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Annual Backflow Inspections

Backflow Testing Program Outline

  1.   We check that the backflow is installed up to code requirements by opening each test port to make sure they are functioning and are clear of debris.
  2.   We test backflow with proper calibrated gauges.
  3.   We complete proper industry standard testing paperwork (pass or fail) per code.
  4.   We file proper paperwork with water district or City (aka "purveyor") and pay fees as needed.
  5.   We provide quotes for any repairs or replacement needed in order to get backflow to pass certification.
  6.   We track each backflow and retest annually when due.

What is a Cross Connection?

A Cross Connection is a connection between a potable drinking water supply and a possible source of contamination or pollution.  Under the provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1971, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established national standards for safe drinking water.  Each state is required to enforce the various regulations of the Safe Drinking Water Act and how it relates to its state laws.

To meet these provisions, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on January 1, 1996, enacted a state law which requires the public water suppliers to implement and enforce the Cross Connection Control Program requirements located in the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 30, Chapter 290 of the Rules and Regulations for Public Water Suppliers.

What is Backflow?

Backflow is the undesirable reversal of flow in a potable water distribution system.  Water that is always under pressure can only flow in one direction.  Then how can water flow in reverse?  Water will always flow towards the point of lowest pressure.  If a water main were to break or if the fire department opened several fire hydrants to help fight a fire, the pressure in the water main could drop.  The demand upstream could cause a reversal in flow.

Cross connections and the possibility of backflow need to be recognized so they do not occur.  A garden hose submerged in a hot tub, swimming pool, car radiator or attached to an insect/fertilizer sprayer could siphon the liquid back into the water main.  Water from an irrigation system could be siphoned back into the public water supply.

Backflow prevention assemblies are designed to protect the public water system from these types of concerns.

Testing of Backflow Prevention Assemblies

All backflow protection assemblies must be tested upon installation, repair or relocation.  Because backflow prevention assemblies are mechanical devices that will degrade over time, all backflow assemblies must be tested annually to ensure they are in working order.

This article has been shared by Direct Service, Construction and Design to specifically accommodate our intended clientele.  The intent of sharing this information is to better inform the public of these general topics, expand knowledge and safety for all and provide crucial information in regard to their MEP and building systems and/or assets. It is NOT our recommendation that any article recommendations or how-to scenarios be attempted by anyone other than a qualified or competent person.