October 2019 Newsletter
October was the Group’s 24th Annual Cross Connection Control Seminar, held for the first time at the Lynnwood Convention Center. Group Chair Jeff Kobylk opened the seminar and introduced the seminar’s sixteen participating vendors.
Our first session was Rachel Neville. Rachel is the BAT Program Manager at Washington State Certification Services at Green River College. She manages both the BAT certification and professional growth program for over 1,500 BATs.   Rachel provided updates with current information regarding Washington Certification Services and deadlines for
professional growth; CEUs for CCSs and the Professional Growth Exam for BATs. She also provided information on the Exam Application Process, Renewal process online for BATs and Waterworks Operators and the Diversity Initiative/Women’s Awards (BAT Certification Glass Hammer Award). See the web site at www.wacertservices.org.
Following Rachel was Bill Bernier with the Washington State Department of Health, Office of Drinking Water. Bill is the Operator Certification and Training Section Manager. Bill provided a presentation on Cross-Connection Control Hazard Surveys which included an overview of survey type and a discussion of the relationship between surveyor, customer, and regulator. He described how to prepare for a hazard survey, listing essential tools required for a successful survey and provided real world hazard survey findings from wastewater treatment plants. After Bill’s presentation, the attendees took a short morning break to visit with vendors, meet new colleagues, catch-up with past colleagues, and grab another cup of coffee.

Jim Purzycki with BAVCO then welcomed our attendees back with a presentation on backflow events. Jim has been a licensed backflow assembly tester and plumber for 41 years, spending the first 10 years working as a BAT and repair technician and the last 31 years serving as the Manager for BAVCO. Jim’s presentation was on what can happen during a backflow event and what should happen.
Bob Eastwood then took the stage to present Peggy Barton with a Washington state shaped service award plaque from the Group. Peggy retired this year as the Director of Washington Certification Services at Green River College. Barton oversaw administration of the Washington State Department of Health’s professional growth program for certified water works operators, its annual renewal program and backflow assembly testers’
certification program. For more than 35 years, her commitment, high standards and dedication to contemporary training programs, with clear and relevant instruction, resulted in highly trained, exceptionally competent waterworks operators for Washington State. The Group wishes Peggy a very happy retirement!

The attendees then broke for lunch. This year, with the new venue, came a new lunch menu. The attendees enjoyed a buffet lunch of Mexican flavors, including pinto beans, chicken breast asado, southwest shepherds pie, cilantro lime pilaf, roasted ratatouille, and flour tortillas, which was followed by a dessert of Banana Bread Pudding. Nobody went hungry.
After a filling lunch, Dominic McLaughlin with Washington Certification Services took the stage to present on Type II Detector Assemblies. Though these assemblies have been approved since 2015, many BATs and CCSs have not seen them in the field yet, but they are becoming more and more prevalent. Dominic noted the differences between a Type I and Type II Detector Assembly as well as the advantages Type II assemblies have over Type I assemblies. He also reminded attendees that though a Type I Detector is made up of two assemblies, that a failure of one check valve or the relief valve constitutes a failure of the whole assembly not just the main line or the bypass and therefore the entire detector assembly must be tested.

Following Dominic, Jim Purzycki took the stage once more to give his presentation on Backflow Prevention & Other Confusing Myths. Jim’s energetic presentation reminded attendees of the importance of using correct language when speaking to customers and other professionals in the industry. He also covered many myths in 
the cross-connection control industry and elaborated on how industry professionals need to continue to gain education and knowledge so these myths can begin to be debunked.

The last presentation of the day was presented by Tylor Peck with SYNCTA on Mobile and Cloud Technology, Doing More with Less. Tylor’s presentation focused on how technology is changing the backflow assembly tester’s industry. Testers no longer need a map book, pen & paper, a rolodex, a day planner, and a fax machine. 
Now everything can be accomplished through the smart phone in your pocket, from scheduling tests, to routing you to the correct address, to even completing a digital test form and submitting through email to the correct
water purveyor. However, with technology comes both pros and cons. Some pitfalls Tylor alerted attendees to watch out for included cost of training in new software, ownership of data when stored in the cloud, and data security concerns.

Throughout the seminar, Bob Eastwood and Vice Chair Brian Gumke raffled off some great door prizes provided by our participating vendors. These prizes included a Seahawks two-handed saw, a tool set, a backflow tester backpack, a bottle of whiskey, and gift cards to Bass Pro Shop, Amazon, and Home Depot. 

The seminar concluded with the raffle drawing for the Mako Electronic Test Gauge.
Congratulations Courtney Little with North Perry Water District!
A huge Thank You to All the Vendors Speakers, Attendees, Organizers and Volunteers!
The Group’s next meeting will be hosted by Tacoma Public Utilities at 3628 S 35th Street in Tacoma on Wednesday, November 20th at 10am. We will be nominating and electing new board members. Our Vice Chair Brian Gumke will step up, according to the bylaws, to be Chair for 2020. The positions available are Vice Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary. If you are interested in any of these positions and would like to get more involved with the Group, please join us!

Hope to see you in November!
Katarina Hirai
2019 Group Secretary