A Product Selection Committee (Committee) was formed in August 1977, and the original membership included five members representing the management staffs of the Engineering and Operations Divisions. The purpose of the committee was to "review existing standards and specifications, review new products and materials for consideration in the utility system, and to test new products and equipment as is necessary."
The makeup and mission of the Committee remain essentially the same today. There are currently six voting members, three each from the Operations and Engineering Divisions. Other members of the Department may be called to participate when expertise in particular areas is needed.
All requests for approvals for new products or procedures must be directed to the chairman of the Product Selection Committee at the following address:
Chairman, Product Selection Committee
Public Utilities Engineering
2405 Courthouse Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Requests should include:
- Letter identifying the submitter, the manufacturer, the product or process requested for approval, and if not readily apparent, the intended application in our systems.
- Six copies of pertinent literature, including applicable certifications and standards, such as AWWA/ANSI, ASTM, UL, etc.
- If practical, a material sample.
- User references, including key contact persons.
- List of major competitors, if any.
In addition, submitters may request time for a formal presentation to the Committee. This would be especially beneficial for products or procedures that are unique or are significantly different from those currently approved or used. Such requests should be made through the committee chairman, and presentations will be conducted during regular monthly meetings. Committee meetings are routinely scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month at 10:00 A.M. However, this schedule may be modified at the Committee's discretion. Formal presentations, including questions, are limited to no more than one hour. Requests for special meetings may be entertained in unusual circumstances, with sufficient advance notice.
Based on the formal presentation and or the submitted information, the Committee will make a decision regarding the request:
- The Committee may designate the product/process as under review.
There are questions or items that need clarification. The Committee may request a meeting with a company representative.
- The product/process may be designated for test application.
Initial information indicates the product/process may be an "equal or better" to the existing. However, there may be questions concerning compatibility, durability, etc.
- The product/process may be approved for general use.
The product/process is approved for use in accordance with the Department's standards and specifications.
- The product/process may be conditionally approved.
The use of a product/process may be limited to preapproved applications.
- The product/process may be disapproved.
The product/process may not be used in the Department's utility systems.
- The product/process may be tabled.
The Committee chooses to takes no action for reasons such as, no identified application or inadequate information.
The review criteria may include, but is not expressly limited to the following:
Decisions and Notification
- Does the product/process comply with current technical specifications.
- Does the product/process meet current industry standards.
- Is the product/process proprietary.
- History of manufacture and or use of the product/process.
- Supporting references from past users.
- Has the product/process been approved by the State or regional municipalities.
- Is the product/process compatible with our utility systems.
- Advantages/disadvantages versus major competitors or current practice.
- Will the product/process require additional repair inventory.
- Availability of technical/operational support.
Under normal circumstances, final decisions will be made, and submitters will be notified in writing within 60 days. Decision times for items initially designated as under review or for test application, will vary depending on factors such as, the amount of additional research needed, the availability of test sites, and the established duration of the test period.
Products or Processes designated as under review may be removed from further consideration, if the submitter fails to respond to requests by the Committee for additional information within 60 days.
The approval for a product or process is limited to the stated model(s) or conditions at the date of approval. Any modifications require additional review and approval. Approval may be rescinded at any time by the Committee for sufficient cause, such as poor material performance, unapproved design changes, changes in manufacturing process, or inadequate technical support.
Products or Processes that are disapproved or tabled may be reconsidered, if the submitter can supply additional information that may influence the stated basis for the Committee's decision. However, the Department reserves the right to disapprove any product or process deemed to be incompatible with our current methods and materials and to limit the number of approved manufacturers or models of any particular types of products.
Appeals to the Committee's decisions may be made to the chairman. Further appeals should be made to the Director of Public Utilities.