I just received a notice from the city of Walla Walla regarding a change in the date for required testing of the backflow prevention system for my irrigation. While I have no argument with the fact that this test is necessary to ensure a safe and clean water supply, a couple aspects of the program really bother me.
First, only those residents who have had their systems installed with all the required permits are required to comply. For the most part, these are newer systems. Those residents with systems for which permits were not required and those residents who have installed systems without a permit are not required to get this test at this time.
It seems to me that those older systems and those not inspected in the first place would be more likely to cause problems than the newer systems. It seems totally unfair to me that I should have to pay for this test when my neighbor directly across the street does not.
Second, we are asked to have the test performed by, for the most part, various certified plumbers. One must pay their minimum fee even though I suspect the test takes less than 15 minutes.
It seems to me that if this test is required by the city then the city should have its own inspection program and charge a fixed, and substantially reduced, rate.