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jimmyburg
10-31-2007, 01:31 PM
went to a focus group meeting last night, to go over and suggest to our state reps on a few issues.

right now state is talking about direct supervision over crews, should the irrigator be on site or have a lic installer or tech to serve as direct supervision.- with that said we as a group came up with:

1. should there be a lic installer or irrigation tech? what would be there be responsablity? right now the installers lic if for only to connect the backflow to the potable water only.
some of us came up with given the irr tech the responsibilty to connect install the backflow, pipe and wire, and be in charge of the crew.

2. Irrigator inspector- what would the requirements be
we came with:
lic irrigator
lic backflow tester
water audit cert.
min 5 years exp.

now the state has passed a law for citys with 20,000 or more people to hire or employ these inspectors.

now we are just taking suggestion down to present to the state, of what we as irrigatord would like in our industry. now the state can wipe there butt with our recomendations, but have been very receptive so far.

hoskm01
10-31-2007, 03:18 PM
Cool. No laws now?

jimmyburg
10-31-2007, 03:20 PM
yes, they are rewriting it as we speak, they will show the public in january, and take public comments in austin in february.

hoskm01
10-31-2007, 03:21 PM
Knowing the gvt, it will be nothing like was discussed at your focus group.

jimmyburg
10-31-2007, 03:30 PM
Knowing the gvt, it will be nothing like was discussed at your focus group.

I agree with you 100%

Mike Leary
10-31-2007, 04:00 PM
I agree with you 100%

I think that's a damn good idea, tho someone posted a while ago it did no
good to improve the quality of irrigation systems. Having the system pass
a 80% water audit would prolly put 80% of contractors out of business, tho
it would not bother me at all. There is a water district north of here that has
the 80% audit after the install (they require permits for install & backflow
install regs,). Jeez, other trades have had inspections for years, why not us?
I just hope they don't find the irri inspectors next to Jimmy Hoffa.

Wet_Boots
10-31-2007, 10:02 PM
A lot of my inquiries of code officials about if they wanted to look over a completed irrigation system are met with blank stares, and I would guess out loud, that if the system had toxic-rated backflow protection installed by the plumber, the sprinkler guys could do most anything without endangering the water supply. (Code officials nod in reply)

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-01-2007, 06:42 AM
A lot of my inquiries of code officials about if they wanted to look over a completed irrigation system are met with blank stares, and I would guess out loud, that if the system had toxic-rated backflow protection installed by the plumber, the sprinkler guys could do most anything without endangering the water supply. (Code officials nod in reply)

I agree. I've always felt that backflow protection should be part of the meter tap and the responsibility of a plumber. I've seen some really bad irrigator backflow jobs. More time can be spent on inspecting the quality of the irrigation system concerning coverage, zoning, avoiding waste. Texas does seem to be more progressive in the area of irrigation than most states it seems.

jimmyburg
11-01-2007, 10:53 AM
Here is a better look into the process.

http://ttiaonline.org/newsletters/October%202007.pdf

Mike Leary
11-01-2007, 03:53 PM
Here is a better look into the process.
]

Were you or Peter or any other forum members contacted? If so, what were
some of the questions they asked?

jimmyburg
11-01-2007, 04:21 PM
Were you or Peter or any other forum members contacted? If so, what were
some of the questions they asked?

Yes, i was.

The focus group that I had attended on Tuesday the 30th, we discussed the three topics in which the state contacted the advisory board on some help on these topics:



1. Installer or Irrigation Tech -

A. duties would include the same as a licensed irrigator except – pulling permits, drawing designs, selling or repair and will not turn over to homeowner.

B. this would require a license from the state after attending approved courses which will require CEUs.

We thought that this would cover a Direct Supervision rule. The irrigator will still be responsible for all his or her duties, but at the end of the jobs they will do the final walk through with the customer.



2. Repair Tech –

Will require a license from the state, after attending courses on repair. (Troubleshooting, pipe sizing, hydraulics, ohm & volt reading, etc...) Or only if a licensed irrigator is on site with a helper.



3. Licensed Irrigator Inspector – Requirements

Licensed Texas Irrigator
Licensed Backflow Tester
Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditing & Management
Min. five years Experience
Not have any financial ties to anyone or company while employed by a city or town in which they will perform the duties of inspector


These are the sample requirements that we came up with. If there is anything you can come up with or comments, the irrigation advisory counsel will accept comments before they turn in the comments to TECQ.

Now remember no one on the state level writing these rules are irrigators, but one person was but let there lic go.

Mike Leary
11-01-2007, 04:30 PM
Not have any financial ties to anyone or company while employed by a city or town in which they will perform the duties of inspector .

Don't tell me Texas could have any kind of nepotism? I'm shocked!

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-02-2007, 06:22 AM
Were you or Peter or any other forum members contacted? If so, what were
some of the questions they asked?

They didn't contact me personally Mike. Sent me some generic letter. Until they do contact me personally this whole legislation process is going to have to be put on hold.:rolleyes:

jimmyburg
12-28-2007, 04:29 PM
Here is a update of the new proposed rules:
look for HB1656, chapter 344, chapter 30 and landscape irrigator
http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/rules/pendprop.html#07027

make sure you click on executive summary on both links

Wet_Boots
12-28-2007, 06:01 PM
Hmmmm, I find it intriguing that all this bureaucracy is being planned, and that toxic-rated backflow preventers are not going to be the standard.

txgrassguy
12-29-2007, 06:10 PM
Wet, here in Texas the types of back flows installed are dependent upon the hazard rating of the existing or planned septic/sewer system plus existing city codes.
For instance, with a leach field septic system, unless otherwise stated by an applicable code, a double check can be used.
The back flow device in almost all instances requires testing by a licensed tester as part of the permit process.
Additionally, unless otherwise mandated by code, the inspectors are only interested in the back flow installation and test - I haven't had one yet check for uniformity in coverage nor ask for a precipitation rate per zone.
Cities like Austin (state capitol) and immediately surrounding it are allegedly tough on inspections but I cannot comment on that as I have never installed there.

txgrassguy
12-29-2007, 06:14 PM
As part two of my post, what really burns me up and gives our industry a real bad name, is the numerous crap installs I have seen by allegedly "licensed" installers.
That and the apparent non-enforcement attitude I have experienced first hand from TCEQ.
I haven't thought much on how to improve any of this other than for the state to hire more enforcement.

Wet_Boots
12-29-2007, 07:06 PM
Wet, here in Texas the types of back flows installed are dependent upon the hazard rating of the existing or planned septic/sewer system plus existing city codes.
For instance, with a leach field septic system, unless otherwise stated by an applicable code, a double check can be used.
The back flow device in almost all instances requires testing by a licensed tester as part of the permit process.
Additionally, unless otherwise mandated by code, the inspectors are only interested in the back flow installation and test - I haven't had one yet check for uniformity in coverage nor ask for a precipitation rate per zone.
Cities like Austin (state capitol) and immediately surrounding it are allegedly tough on inspections but I cannot comment on that as I have never installed there.I don't want to start a flame war on backflow, but this still intrigues me, the idea of adding layers of bureaucracy, and adding to the cost of installations, without absolutely slamming the door on the one genuine health risk a lawn sprinkler system presents. Since sewage has historically been placed upon the all-but-lethal plateau, I would be uneasy not having toxic-rated backflow in place for a sprinkler system near a septic field. The code-writers have to deal with this on their own, and a lot of installers happy with buried DCVAs won't want a change. I was one of them, when code changes brought the RPZ into the picture, and it wasn't until I saw stuck-open DCVAs that I was glad to have gone to toxic-rated backflow, since their design and construction provide more protection than an army of bureaucrats and inspectors ever could.

Kiril
12-30-2007, 02:07 AM
I agree Boots, more enforcement and bureaucracy is not the answer. I believe consumer eduction is. While it may not be an easy road to take, in the end they are (or should be) the ones responsible for seeing the work is done to acceptable standards.

jimmyburg
12-30-2007, 08:47 AM
has anyone read all 112 pages? pages 11,12, and 13 the backflow reads the backflow will be tested upon installation and annualy there after. and a y-strainer will be placed after the outlet side of the backflow. in the other documents HB 1656 requires a new type of license, an irrigation inspector. The proposed rulemaking would:

address the duties and responsibilities of irrigation inspectors;

require the inspection of the connection of a landscape irrigation system to the water source and the work performed by the irrigator;

require verification of compliance with the approved design plan; and

prohibit the inspection of: (1) on-site sewage systems, (2) agricultural irrigation systems, and (3) irrigation systems connected to a groundwater well and used by the property owner for domestic use.
HB 4 and SB 3 require the adoption of rules related to the duties and responsibilities of licensed irrigators. The proposed rule would:

require a valid irrigator’s license and seal before engaging in irrigation activities;

establish that an irrigator is responsible for the work performed using his license;
Commissioners
Page 3
December 28, 2007
Re: Docket No. 2007-1285-RUL

clarify that irrigators are accountable to provide proof of licensure when requested by a regulatory authority with jurisdiction over landscape irrigation issues or a potential customer;

establish that an “irrigator-in-charge” may work in that capacity for only one entity, but may work at other entities as an irrigator;

establish dates that phase out the installer license;

add an irrigation technician license that would allow a licensee to supervise the installation, repair, maintenance, alteration, or service of an irrigation system under the direction of a licensed irrigator and would replace the installer license effective January 1, 2010;

require that irrigation records be maintained for a period of three years and made available to regulatory authorities within two business days of a request;

require irrigators to accept responsibility for documents that are sealed and specifies which
documents that require a seal;

require that license numbers be displayed on both sides of trailers and vehicles used in irrigation activities;

require written contracts, a written invoice for repair work, and a written warranty for the
installation, maintenance, alteration, repair or service work on an irrigation system;

require a maintenance checklist be completed for each job and provided to the irrigation system’s owner or owner’s representative;

require the irrigator to conduct a final walk through with the irrigation system’s owner or owner’s representative upon completion of the irrigation system, and to explain to that person how the irrigation system operates;

require the irrigator to provide a statement to the irrigation system’s owner or owner’s representative that the irrigation system has been installed to meet all laws, regulations, and requirements;

require the irrigator to attach a permanent sticker to the controller that contains contact information for the irrigator and the dates the warranty is valid;

require the irrigator to provide a copy of the irrigation plan showing the actual placement of the irrigation system to the irrigation system’s owner or owner’s representative;

require exempt irrigation service business owners to employ an irrigator to perform all irrigation services; and

add “selling, installing, maintaining, altering, repairing, servicing or inspecting” to the list of prohibited false, misleading or deceptive practices related to irrigation services.
HB 4 and SB 3 require rules that address the design, installation, and operation of irrigation systems. The proposed rule would:

set installation standards for backflow prevention devices, reclaimed water, and irrigation systems;

address cross contamination from the non-potable water in the irrigation system and the potable water supply;

require the irrigator to provide an irrigation plan that includes a design drawn to scale, and to maintain the plan on site at all times during the installation of the irrigation system;

require new irrigation systems to be designed and installed to meet the manufacturer’s published standards for spacing of emission devices;

establish that irrigation system components could not be used in a method that exceeds the manufacturer’s published standards;

require separate irrigation zones based on factors such as plant type, soil type and other factors and that all emission devices located in the same irrigation zone have a matched precipitation rate;
Commissioners
Page 4
December 28, 2007
Re: Docket No. 2007-1285-RUL

require that irrigation systems be designed to not spray water over impervious surfaces such as sidewalks or driveways;

require rain or moisture sensors (or other technology) that will automatically shut off the irrigation system when sufficient moisture is detected;

require the installation of an isolation valve to manually shut off the water flow to an irrigation system;

set standards for the depth and type of fill material used to cover pipes and electrical wiring in the irrigation systems;

set standards for water outlets that are connected to an irrigation system;

beginning January 1, 2010, require that either an irrigator or irrigation technician must be on site at all times during the installation of the irrigation system.
The proposed rule adds definitions to better explain the duties and responsibilities of licensees, and the requirements for the design, installation, and operation of irrigation systems.
Staff recommendations that are not expressly required by federal rule or state statute:

Correct citations, cross-references, grammar, and agency name.

Make language relating to the Irrigator Advisory Council consistent with 30 TAC Chapter 5, Advisory Committees and Groups.

Specify that unauthorized use of a license is a violation of the Texas Water Code (TWC).

Include all “irrigation” related requirements in one chapter in response to requests from irrigators.

Repeal 30 TAC, Chapter 344 in its entirety and propose a new Chapter 344.

A requirement for a shut off valve was added.

A requirement to have a master valve was modified to not require the master valve on all irrigation systems. If a master valve is used, the master valve must be located on the discharge side of the backflow prevention device to allow for accurate testing.

A requirement for a scaled drawing as part of the irrigation plan was added.

A requirement allowing electronic seals and signatures was added.

A requirement that an irrigator not engage in irrigation services until the irrigator possesses a license and seal was added.

Definitions were added to respond to stakeholder concerns/suggestions.

A requirement to use flow control emission devices and valves was removed and a performance standard relating to water pressure in the irrigation system was added.

FIMCO-MEISTER
12-30-2007, 09:03 AM
Who reads anymore? I prefer popup books.

Wet_Boots
12-30-2007, 09:37 AM
Without toxic-rated backflow, it's a Texas-sized pile of crap. I know lawn sprinkler backflow code better than the inspectors do (all one or two pages, so big whoop) and don't need some government dimwits gumming up the works. I like the stricter backflow codes because they make allowance for inattention down the road. Got a PVB in its proper place? Then you got gravity on your side. A hundred times a hundred pages of regulatory whatever cannot top that.

Kiril
12-30-2007, 10:24 AM
and a y-strainer will be placed after the outlet side of the backflow

And what purpose does this serve? Given y-strainers are typically installed upstream of the backflow (per manufacturer specs & common sense), there is already a conflict in the "code" if you are to take the following as installing per manufacturers recommendations.

establish that irrigation system components could not be used in a method that exceeds the manufacturer’s published standards;

Mike Leary
12-30-2007, 02:57 PM
I preached "common sense" for twenty five years, helped write backflow code for
purveyors, always..ALWAYS..the rule got bent, overlooked & not enforced.
Wye strainers could be used upstream, & would help the checks, but a faucet or lack
of air gap (lotsa drainage in valve box) would construe it as a cross-connection.
Given the ineptitude of purveyors & installers/testers, I would not permit it.

Wet_Boots
12-30-2007, 08:58 PM
No one using buried DCVAs wants to lose them, but get those BPs above grade, and worries about buried threaded outlets go away. (I don't give much weight to worries about threaded upstream outlets. I'm thinking more about the sort of 'events' that become part of backflow history.)

Mad Estonian
12-31-2007, 12:28 AM
Mandatory strainers will make things interesting, if that actually gets enforced. I had been using the screen filters, but this last year had a lot of problems with mineral accumulations in a few places (from flushing of the mains, apparently). And a lot of seniors aren't up to cleaning their own filters. I've switched over to the Arkal disc filters, they're great, way more surface area, don't need to be checked nearly so often. I've also found that opening up the flush caps on the screen filters doesn't accomplish much when it's really fine, sticky material.

LawnMastersTx
01-07-2008, 11:58 PM
Hey Jimmy, just wanted to say thanks for the information on the new possible changes.

I am new to the irrigation part of lawn maintance so I have no idea where to look for changes that they are looking to make.

Thanks again for posting it.