Community Insider Winter 2017 - Page 22

PROTECTING THE COMMUNITY WATER SYSTEM, ONE BACKFLOW PREVENTER AT A TIME By James Barkley B udget-buster alert: two local water utilities, Vista Irrigation District and San Diego Water are surveying properties for new backflow preventer installations on existing water meters. The compliance timeline is 60 to 90 days. Common recipients of notices are condominiums, landscape water meters, apartments, and commercial properties. This 22 | SAN DIEGO COMMUNITY INSIDER | WINTER 2017 can represent a large unexpected expense. To understand these requirements, we should consider the relationship between water user and water district. In this age of bottled water, we may cringe to recall the childhood joy of gulping water from a hose on hot days. Cringe not, because water districts are legally required to produce and deliver safe water to every customer’s meter. To verify the water is s safe, tests are performed daily throughout each district’s system. If testing shows a problem, immediate action is required to protect public health. However, when water enters customer plumbing, the district no longer controls its safety or quality. The customer might introduce contamination by some process or activity. If contaminated water backflows into the district system, all other users are threatened. WWW.CAI-SD.ORG