Backflow Prevention

Backflow prevention is essential for protecting our drinking water from the dangers of backflow. Backflow Solutions, Inc. (BSI Online) administers our Backflow Prevention Program, ensuring backflow prevention devices are installed and maintained in compliance with federal, state and local codes.

List of Registered Backflow Testers   Code of Ordinances  Information for Backflow Testers

Why do backflow devices need to be tested and how often?
What if I don’t get my device tested or my device fails the test?

What is backflow?

Backflow is the reverse flow of water in any pipeline, causing non-potable water to flow into the public water supply. Backflow can occur when changes in water pressure create a suction effect, forcing non-potable water into the City’s drinking water supply.

For example, when a main waterline breaks, the water pressure in the pipe on the City’s side is drastically reduced. The reduced pressure causes a suction effect and any substance in the pipe on the customer’s side is then drawn up into the system, contaminating the City’s water supply.

Backflow Preventionbackflow device edited

Backflow prevention devices are used to protect our potable water supply from contamination due to backflow. Without these barriers, water that is no longer safe for consumption, such as water from pools, irrigation systems, restaurants, and medical facilities, could travel into the City’s water supply and contaminate the drinking water.

Typically, backflow prevention devices are required for plumbing system connections that contain chemicals or industrial fluids, irrigation systems, fertilizers or auxiliary water sources (including reclaimed water).

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Do I have a backflow prevention device?

Residential properties with irrigation systems, pools, or fire sprinkler systems are required to have a backflow prevention device. These devices are typically located by the curb in a separate box by your water meter box.

For help determining if you have a backflow device, please contact Backflow Prevention at 512-218-5575.

How do I get my backflow device tested?

The City sends notifications, through BSI Online, to residents and businesses 30 days prior to their testing due date.

If you received a notice, you will need to do the following:
  1. Hire a Registered Backflow Tester
  2. Provide your Customer Confirmation Number (CCN), located on the notice, to your Tester
  3. Check your test report status using your CCN at BSIOnlineTracking.com
The backflow tester will need to:
  1. Perform the required test
  2. Submit all test reports through BSIOnlineTracking.com
  3. Pay $12.95 per test report submitted

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Why do I need to have my device tested?

Backflow prevention devices are mechanical devices, containing springs and other moving parts that are subject to wearing down and/or breaking. Routine maintenance and testing is necessary to ensure the device is working properly. Depending on the degree of hazard, backflow prevention devices need to be tested either annually or once every 7 years.

  • Annual Testing is required for High Hazard devices. These devices are typically used for non-residential purposes, such as hospitals, restaurants, industries, etc. in which there is a high risk of contamination.  Residential pools with auto-fill are also required to have a high hazard device and have it tested annually.
  • 7 Year Testing is required for Low Hazard devices. These devices are typically used for residential purposes, such as irrigation systems. The risk of contamination is much lower than those considered High Hazard; therefore testing is required once every 7 years.

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What if I don’t get my device tested?

If the backflow device is not tested within the allotted time frame, the City will have the device tested and a testing fee of $75 plus the actual cost of each test will be charged to your water bill.

What if my device fails the required test?

If you had your device tested and it did not pass, you will have 30 days to have the device repaired and retested.

If the City had your device tested and it did not pass, the actual cost of the repairs and the retest will be added to your water bill.

Resources

Potable vs. Non-Potable

Potable water is safe for consumption. This water has been properly treated so that it is safe for drinking, bathing, and cooking.

Non-potable water is NOT safe for consumption.  This is water that either did not go through the same treatment process as potable water or it has been properly treated, but has since become contaminated.  Many factors can make potable water become non-potable, such as exposure to chemicals, gasses, pollution, infective agents, or any other contaminant.

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Backflow Prevention
Phone: 512-218-5575 | Fax: 512-218-6649