(WACO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology program hosted staff from the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners for a student demonstration on Wednesday.
Students learned about cross-connection and how this can result in backflow, which is a flow of liquid opposite to the usual or desired direction.
Terry Parham, who works in field services and investigations for the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners, said the presentation was a way to make students think about the potential dangers of backflow and why it is important for plumbing professionals to recognize this during their daily work.
Students learned that there are direct and indirect types of cross-connection. Conditions like a water main break or loss of pressure can create backflow. Parham used a sink with pipes and toilets as part of his demonstration.
“Backflow prevention protects the public from harmful chemicals and bacteria,” said Christopher Porter, instructional business manager for TSTC’s Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology program.
Students learned a lot during the presentation.
“It puts a different perspective on how easy backflow can happen,” said Noah Powers, of Waco, a certificate student in TSTC’s Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology program who is planning to graduate in spring 2023. “It is easy for contaminants to get into potable water.”
Haden Chenault, of Willow Park, is a certificate student in TSTC’s Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology program and is scheduled to graduate in December. He said it was informative to see why backflow testing is needed. He said the demonstration made him realize how serious backflow problems can be.
“You could make a lot of people sick and get in trouble as a plumber,” Chenault said.
Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology students take a class in backflow prevention during the second semester of the associate degree and certificate of completion programs.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality offers a Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester license. People holding this license are able to test and repair commercial, domestic, industrial and irrigation assemblies, according to the agency.
For more information about TSTC, go to tstc.edu.