Last week, I and

all Aurorans with a residential irrigation system received a letter from the city advising that by Aug. 1 we must have a backflow preventer installed on our irrigation water line.

In my professional career I was involved with ensuring backflow prevention was in place when I was vice president and manager of the investor-owned Tennessee American Water Co. that provided water to Chattanooga and surrounding areas.

The city's letter requires installation of a reduced pressure assembly or double check valve assembly. These preventers are installed on high risk installations such as chemical plants, plating works, mortuaries and hospitals, to name a few.

A residential irrigation system is a no risk installation. I challenge a bureaucrat that wrote this directive to give me one example where a residential irrigation system caused blackflow into the water system. This is a classic example of a bureaucrat not weighing the cost against risk when promulgating rules.

I wonder how many dinners and other perks he received from the manufacturers of these devices?

I am not aiming this letter at the city's water department as it is just following directives from the Ohio EPA. When this ruling was promulgated, I wonder what did the city and other municipal and private water companies do to object?

I'm very much in favor of cross connection control where needed. Requiring backflow prevention on residential irrigation systems is over the top.

This is not an inexpensive requirement. A certified backflow inspector told me he charges $59 to come out and tell me what I need. Then we go from there. And the inspector must come back each year to inspect and report his findings to the water department. This means an annual cost of $59.

Edward Limbach, Aurora