There were some strings attached to the $2 million in grant funds that Orchard City received for construction of its new West Side main water line, and town residents are just now learning about them.
As a requirement of getting that "free" money last year, town residents may have to install water backflow prevention devices at their homes.
Provisions of the new policy apply to existing service installations including hose bibs and other connections already in service.
The policy is called the "Cross-connection Control Program." From the date of its Dec. 9 adoption, the policy requires "any new water service installation (to be) inspected for compliance with requirements for backflow prevention."
The broadly written policy document adopted on Dec. 9 also states that the town will, "require system users to install and maintain backflow prevention devices on potentially hazardous service connections..."
In addition to common hose bibs, other service connections to the town water system that could be required to retro-fit backflow prevention devices include fire sprinkler systems, solar installations using domestic water, and hot water boilers, if potentially hazardous.
The policy document states that the town's water supervisor conducted a "survey" of cross-connections in the town. Results of the survey are not included in the policy as adopted.
During the town board's discussion of the policy on Dec. 9, mayor Don Suppes remarked that its adoption was a requirement for the town getting its $2 million grant to build the West Side water transmission line.
The $2 million grant, called a "principal forgiveness loan," came as a surprise to town officials when they first applied for a state loan to build the West Side line. The $2 million came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The ARRA was the federal government's second "stimulus" package, under Obama, aimed at bailing out local governments, school districts, organized labor, and public sector unions. The first "stimulus" under George Bush, called "TARP," bailed out mainly banks.
The policy requires that installed backflow preventers be tested annually by a certified technician.
Private pipeline companies that buy bulk water from the town are being required now to install backflow prevention devices on their neighborhood systems.blog comments powered by Disqus