Colfax will provide one backflow valve to village residents

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX —  The first one is free.

After that, village residents will be required to pay $3.50 for each cross connection control valve — otherwise known as a backflow preventer — that they need for their homes.

The Colfax Village board approved providing the first cross connection control valve at the August 12 meeting.

 Prior to the village board meeting, the public works committee discussed the issue at length and recommended that the village provide the first valve and include any additional valves on the water bills.

State law requires the cross connection control valves to be installed on all faucets to which a hose could be attached, said Rand Bates, director of public works, during the committee meeting.

Some houses will require a couple of the cross connection control valves, and some houses will not need any, Bates said.

Public works committee members and the village board agreed that Bates should carry a number of control valves with him when he inspects the residences the first time around to prevent having to go back to inspect again for additional control valves.

Bates emphasized that it is the homeowner’s responsibility to install the cross connection control valves after he provides them and that he will watch while they are installed so he can verify that the residence is in compliance with state law.

The cross connection control valves are intended to keep water from siphoning back into the water pipes and contaminating the entire municipal water supply.

Committee members agreed that Bates should not have to take payment for the extra control valves and that the additional number needed by each home should be reported to the village administrator’s office so the amount can be added to the water bill.

Bates also noted that the cross connection control valves are available at a variety of retail stores for about $6 and that it will be a cost-savings to village residents if the village supplies the first valve for free and additional cross control valves for $3.50 each.

Supplying the cross control valves also insures that the correct valves are being installed, he said.

Beverly Schauer, village trustee and chair of the public works committee, agreed that it would save time for Bates to carry the extra valves in his truck.

Village residents will be notified in their water bill about setting up an inspection date.

A company called Hydro Designs is assisting the village with the cross connection control valve inspections for both residences and commercial properties at a cost of $9,000 for a one-year contract approved by the village board in October of 2012.