Letter - Council cuts off competition for backflow testing

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I attended a Walla Walla City Council meeting a few weeks ago on the subject of Backflow Assembly Testing. The Council’s discussion was about compliance, which is down to under 70 percent from over 80 percent two years ago (a number the city had committed to the state).

It seems obvious the Council’s primary concern should be to increase compliance. So why, then, would the Council consider restricting service providers to licensed plumbing contractors only?

I am a state certified Backflow Assembly Tester and this kind of regulation seems to be more about limiting competition in the marketplace, which is certain to favor some service providers over others and drive up the cost of compliance to the public.

I may not possess the wisdom of the City Council but it seems to me if they are serious about increasing compliance, the logical way to achieve the goal is to allow all certified testers to compete in the marketplace. Consumers are more likely to comply with an annual $35 test fee rather than a minimum service call of $75 or more to licensed plumbing contractors.

Gregory Petersen

Walla Walla

Comments

adpomraning 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Mr. Petersen; I am listening with an open mind. With the price of WW City water already high, I am reluctant to add another $35-$75, maybe $150 if repairs are needed, to the annual burden of homeowner's expense for an unfunded WA state mandate. At the meeting you attended the WW Council was gathering data and seeking public input in an effort to comply with state law in the safest, simplest, and least expensive way possible. The WW city staff is still formulating alternatives for a future Council decision. I personally am undecided what the best path forward for City water users will be. I appreciate your letter to the editor and look forward to your participation in the process.

Allen Pomraning Walla Walla City Council Member

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