Overview of the Statewide Backflow-Prevention Tester Certification

see also www.gawp.org

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has implemented a requirement that any public water system, which has been required by EPD to develop and implement a backflow prevention program, must use only backflow prevention assembly testers that currently hold a valid certification from a tester certification program recognized by EPD to test backflow prevention devices connected to said public water system. 

The Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) is working under contract to assist EPD in establishing this Statewide Backflow-Prevention Tester Certification Program, and to administer the program.

GAWP has been designated by EPD to administer a certification program for the state of Georgia utilizing exams provided by the Association of Boards of Certification.  In addition, the American Backflow Prevention Association, the American Society of Sanitary Engineering, and the University of Florida/TREEO Center have been approved as official certification programs, and are authorized to provide certification exams to GAWP to be used in this process.

This requirement will be phased in over a three-year period.  Any backflow prevention assembly tester who received a different certification prior to October 1, 2001 will be allowed to operate under that certification until its expiration, but for no more than three (3) years from date of issuance.  By October 1, 2004 all testers must hold a certification from one of the four (4) tester certification programs approved by EPD in order to perform such work in Georgia.

The Georgia Association of Water Professionals is the contract administrator for this program on behalf of the Environmental Protection Division, and will be happy to assist you should you have any questions.

You may write to the Backflow Certification Program Manager, c/o GAWP, at 2221 New Market Parkway, Suite 134, Marietta, GA 30067-9311, or phone (770) 618-8690, fax (770) 618-8695 or email Joel Peacock

Backflow Prevention Tester Certification Program

EPD Approved Certification Programs for Georgia

Below are brief descriptions of the approved programs being used in Georgia.  Please refer to the respective websites for detailed information on the rules and procedures of the various programs.

A brief description of each of these programs follows; however, you should refer to their respective websites for detailed information on the rules and procedures of these programs.  If you would like to take one of these exams in Georgia, please call the GAWP office at (770) 618-8690 for registration and test schedule information

GAWP, at 2221 New Market Parkway, Suite 134, Marietta, GA 30067-9311
(770) 618-8690

This is the primary certification process being used in Georgia.  GAWP will administer exams provided by the Association of Boards of Certification, and, upon successful completion of the examination, will provide to the examinee a three (3) year certification for the testing of backflow prevention assemblies.

Certification Requirements:

In order to take the Georgia Certification exam, a candidate must have a high school diploma, a GED, or equivalent degree.  Prior to taking the certification examination, the applicant shall have successfully completed a 32-hour (minimum) course of instruction taught from the University of Southern California Foundation’s Manual of Cross-Connection Control (9th Edition), or show two (2) years experience in testing of backflow prevention assemblies within a recognized certification program, or have previously held a valid certification recognized by the state of Georgia.  The written exam will consist of 100 questions, and candidate must score a minimum of 70% to pass.  A hands-on examination is required.  The fee is $100.00 (subject to change).

Recertification Requirements:

The recertification period is every three (3) years on your anniversary date, and the recertification must be processed prior to the expiration date by complying with Option A or B

Obtain six (6) contact hours of continuing education or training related to backflow prevention every three (3) years.  This could include formal education and training, or attendance at conferences, workshops, seminars, etc., OR Candidate may take the recertification examination..

Fees –  Option A:  $75.00 (subject to change)
Option B:  $100.00 (subject to change)

If the certification expires, the tester has three (3) months to meet all requirements for renewal and will be charged a penalty fee (in addition to the recertification fee) equal to 50% of the recertification fee.  During this time the tester’s certification will not be valid.  If recertification is not processed within three (3) months of expiration date, the tester will be required to re-take the certification exam.

Individual testers will be required to maintain all documentation in the event you are audited.  This documentation should be retained for 12 months past the renewal date.
Registration

The exam registration form may be downloaded from GAWP’s website, or you may have one faxed to you by calling (770) 618-8690.  Candidates should register to take a scheduled exam at least two (2) weeks prior to the exam date.  Registrations will be accepted beyond this deadline as space permits.  Registration must be accompanied by payment.  Cancellations received at least one week prior to the exam are entitled to a full refund.  Refunds will not be issued for cancellations received within one week of exam date; however, you may reschedule.

Appeals Process

This procedure is still being developed.

American Backflow Prevention Association
P. O. Box 3051
Bryan, TX 77805-3051
(979)846-7606

www.abpa.org

Certification Requirements:

Anyone pursuing this certification must possess a high school diploma, or a GED or equivalent certificate.  Prior to taking the certification examination, the applicant shall have successfully completed a 32-hour (minimum) course of instruction taught from the ABPA Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester Need to Know Criteria, or show two (2) years experience in testing of backflow prevention assemblies within a recognized certification program.  The applicant shall successfully complete both the written and the performance portion of the exam in order to obtain certification.  A minimum score of 70% is required to pass the written exam.  Both portions of the exam must be successfully completed within 30 days of each other to be valid.  The certification is valid for three years from the date of issuance.   The exam fee is $100.00

Recertification Requirements:

In order to maintain the ABPA recertification beyond the certification expiration date, the tester shall submit a registration form with the appropriate fee and successfully complete the written and performance portions of the exam once again.

American Society of Sanitary Engineering
901 Canterbury Road, Suite A
Westlake, OH   44145
(440) 835-3040
www.asse-plumbing.org

Certification Requirements:
The requirements for becoming an ASSE certified tester are as follows:

The candidate for certification shall have successfully completed a minimum of forty (40) hours of ASSE approved backflow assembly testing instruction, and
Passed an ASSE 100 question examination with a score of 70% or higher, andDemonstrated an acceptable five (5) years in a plumbing, pipefitting, or related industry field, and

Passed a practical examination which includes successfully testing an ASSE 1013, 1015, and a 1020, OR

Document an equivalent combination of education and experience totaling five (5) years based on demonstrated experience and the successful completion of an ASSE 100 question examination and successful testing of a Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Preventers and Reduced Pressure Fire Protection Principle Backflow Preventers (ASSE Standard 1013), Double Check Backflow Prevention Assemblies and Double Check Fire Protection Backflow Prevention Assemblies (ASSE Standard 1015) and Pressure Vacuum Breaker Assembly (ASSE Standard 1020).

The exam fee is $100 and an exam schedule may be found at the GAWP website or you may call the GAWP office at (770) 618-8690.  Upon successfully completing the ASSE exam, a certificate will be issued and shall be valid for a period of three (3) years from the date of issuance.

Recertification Requirements:

To recertify, a person must submit
Proof of having obtained six (6) contact hours of continuing education in backflow prevention every three years, OR

Approval by the School Accreditation Committee of six (6) hours per year of attendance at national, state, or local conferences or meetings which includes lectures, demonstrations, or presentations on cross connection control, OR

Successful completion of  1) a three (3) hour review course; 2) a 25-question examination (time allotted is one (1) hour); and 3) a proper test and repair of an ASSE 1015 and ASSE 1013 (time allotted for the performance test is one (1) hour), OR

The applicant shall demonstrate competency in the proper testing, maintenance and repair, and surveyor techniques by providing documentation that he/she has tested or repaired a minimum of 50 assemblies in the past three (3) years or conducted a minimum of 30 actual field surveys in the past three (3) years.
AND

The fee for recertification
Option A – $50.00                                              Option C – $100.00
Option B – $50.00                                              Option D – $50.00
Fees are subject to change.

Center for Training, Research, and Education for Environmental Occupations (TREEO)
3900 SW 63rd Blvd.
Gainesville, FL 32608-3800
(352) 392-9570
www.treeo.ufl.edu

The TREEO certification will be recognized in Georgia; however, due to the fact that there are very few, if any, TREEO proctors in Georgia, we will not administer any TREEO exams in Georgia.  In order for TREEO certified testers to be included in Georgia’s database, the individual testers must submit verification of certification and a $50 registration fee to GAWP every three (3) years.