If you’re fond of clean water— and no fan of raw sewage running in the streets — the Stephenville City Council took a big step towards “having your back” on all that during their meeting Tuesday night.

The council approved a request by Deputy City Administrator Jeremy Allen for a contract with SC Tracking Solutions to perform water-system backflow device prevention services for the city.

So what are these backflow devices that are part of our water system in the first place?

Information from the website of Kadant Johnson — a company that designs and builds the devices — says, “They can be used to prevent contamination from back siphonage [backflow] in fluid handling systems, and to protect equipment against collapse or implosion.”

So in essence, they exist in the water system to prevent dangerous and expensive accidents that could cause serious public health hazards.

“The city is estimated to have over 2,000 backflow devices. There is a very significant investment in resources to track the devices and their inspection dates," Allen said. "In some cities, multiple personnel handle the process of tracking and reporting. The city of Stephenville does not currently have a fee structure to cover the cost of upkeep of the program.

“Through SC Tracking Solutions, customers will be notified when their inspection is due, and customers will have the ability to contact a certified tester.”

Certified testers will be registered through SC Tracking Solutions and pay a fee of $15 per backflow device reported; the city will receive $2.55 per report submitted. The revenue received will cover the enforcement of the program.

“Testers will submit reports through SC Tracking Solutions that will be available to city staff, as well as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality,” Allen said.

Tony Santoro of SCTS also addressed the council.

“Our goal is to maximize productivity and efficiency, and maintain complete integrity for your water system and the citizens it serves,” he said.

The contract with SCTS was approved by unanimous vote of the city council.