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Backflow Protection – The New Zealand Perspective

Backflow Protection – The New Zealand Perspective. Presented By Richard Aitken. Richard Aitken. Current Chair of New Zealand Backflow Group Sitting NZ Representative on AS/NZS 2845

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Backflow Protection – The New Zealand Perspective

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  1. Backflow Protection – The New Zealand Perspective Presented By Richard Aitken

  2. Richard Aitken • Current Chair of New Zealand Backflow Group • Sitting NZ Representative on AS/NZS 2845 • Project Leader for New Zealand Field Testing of Backflow Prevention Devices and Air Gap Verification Industry Standard. • Licensed Plumber • Qualified Backflow Tester • Qualified Backflow Hazard and Cross Connection Surveyor • Owner of Plumbing Company in its 17th year, very busy undertaking earthquake repairs and remedial work.

  3. The new zealand perspective • We see things differently…..

  4. topics • Chemigation/Fertigation Valves • Boundary demarcations – Point of Supply • Backflow device testing industry standard • Surveying industry standard • The role of the NZ Plumber in all areas.

  5. Chemigation Valves • The bypassing of current NZ Acts and Legislation by Regional Authorities (ECAN in Canterbury) is of particular concern. • Single Check valves are not recognized in NZ Law after 2001, this being one of the reasons for NZ voting to not adopt the changes to AS2845.3. • Single check valve failure in a high hazard situation would result in contamination of the source, a critical issue in New Zealand. • The lack of an approved testing procedure for the single check valve. • Valves are being consented illegally, by ECAN. • Lack of determination on whether aquifer draw off is governed by the Health Act or Building Act, and who is responsible for the protection of the potable water.

  6. Boundary Demarcation • Outside the Boundary – Health Act • Regulated by the Health Act • Governed by: Regional Authorities • Inside the Boundary – Building Act • Regulated by the: Local Territorial Authority (Council) • Implemented by: Local Territorial Authority (Council) • Governed by: The Department of Building and Housing, Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board: • Outcome: The Installing Certifying or licensed Plumber, is the sole bearer of legal responsibility.

  7. FIELD TESTING OF BACKFLOW PREVENTION DEVICES AND VERIFICATION OF AIR GAPS • Australia changed AS/NZS 2845.3 – NZ voted to not adopt changes. • New Zealand then needed a Specific Industry Standard • The stakeholders in the creation of the standard: • New Zealand Backflow Group – Water New Zealand • Master Plumbers Association New Zealand • Training unit standards now align with the testing standard. • How is it working in practice, and has it been successful? • It was then Gazetted by the Department of Building and Housing under the Building Act, and included in G12 Water Supplies.

  8. Surveying industry standard • The questions we asked in the project scope were: • The need for a Specific Cross Connection Surveying Industry Standard. • The different ways to implement the standard across the boundary demarcation (Health Act/Building Act). • Who can carry out Surveying? • Enforcement of the survey outcome, is the outcome mandatory enforcement? • This project has just commenced and is an exciting prospect, as it is our intention that licensed surveyors will dictate the internal and boundary protection of the potable water supply.

  9. The role of the NZ plumber • The plumber is legally responsible for the installation of all devices on and inside the boundary (Building Act). • The plumber is legally responsible for all repairs to devices on and inside the boundary (Building Act). • The plumber is legally required to ensure that the device locations and types meet the Building Act requirements. • BUT. • There are NO mandatory cross connection surveying or hazard assessments required at the consent stage. • There is NO requirement that person who do carry out the hydraulic design are qualified to specify the hazard type or location of the devices. • NO inspection of installed devices in Christchurch (and other areas), the device test result (Tester not required to be a plumber) is used as a method of proving compliance.

  10. Questions

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