Barry Stephens speaks on Backflow Prevention at Lunch and Learn
On Thursday, September 22, 2016 Barry Stephens with the City of Lubbock Water Utilities
Department spoke on How a Municipal Water System Works…or Things I really Didn’t Want to Know at a “Lunch and Learn” hosted by Renee Witherspoon, CSP, CIH, CHMM, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Occupational Safety Manager. Renee is the Past President of ASSE South Plains Chapter and President of the Panhandle/West Texas Chapter of the Texas Environmental Health Association (TEHA).
Barry is also one of the foremost experts on the topic of Backflow Prevention and provided insight to the causes of backflow and importantly, how to prevent it.
In his presentation he covered how the distribution system works, the definition of
backflow and that backflow can even occur inside the plumbing system of commercial businesses or residences, never leaving the property.
He also covered the regulations in 30 TAC 290 that requires all municipalities since 1996 to create and maintain a backflow prevention program AKA Cross Connection Control program.
Key regulations state:
- An adequate internal cross-connection control program shall include an annual inspection and testing by a certified backflow prevention assembly tester on all backflow prevention assemblies used for health hazard protection.
- And, that it will be the responsibility of the water purveyor to ensure that these requirements are met.
Since the rules requiring municipalities to have a Cross Connection Control program are not based on theory but based on actual events, Barry provided some examples of where problems have happened including a Dialysis Machine contamination incident and being Burned in the Shower when a water system was contaminated with Sodium Hydroxide.
At the conclusion of the Lunch and Learn Barry provided a demonstration of how simple atmospheric pressure can cause backflow and lead to contamination.
The Lunch and Learn was broadcast from TTUHSC’s Lubbock Campus, and was TechLinked to campuses in Abilene, Amarillo, El Paso and Odessa. For those attendee’s requesting continuing education credit a SurveyMonkey test was provided so that they could receive 1-hour of credit. The following is that link: www.surveymonkey.com/r/5YHJ23Y
Barry is the Past President of the Texas Water Utilities Association (TWUA), a TCEQ Instructor and is licensed as a Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester (BPAT) in Texas. On behalf of TTUHSC, ASSE and TEHA, thank you Barry and the City of Lubbock Water Utilities Department for coming out and providing such an excellent presentation for us.
Barry can be contacted at: BLStephens@mylubbock.us
A copy of his presentation is available here: how-a-municipal-water-system-works-backflow-prevention-9-22-16