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TClawn
10-09-2004, 04:05 PM
It's called the fertile earth advanced landscape nutrition system, and is supposed to feed your lawn constantly through out the year.

all you have to do is just connect it to the main line right after the backflow preventer. if I could sell people this system for say $300 dollars a pop, I could make some quick money. what do you think?

Critical Care
10-10-2004, 12:35 AM
Haven't seen that brand, but have thought about using the Fertigator system myself. Here's a link to Fertigator.

http://fertigator.com/

JimLewis
10-11-2004, 01:55 AM
YES! We just got one last week. I got the first one the rep put on the shelves at our local supplier. He gave it to me for free because I was excited about it and we do so many irrigation system installs.

My irrigation supplier knows I've been asking about fertigation systems for months. I even posted a thread about it here a few months back. So when this rep. came in the other day I happened to be there and he talked with me for an hour, explaining how it worked, how to install it, how much it cost, etc.

Haven't had a chance to install one yet. We are already in the middle of 3 irrigation jobs now and it's too late to install this fertigation system on these sites because we didn't use an RP device as the backflow. But I am definitely going to show my "demo unit" to every new irrigation install customer we get. I plan to sell the heck out of these things. I think they're great! I'm definitely installing one in my own irrigation system by next spring.

I have the list in my truck, but I think the install kit is only $150.00 or so, my cost. But keep in mind that in most locales you have to install an RP device as the backflow if you are going to inject fertilizer into the water. For us, that's the only downside. Because an RP device costs a little more to install than a Double Check Valve, which is the standard in these parts.

Critical Care
10-11-2004, 11:39 AM
Jim, you should send that fertigation rep this way. I haven't seen any of these devices out here and I wouldn't mind being the first on the block to use them as well... if they are worth it.

You mention RP, but I suppose that wouldn't mean having to change out all existing DCVAs to RPs. Ugh, that would be a chore.

JimLewis
10-11-2004, 12:10 PM
I will look for his card and pass his contact info. on to you.

Yah, it's a chore to retrofit a system with it because it means digging up and removing the DCVA, and installing a new, above-ground, RP device somewhere. THEN, you can install the fertigation system. Makes it cost quite a bit more for the client. So it's a tougher sale to those with existing systems. But I still think the benefits are worth it. They have some really nice sales material that helps sell it for you.

I will try to sell it to our existing maintenance customers. But I am pushing it more on new irrigation installs - because it's a lot less expensive to install one right from the get-go than it is to retrofit it later.

TClawn
10-11-2004, 03:09 PM
I'm going to install the one this weekend. I can't wait to see how it works! :)

TClawn
10-11-2004, 03:13 PM
btw, out here it's not to hard to retrofit a system for the fertigator. everybody uses a backflow preventer, instead of a double check valve.payup payup

JimLewis
10-11-2004, 05:35 PM
Everyone out in Hawaii uses an RP Device?

Critical Care
10-12-2004, 09:56 PM
Thanks Jim. If you find the information on the Fertigator rep I would really appreciate it. Perhaps it could open something up for me out here... after the snow melts.

Yep, that would be a chore having to dig up and switch out all the DCVAs to RPs. Oye vey! Perhaps sub that part out to an eager beaver plumber, eh?

TClawn
10-13-2004, 03:22 AM
Everyone out in Hawaii uses an RP Device?

hmmm.... I've never heard of an RP device. is it abbreviation for something else or what?

according to the manual that came with it it says that you need to have an anti-siphon or back flow preventer, which everybody here has.

lbmd1
10-13-2004, 07:26 AM
An Rp Device is a reduced pressure type backflow preventer that does not allow contamination to occur to the potable water supply should a normal backflow device not operates properly as well as a number of other reasons I was told. Fertile Earth's device says a simple check valve for $8-$15 will do the trick along with a backflow preventer. Here is a letter from EZ Flo fertigation company I received on their take for using their similar type system. I am looking into marketing fertigation heavily next year and yes out here in New England, everyone has a backflow preventer, but not many with the more expensive RF type that is needed. I am going to make a trip down to our local water company and see what there take on it is.

Dear Michael,
You must follow your local codes. However we do find that most
agencies are
unaware of our systems and the way they work. We are an aspirated
device
that is NOT pressure producing like a true injector. This has been
clarified and confirmed by the University of Southern California who
certifies all backflow prevention devices.

The attached letter explains their position on requiring backflow with
our
systems. Our name is misleading because we are not an "injector"
system.
We are a proportioning aspirator. Our systems will automatically
airlock if
there ever is a backflow condition. Our system creates its own air gap
within an 1/8th of an inch of water loss out of the Cap of our system.

All of our fertilizers are non hazardous products and reduce fertilizer
bulk
dramatically over granular. This also reduces the runoff to our water
supplies such as rivers, lakes, stream and ground water over existing
applications by 1500%. We can get results with 10 pounds of fertilizer
instead of over 150 pounds of granular for the same landscape.

Please contact Dan Gilmore at our toll free number (866-393-5601) after
8:00
am PST for additional help in this matter. We have come across this
objection many times until the city actually understands the benefits
of our
products. Once educated they realize we are helping the environment by
reducing water usage and reducing fertilizer bulk and runoff
dramatically
and that our systems airlock themselves. Please let us know if we can
help.

Thank you for your interest in our products.

jerryrwm
10-13-2004, 09:45 AM
I would like to caution you to check local codes before listening to the sales pitch from the fertilizer injector (aspirator) companies. While the device may not actually put anything under pressure into the line, and they will supposedly air-lock when there is a backflow condition and creates it's own air gap, the fact remains that they are still adding something foreign to the irrigation line besides potable water. And that is the reason for the Reduced Pressure Zone Device. (RP or RPZ).

The idea that their products are harmless is also great. But after you sell the fertilizer system to the customer, and they learn how to use it, I can almost guarantee they will be trying to find ways to put pre-emergent and weed-n-feed, and whatever else is the herbicide flavor of the month at the time. And that's fine if they want to that. But what concerns me is the fact that they may not have proper protection on the water source and the stuff they are using can get back into the public water supply and then that affects all of us.

Installation of an RP device is not any harder than installing a DCA in a vault, or a PVB on a riser. It normally needs to be a minimum of 12" above the ground for clearance. No special tools or anything. Plus in most areas it needs to be tested upon installation and annually there after.

As for selling the system, make the backflow part of the package, explain the benefits along with explaining the need for a proper backflow device.

Another thing to think of is the future liability. If that system is installed without a proper backflow device (and not the one that they tout as sufficien) and a backflow condition occurs and contaminated water gets back into the public supply guess who they are going to look for besides the property owner. Something to think about.

Jerry R
TX Licensed Irrigator,
Cert. Backflow Tester

TClawn
10-13-2004, 03:51 PM
IBMD1, thanks for clearing that up.

the fertile earth fertigation system I got says is that you need a code compliant backflow preventer. it says nothing about an RP device, or double check valve.

JimLewis
10-13-2004, 04:32 PM
the fertile earth fertigation system I got says is that you need a code compliant backflow preventer. it says nothing about an RP device, or double check valve.

Most localities have code that requires an RP Device if you are injecting anything at all into the irrigation system. The reason is simple; An RP Device is THE ONLY type of backflow preventer that is designed to protect against;

1) Back Siphoning (1 form of backflow)
2) Back Pressure (the other form of backflow)
3) High Health Hazards (fertilizers, chemicals, etc.)

ALL other backflow devices (DCVA, PVBA, AVB) lack one of the above 3 qualities.

In other words, an RP is the only thing you can install that is going to protect the local water supply from contamination in this case. Code or no code, why would you want to try installing one without an RP device? I wouldn't even consider puting the public and my company at risk like that.

BTW, the rep. from this company (Fertile Earth) is the one who reminded me that RP Devices are required almost everywhere before you can install these fertigation systems.

JimLewis
10-13-2004, 04:43 PM
Now I guess I should go on to point out that there is one more kind of backflow prevention that suffices for fertilizer injection. That is an Approved Air Gap, which isn't very practical or really ever practiced in irrigation systems.

But the letter above states, "Our name is misleading because we are not an "injector" system. We are a proportioning aspirator. Our systems will automatically airlock if there ever is a backflow condition. Our system creates its own air gap within an 1/8th of an inch of water loss out of the Cap of our system.

While I don't think they are lying, I also don't believe this really gets you past the necessity of installing an RP. First off, their system may have a built in air-gap, but it's probably not an "Approved Air Gap", recognized by the UPC and other such agencies.

Secondly, just because it's not an "injector" so to speak, doesn't really matter. I don't think the issue is really injection of fertilizer or not. The idea is that once you have potentially toxic chemicals in your irrigation lines, it's possible for backflow to occur and contaminate the local water supply. Whether it's injected or "aspirated" really makes little difference. The danger is still there.

Installing an RP with these "aspirators" is just a smart idea. I wouldn't consider doing it any other way.

TClawn
10-14-2004, 12:55 AM
Everyone out in Hawaii uses an RP Device?

yep, just went and checked our local codes again, and it says that you need an RP device.

Critical Care
10-16-2004, 12:49 AM
What’s interesting is that hose end sprayers – which can back siphon chemicals into the domestic water system – apparently don’t fall under regulation.

In this state, there are state administrative rules that apply to “chemigation”. By law it is stated, “back-siphon prevention equipment shall be installed on any irrigation system connected to a ground water source when fertilizers or any other chemicals are applied through the system.” Another rule also applies when it is connected to a “public water system,” and a chemical injection system would be classified as a health hazard and therefore require an air gap or reduced pressure backflow assembly (RPBA or RP).

There is also a state rule that says that these injection systems must contain:
An automatic low-pressure drain
An inspection port
An irrigation line check valve (not to be confused with the RP backflow assembly)
An air/vacuum relief valve
A chemical injection line check valve
A system interlock

There are specifics on the above items that can make someone think twice about getting into this.

Very good info on Chemigation is from the University of Nebraska at: http://pested.unl.edu/chemman.pdf

And another diagram of an injection system at: http://www.geoexchange.org/regulations/pages/states/or/figure20.gif

JimLewis
11-16-2004, 06:20 PM
Thanks Jim. If you find the information on the Fertigator rep I would really appreciate it

Sorry it took me so long. I just found the rep's card.

----
Jim Vowles
Western Sales Manager
Fertile Earth Corp.

jvowles@fertileearth.com

(801) 327-7211 x508
(801) 628-7027 (mobile)
----

By the way, these have been a raving success. Whenever I give an estimate for an irrigation system, I am now also showing them this fertigation system as an option. I usually sale it for an additional cost of about $375-$450. That covers about $40 extra I'll have to spend for the RP device (they are $40 more than a DCVA) and $150.00 for the fertile earth system and 1 gallon of liquid fertilizer. Then the rest is for the additional labor that's involved with installing an RP and the fertigation system. Actually, I think it's easier installing an above ground RP than it is to dig a 2' hole to install the DCVA.

Anyway, it's been successful. The first job where I showed this to the customer, they bought it. And I installed it. It worked great. That was my last sprinkler system install for the year. But I just signed up one of my lawn care customers for an irrigation system install for March 2005 and he bought the fertile earth system too. So I am 2 for 2 so far.

activelandscaping
11-18-2004, 04:24 AM
I would like to caution you to check local codes before listening to the sales pitch from the fertilizer injector (aspirator) companies. While the device may not actually put anything under pressure into the line, and they will supposedly air-lock when there is a backflow condition and creates it's own air gap, the fact remains that they are still adding something foreign to the irrigation line besides potable water. And that is the reason for the Reduced Pressure Zone Device. (RP or RPZ).
jerryrwm,
Excellent advice.

I would like to add one or two things, to the above.

Any procedure which involves possible code issues, such as cross connecting a fertigation system to a municipal water supply, should be checkd at the Federal level first, then the State, then the county and finally the city etc......

State code and regulation is the primary concern with regards to municipal water. Local Govt. can add further restrictions, but cannot in any way negate state requirements.( and I always thought civics class was just a waste of time ):)

The body which oversees municipal water is the State Health Department, and they are not bound by the terms or definitions used by other departments.

Although I didn't research all states, I do believe that prior notification and site inspection by a state licensed inspector or their representative is a universal requirement in high risk cases. Each state has multiple other requirements, but the following appear to apply to all: The use of a Health Dept. approved RPZ ( these are usually diaphragm type RPZ's ). A inspection immediately after installation, I believe RPZ testing is about 150 bucks and must be done annually thereafter. Several states now require injection systems to have annual permits and inspections which are unrelated to the RPZ. Minnesota requires a annual inspection by a state certified inspector, they set the price at 40 for the permit and 45 for the inspection. There could be more $$ for annual local permits & inspections.

I would say, based on ever stringent requirements and permitting, that the govt. finds it in the peoples best interest not to give the people a chance to fu** up their water supply. Let's face it folks, given what you have seen people do and widespread use of these systems, how long would it be before HO's started attempting their own installs.


JimLewis,

This link will provide the information you need to meet code: ) Cross-connection to municipal or public water system. (http://www.leg.wa.gov/wac/index.cfm?section=246-290-490&fuseaction=section)

The health dept. requirements are risk based, there is no Grey area here.... the system you installed places you in the high risk category.

Oregon and Washington are certainly among the most lenient States, with regards fertigation/chemigation (most States don't differentiate between the two). I would recommend that you find out what permits/inspections are required and let the HO know that cost will be necessary, putting an exclusion waiver in your contract would also be a good idea. A RPZ needs high pressure testing to be certified operational, around here they get 150-250 bucks a unit ( depending on unit size/location ).

I install about 6-8 RidOrust systems a year, and each year it gets worse.......
I also start my pricing for a RidOrust system @ $1,900, I use a metering pump system so my initial cost is higher.

So, with a final " caveat emptor " It's time for me to get going.:)


Best of luck,
Active

kipcom
11-18-2004, 05:52 AM
So if you have your own "Natural" self contained water source ( lake - pond ) all of this is void ?

JimLewis
11-18-2004, 01:31 PM
FWIW, I remember the rep. telling me that the Fertile Earth system creates an "air gap" in the system that also protects it from backflow. I don't know it this is an "approgved air gap" or what. But he mentioned that they had it certified or something. So that, in addition to the RP device, makes it pretty safe I think. But that's just my op.

JimLewis
11-18-2004, 01:38 PM
JimLewis, This link will provide the information you need to meet code:

This is for Washington, not Oregon. And I'm fairly familiar with the Oregon law.

But, honestly, I don't see what the big deal is. Maybe I am missing something. But with an RP Device installed correctly, tested and inspected after it's installed, you think there is still a risk of contamination with the local water supply?

I mean, I suppose there is a chance I am missing some additional requirement here (e.g. a before inspection) but I haven't read that anywhere for my area and I don't really see the point. I'm following the guidelines that were given to me by the state landscape contractor's board. You're saying I need to do more? Honestly, I think what we're doing is probably sufficient. I may be ignoring some US Dept. of Health regulation that's buried somewhere but I don't think we're installing anything that will ever contaminate the water supply. We're doing a good job and the system prevents backflow in at least one (the RP) if not two (the air gap) ways. Then, we're having it tested and inspected immediately afterwards. Seems sufficient to me. Regardless of the technicalities and legalities, I think we're operating ethically here. I don't think we're risking contamination at all, and that's what really matters to me.

activelandscaping
11-18-2004, 09:40 PM
This is for Washington, not Oregon. And I'm fairly familiar with the Oregon law.

Sorry about the link. Here is the one for Oregon: Cross Connection/Backflow Prevention (http://www.dhs.state.or.us/publichealth/crossconnection/index.cfm)

If you are familiar with Oregon law, then why would you knowingly violate it? ANY contractor should know that ignorance of the Law is not a legitimate defense.

Bottom line:*** YOU *** are responsible for knowing the law. That is the way the Judge, your lawyer or any arbitrator will see it. What I think or you think doesn't matter a bit when it comes to the law, I don't ever remember seeing a defendant who thought they acted inappropriately.

If I was in your situation I would seek legal council on this matter. I don't think you realize how serious these situations can become, or your approach would not be as relaxed as it appears.

What do you plan on doing when a customer, or more likely their lawyer, calls because their water was turned off because of code violations?
Do you really think they are going to care what you, or anyone else, thinks when they can't shower or do dishes?

Look, I'm just trying to help here. I will, therefore, give you and anyone else reading this post a final piece of advice:

**** The requirements to meet code are readily available. Don't use old guidelines, unless you call your State, County and City Health Departments to verify they are current. They are responsible, at various levels, for cross-connection protection guidelines pertaining to municipal water supplies.****

Best of luck to all,
Active

JimLewis
11-18-2004, 11:41 PM
Three questions for you;

1) What Oregon law am I breaking?

2) Installing it the way I have, with an RP device installed correctly, tested immediately after it was installed, and inspected by the city, PLUS an air gap within the device itself, which is part of the mainline, can you give me a realistic scenario where you think backflow is going to occur?

3) Why would anyone turn off my client's water? At most, I would think they would just turn off the master gate valve to the irrigation line. But I can't even visualize a scenario where could possibly happen. If there isn't a way for backflow to occur, then why would anyone have any reason to shut off their water?

Critical Care
11-19-2004, 12:04 AM
Well... the codes do change often. That's typical, but I feel that Mr. Lewis has pretty well covered his bases with the installation of the RPs - as long as they're to code. If they weren't, more than likely they never would get past inspection. Inspectors aren't likely to be very lenient for mistakes in this type of situation where a hazard does exist to human health.

Jim, I'm wondering if you had any trouble with the inspection of your first install? Have to redo anything? Kinda' typical to learn from your mistakes, and the first install can be a learning experience. Right guys?

And Kipcom, if I understand it correctly - at least for this state - if you're injecting chemicals into a non domestic water source such as a pond, then the degree of hazard to human health doesn't exist as much as if connected to a community system. One or two check valves and or other measures would still be required, but an air gap or RP wouldn't be necessary.

Critical Care
11-19-2004, 12:09 AM
Oh... and Active, thanks for the heads up on the cross connection link for Oregon. I updated my info from it.

JimLewis
11-19-2004, 12:12 AM
Jim, I'm wondering if you had any trouble with the inspection of your first install? Have to redo anything?

I hadn't ever installed an RP before. This was a first. But I knew how to do it correctly. And apparently we did do it right. I went back and double checked my codes as to how far it had to be away from the building, how far above ground, etc. and did it all correctly. I asked my backflow tester to check it all out for me and let me know if we did it correctly and he said we did it just perfect.

As for the Fertile Earth System, that's a piece of cake. Just make sure it's installed with the flow going the right direction. But otherwise, that was simple. Inspection went great. No problems.

jerryrwm
11-19-2004, 12:21 AM
A RPZ needs high pressure testing to be certified operational, around here they get 150-250 bucks a unit ( depending on unit size/location ).

Not sure what you mean by high pressure testing? Higher than supply line pressure? I don't recall the pressure needing to be anything more than supply line pressure. Nothing about that in the ABPA certification class or the Cross Connection Control Manual.

RPZ installed according to code are approved for all high hazard applications including chemical plants, hospitals, mortuaries, chill water systems, and irrigation systems including those with fertilizer injectors. They are to be tested at least on an annual basis and more frequently at the discretion of the water utility, or other local governing agency.

The reason they are approved for high hazard applications is because water will not flow from an area of lower pressure to one of higher pressure. In the event the pressure changes, the releif valve opens and water is dumped to the atmosphere. In other words they will fail in the open/dump position.

But for testing an RPZ they get $150.00 and up? Do a handful of those a day and it could run into some decent money. Might have to check out Michigan in the spring for testing. Do have a national certification so that might pay off.

activelandscaping
11-20-2004, 04:46 PM
A RPZ needs high pressure testing to be certified operational, around here they get 150-250 bucks a unit ( depending on unit size/location ).

100 psi air pressure is used to test the RPZ for leakage, presumably because pressure can fluctuate within that range. IE: if you removed a water hammer arrestor or road construction had shut off a primary municipal feed, so pressure was down @ time of testing.

The reason they are approved for high hazard applications is because water will not flow from an area of lower pressure to one of higher pressure.
Actually that is not entirely correct. Let's say a 3 psi valve is held open by 8 psi of air pressure on one side of the valve leaving 5 psi on the other side of the valve. The pipe the valve is mounted on is half full of water and tilted back toward the feed side at 2% slope. Air pressure could hold open the valve, while water would flow back through the check valve, due to it's greater density. This is why double check valves are not considered sufficient for high risk applications. A RPZ uses a diaphragm, requiring a level of differential lower than the spring tension on the check valve to actuate a dump valve between the 2 check valves. This means that air pressure could not hold the valve open allowing water to flow back through the check valve.Furthermore, not ALL RPZ's are approved for the uses you listed. Most of the cities in my area require that a (Febco 825 Y) be installed to meet code. There are some RPZ's that do not use a diaphragm to actuate the dump valve on the RPZ and often these are not to code.




But for testing an RPZ they get $150.00 and up? Do a handful of those a day and it could run into some decent money. Might have to check out Michigan in the spring for testing. Do have a national certification so that might pay off.

You need to be a licensed plumber or pipe fitter to test back-flow in any city or county that I work in, this is in addition to being certified in back-flow testing.

Regards,
Active

jerryrwm
11-21-2004, 01:46 AM
100 psi air pressure is used to test the RPZ for leakage, presumably because pressure can fluctuate within that range. IE: if you removed a water hammer arrestor or road construction had shut off a primary municipal feed, so pressure was down @ time of testing.

Backflow devices are designed for water usage and need to be hydrostatically tested. In the event that water pressure is unavailable, ie. Water mains shut off; then the test shall not be conducted until such time as water pressure is restored and the device can then be tested. I've checked and can find no requirements for testing RPZ with air. Do you have the local codes for that? Might be an interesting topic at the APBA Chapter meeting.


Actually that is not entirely correct. Let's say a 3 psi valve is held open by 8 psi of air pressure on one side of the valve leaving 5 psi on the other side of the valve. The pipe the valve is mounted on is half full of water and tilted back toward the feed side at 2% slope. Air pressure could hold open the valve, while water would flow back through the check valve, due to it's greater density. This is why double check valves are not considered sufficient for high risk applications.

True, double check valves are not considered high hazard devices and as such cannot be used for irrigationsystems with fertilizer injectors installed which are considered high hazard installations. In fact many codes do not allow DCA on any kind of irrigation system. The reason being that in the case of a backflow condition (backpressure or backsiphonage) and a fouled device, there is no means of preventing the backflow (no relief valve) and a piece of string can foul both check valves. In other words, without periodic testing there is no way to tell if the device is working properly.

But if a pipe is half full of water that means it is not under pressure, I think you will find that 5 psi of air pressure, which means that there is air flowing, is suffcient to prevent the backflow of that water. You could do that test on the ground - pour water on a driveway and open the air compressor at 5.0 psi and you will be able to sweep the water back.

A RPZ uses a diaphragm, requiring a level of differential lower than the spring tension on the check valve to actuate a dump valve between the 2 check valves. This means that air pressure could not hold the valve open allowing water to flow back through the check valve. Furthermore, not ALL RPZ's are approved for the uses you listed. Most of the cities in my area require that a (Febco 825 Y) be installed to meet code. There are some RPZ's that do not use a diaphragm to actuate the dump valve on the RPZ and often these are not to code.

During Normal Flow and at the cessation of Normal Flow, the pressure in the zone between the two check valves has to be at least 2.0 less than the supply side pressure.

With No Flow from the supply side, when the pressure on the supply side drops to 2.0 psi above the zone pressure, then the relief valve will open and discharge water. Example: If static pressure is 50.0 psi and there is a sudden drop in supply pressure due to a water main break. When pressure drops below 50 psi the relief valve opens and dumps water from the downstream side preventing any backflow. This is because the downstream static pressure is 48.0 psi or less depending on the manufacture of the RPZ.

A good reference standard is the "Manual For Cross Connection Control" published by USC. This is the manual that is used for APBA Certification Training. Most codes will not allow use of BFD that are not USC certified.

You need to be a licensed plumber or pipe fitter to test back-flow in any city or county that I work in, this is in addition to being certified in back-flow testing.

Regards,
Active

Sounds like the Plumber's Union has that pretty well sewed up then. In many states the requirement to test BFD is APBA certification, and there are qualifications of past experience in the installation and repair of BFDs that must be met before one can become certified. While I am Certified Nationally as a general tester, I am also smart enough to know that I have no business testing a backflow device on high-rise buildings because of the procedures involved in shutting down and turning on the water supply. But I can and do test irrigation systems, car washes, restaurants, and other devices that require no special procedeures. The going rate for devices up to 2" is $65 - $75.00 and anything over is $100.00 and up.

regards,

Jerry

activelandscaping
11-21-2004, 03:06 AM
JimLewis,
I apologize for implying that you did not meet code. I was under the impression that you didn't have any testing done, or even believe that was a requirement. :o

One thing that should be of interest is the following excerpt ( pg. 36 ) of the new Federal EPA Guidelines for cross connection measures.

Link: F-EPA-Manual.pdf (http://www.wattsreg.com/pdf/F-EPA-Manual.pdf)

The Department shall not permit a cross-connection within
the public water supply system unless it is considered necessary and
that it cannot be eliminated.
A. Cross-connection permits that are required for each
backflow prevention device are obtained from the Department. A
fee of ( ) dollars will be charged for the initial permit and
( ) dollars for the renewal of each permit.
B. Permits shall be renewed every ( ) years and are
non-transferable. Permits are subject to revocation and become
immediately revoked if the Owner should so change the type of
cross-connection or degree of hazard associated with the service.

The municipalities in my area now require permits for ANY backflow prevention device. They are also adopting the Fed's guidelines that RPZ's be tested semi-annualy, before it was only once a year.

jerryrwm,


Backflow devices are designed for water usage and need to be hydrostatically tested. In the event that water pressure is unavailable, ie. Water mains shut off; then the test shall not be conducted until such time as water pressure is restored and the device can then be tested. I've checked and can find no requirements for testing RPZ with air. Do you have the local codes for that? Might be an interesting topic at the APBA Chapter meeting.

Since I don't test them personally I can't say for certain, and yes the unions seem to have everyone by the short hairs.

I do, however, realize it is not part of the " standard field test " for a RPZ. I believe that it is used to check seal integrity, but don't quote me on that. I will try and provide the reference to this as soon as I can find it. Since I don't intend to become a licensed plumber or pipe-fitter, the only thing that matters to me is having the proper tag and permits.

I should note that when I looked up the Fertile Earth system they provided no information about an air gap. I did, however, find the following which would indicate that backflow into the holding tank can be a problem.
Fertile Earth Feeder Installation Overview (http://www.fertileearth.com/installation.htm)

Clogged or Back Flowing Injector: If your Feeder sounds as though it is functioning correctly but fertilizer is never depleting from the reservoir, your device may be clogged or back flowing. A back flowing device will cause water to flow into the reservoir chamber which dilutes and activates the fertilizer, which may cause a strong smell of ammonia to be present. A clogged device may have debris or dried up fertilizer clogging some component of the injector. Your device may need to service, or flushed out and cleaned.

BTW,
Injector systems tend not to have this problem, I have put in over a hundred RidORust systems and never had any backflow into the tank. I'm not at all sure that the Boards " clarification letter " was meant for their benefit, as they haven't bothered to change the wording on their website.

One other thing of note is that most 1" RPZ's drop the pressure about 10 psi. The Fertile Earth system indicates another 6.5 psi will be lost by installation of their unit. I would make sure you can afford a pressure loss of 16-17 off the system before installation.

Regards,
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