis Mel’s Backflow Assembly Testing LLC, Chris Sutton Backflows Northwest, Jean Wright Pierce County Public Works.
A short Group meeting was held after the BAT Forum to discuss old and new business. The Group Treasurer Dennis McLaughlin reported The Group’s account balance as of March 26, 2019 was $31,200.48 with the cost of the BAT Forum being $2,198.95. The floor was then open to old business. Mick was asked for an update on his communications with Brightwater in regards to moving this year’s Group Seminar to their facility. Mick provided the rental packet for Brightwater as well as the cost breakdown to rent the facility and provide catered box lunches. A motion was made by Wednesday Smith to hold this year’s Seminar at Brightwater. The motion was seconded by Katarina Hirai. The vote was seven to one in favor. Mick proposed forming a committee to tackle the task of moving the Seminar to the North end. Brian Gumke, Wednesday Smith, and Katarina Hirai volunteered to arrange a site visit with Brightwater and look into possible catering options.
The meeting adjourned at 1:18pm.
The next meeting will be April 17th at 10am at Skagit PUD, 1415 Freeway Dr., Mt. Vernon, 98273 with Scott Hallenberg from Tacoma Public Utilities speaking about Incident Response. Remember to renew your membership dues for 2019 if you haven’t already; you can check your status under the memerhsip tab.
Hope to see you at the next meeting!
2019 Group Secretary