Chesterfield county cracking down on required testing

By Beth Danziger - bio | email

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Before you turn on your sprinklers in Chesterfield you may want to listen up. The county is cracking down on a required valve testing. A backflow device keeps contaminated water from flowing back into the drinking water supply.

Although the test is a yearly check up required by county ordinance, the price varies from tester to tester and it can get expensive.

Backflow Tester John Gibson has been working non-stop the past month. Business picked up after Chesterfield sent reminders out to residents that backflow devices on their irrigation systems need to be checked annually.

"I think for a lot of people it was big surprise," said Hardscrabble Irrigation Services John Gibson.

That's because although the test is supposed to be done each year many residents didn't know about it. The county says it's cracking down now because it just updated the ordinance. And it now has a data base system in place that can show whose done it and who hasn't.

"It's required by water works regulations and out county code and it's required for good reason and it's away to protect their neighbor and the drinking water," said Utilities Director Roy Covington.

This is all the test consists of. The tester hooks up pressure valves and a gage to the backflow device and makes sure the stopper inside works properly. But although it only takes a few minutes it can cost a lot.

John Gibson only charges $85. But there are others on the Richmond area's tester list that charge more than $200. The price isn't regulated and residents will have to estimates.

But although county leaders admit it can get expensive they say what is a the right price for safe drinking water.

"Preventing that contamination in the public supply is what it's all about," said Covington.

John Gibson also warns that residents should always ask for the testers state issued certification card before they allow them to do any work. If you have any more questions about the backflow testing you call the Utilities Department's hotline number 748-1280.

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