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You can fight City Hall and win......

Hats off to me fellow compatriots who persevered through all of the BS.

We won! York's City Council will be presenting new resolutions to repeal the onerous $100.00 torch/soldering fee and they've eliminated another $50.00 inspection fee per test for those of us who are certified for inspecting backflow preventers - an area in which they had no business sticking their collective noses.

We'll break out the cigars on Tuesday night if this actually comes to be.

It's not a slam-dunk though - the other various fees remain doubled. Not that we won't try getting them altered, but I hold no hope that we'll see similar victories.

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  • isn't it amazing

    that elected officials so easily forget they are SERVANTS to the people...remember the chant from a few years back ''throw the bums out''...congrats on the plumbing victory..
  • HeatermonHeatermon Member Posts: 119
    Backflow test fee

    Let me get this straight.They were going to charge you an inspection fee to inspect your testing of the backflow preventers? If that flew out here (So. Cal.), we would be in big trouble. We are doing about 200 test/certifications per month now and I am barely getting $50 per test as it is. Were these people going to watch you do every backflow test, or were they just going to collect a fee everytime you submitted a test? Inquiring minds want to know.


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  • Dave Yates (PAH)Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    The code official in charge

    stated he was going to observe out testing of the certified backflow prevention devices at $50 a pop. I asked for his qualifications - he has none. I then asked, as did a number of other certified testers, how in the world he thought he was qualified to verify we were properly testing these devices designed to be the guardian of the public's health. He stated that would be no problem - that is - until we pointed out that we've gone through intensive schooling for gaining our certifications and that we had to pass muster with the NEWWA as well as the York Water Company (the agency authorized to oversee and administer the program locally) and that we, as certified testers, are subject to surprise testing that will verify we're maintaining our proficiency. It was pointed out that not only wouldn't he have clue one as to what it was we were doing, the York Water Co has no intention of sharing the "list" of device locations and we have no intention of cooperating with a $50 fee that's little more than an attempt at picking our customer's pockets.

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  • HeatermonHeatermon Member Posts: 119
    Backflow testing

    That's what I thought. The closest thing we've had is one water district (Up till about 5 years ago) would require us to notfy them when we were going to test a device in their area, then they would show up and observe our test proceedure and have us fill out their paperwork on the spot to certify the device passed. They never directly charged us a fee to do this, but I know their customers were indirectly paying for it in their water bills. It's amazing of how many different bureaucracies will try anything to get into your pockets. On a side note, who administers the certification prograns in your area and what are their requirements? We currently have ABPA and the Cal-Nevada section of the AWWA on an equal footing. Both require 3 year re-test and a $60 fee. The local jurisdictions also have fees and some also require additional testing. It's getting big here though. We've gone from 50 tests a year in 1988 to over 3,000 expected this year (So. Cal). Good luck with your dragon, keep slaying them before they torch you.


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  • Robert O'Connor_7Robert O'Connor_7 Member Posts: 688

    Is this requirement only in Manhattan & or, or including the the five boroughs, or all NY state?? BOC
  • Dave Yates (PAH)Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162

    New England Water Works Association handles the training and licensing. In our area, the York Water Company administers and oversees the program & they do one hell of a good job. Great folks to work with.

    We test more BFP's than any other firm in the area, so keeping up with our certification requirements is not a problem. When the YWC decided to perform surprise inspections, they used me as their test-run example. Out of the blue, their then BFP guru showed up in the office & said "Let's go perform a test"!!!

    So, off we went & he observed me going through the test from A to Z. Talk about your surprise inspections(G) - I'd just tested that DC BFP the week prior! But I welcome that & if it weeds out those who cheat on the reports, so much the better.

    So why doesn't that grind my yarbles? Because the guy who showed up here took even more training than I did so that he could be even more astute regarding BFP's and their use than I am. I respect his level of knowledge and often turn to him for long conversations regarding things related to potable water issues. It's a team effort, this protecting the health of the nation - or world. Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way!

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  • jackchips_2jackchips_2 Member Posts: 1,338
    I've taken

    the pledge not to be political.


    How am I doing MD?
  • HeatermonHeatermon Member Posts: 119
    Backflow program

    Pretty much the same out here. The local water purveyor Has the ultimate responsibilty with the backing of our state health department. "Backtesting" as we call it is a controversial issue right now. Some water districts go behind our backs and test and compare results. Alot of people are against this proceedure because no 2 testors or tests are alike. A backflow could possibly be passed by one tester and then 2 minutes later be failed by another, depending on site conditions and equipment. I see backtesting as a way of weeding out the totaly fraudulent (backflow buried, missing or completly broken and a passing test submitted) but when they have conflicts over relief valve opening points of 2.0 vs. 1.9 I got a problem with coming back to the tester and telling him he did wrong. I'm afraid some people with the power use it for their own personal agenda sometimes and forget what we are here for (protecting the public health). Thanks for the update, we've got to get together sometime and compare notes in more detail.


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  • Mad DogMad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
    nah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!He's talkn' 'bout YORK PENNSYLVANIA

    Mr O'Conner. Fighting NYC Hall would be a bit tougher I imagine but it is done from time to time. Congrats PAH! There are times when you have no choice but to fight city hall - even when you have to go it alone. Way to go. Mad Dog

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