City of Sarasota spending $1.2 million for backflow devices

The Sarasota City Commission said Monday it would prefer the city pay $1.2 million over the next five years to install backflow prevention devices than endure the code-enforcement headaches that would ensue if it leaves the financial responsibility up to the city’s water users.

During its Oct. 3 regular meeting, the commission agreed to spend $250,000 per year for the next five years to install approximately 3,000 residential and 1,400 commercial backflow devices.

In an emergency, such a device prevents the backflow of contaminated water from a house or office into the city’s water system.

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Court rules homeowners responsible for improper sewer connection missed by city

Municipal plumbing inspectors can breathe a sigh of relief Thursday after a state Court of Appeals ruled communities do not have to pay homeowners' costs of correcting private sewer misconnections overlooked by inspectors.

A West Bend couple lived in their home for nine years before a city official notified them in 2008 that their private sanitary sewer lateral was discharging to a storm sewer instead of the public sanitary sewer main beneath the street.

An investigation determined that a private plumber connected the lateral to the wrong sewer when the Fairview Drive home was built in 1999.
Scott and Danette Neuendorf sued the city for negligence to recover costs of correcting the mistake, alleging a city inspector should have discovered the cross-connection in 1999.

Though an inspector generally is required to check compliance with municipal codes, there is no requirement that an inspector must verify a sanitary lateral's proper connection to a public sanitary sewer, the state appeals court said in a decision released Thursday.

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BLOGGER'S NOTE - Although this story is about a sewer cross connection, liability will be similar in a water cross connection. The ultimate reponsibility lies with the property owner and their licensed plumber.

Police Shed New Light on Fatal Beating of Security Guard

Victim's Wife Urges Thieves To Come Forward

Palm Beach Gardens police officers shared some new details Monday about a brutal beating that left a security guard dead after being in a coma for 10 weeks.
Jacques Novembre, 61, was working an overnight shift at the Promenade Shopping Center on Alternate A1A when he was beaten and left to die. Investigators said Novembre likely approached criminals in the act of stealing backflow prevention devices, WPBF 25 News' Ted White reported Monday.

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Time to Winterize

The first freeze for North Platte, NE was on Sept. 30, so now's the time to get your sprinkler system winterized.

Whether you have a professional help you out, or you do it yourself, there are some things to remember as you start the process of preparing your sprinkler system and your lawn for the winter months. Mostly, you want to avoid having any frost on any above ground equipment, which can lead to costly repairs.

If you have any above ground components, make sure to get them covered for additional protection.

"Backflow devices may be wrapped with several old towels or blankets and then covered with a trash can," said a release from Barr's Sprinkler Systems in North Platte. Freezing can easily damage pumps and backflow devices.

For do it yourselfers, T.J. Williams, with the Sprinkler Medic in North Platte, recommends making sure you have the proper air compressor.

"A lot of home air compressors don't have the volume to blow them out properly," Williams said.

However, he said anything above 80 PSI could damage your system. He said his company uses about 50-60 PSI when they winterize systems. Barr's recommends a one horsepower, or more, air compressor.

"Make sure your water is shut off at the source," Williams said. "Leave your blackflow open to drain when you're done blowing it out. Make sure you have completely evacuated the system."

Also, for do it yourselfers, remember to set your valves to semi-open, or at a 45-degree angle.