Compliance has become a buzz word of sorts in the Backflow Industry. It’s a rather wide ranging term that can mean different things for everyone, based on where they are in the US and what requirements have been set forth by their individual jurisdictions.
For the purposes of this post we will say that compliance has three parts with three differing goals.
- Insuring Backflow Testers are licensed
- Making certain that Backflow Test Kits are calibrated and in good repair
- Properly documenting all tests using the established, local level, standard
Part one is pretty straight forward, each backflow tester generally will spend between $300.00 and $1200.00 on their training. This will include several hours/days of classes, as well as field/hands on work, prior to taking the examination that will allow them to be licensed. Every 3-5 years you will also need to be recertified for your license, this class will generally run $300.00 and will give you a day long refresher before your recertification test. (You can call us for a listing of testing schools in your area).
Part 2 is even easier. Just send your kit to us, our standard re-certification will cover even the most stringent requirements. We look at over 135 parts and perform a full diagnostic on your kits performance. This costs $99.00 a year (plus shipping).
Part 3 is tricky. Everyone’s situations are vastly different. Some testers are in areas with little to no testing/compliance requirements from purveyors. However some areas have EXCELLENT testing programs that require test results to be submitted to the municipality for storage and review. These programs vary from city to city. Each has their own form and standards. If you coverage area is large enough you may need a part time team member to help out for a few hours each day. So here is the best case math: ($7.25 an hour* X 15 hours per week) 52 weeks in a year = $5,655.00 annually. (Not including any hours spent on chasing down incomplete or inaccurate forms with the municipality).
That’s $6,524.00 + $300 every third year in expenses.
That’s a significant costing to any business owner/operator. However this expense, protects the lives and safety of our neighbors and friends.
There are a number of different ways to lower this cost, some as low as $35 a month plus your recalibration, feel free to contact me directly for a listing of those services and resources.
In our next section (hopefully next week) we will talk about profitability and where this figure joins in.
*National Unemployment Rate