What is the purpose of the backflow prevention assembly?

Backflow prevention assemblies are installed (typically at the water meter) to protect the drinking water supply against any pollutants and/or containments from a cross-connection within the water system. A cross-connection is any arrangement (temporary or permanent) whereby a public water supply is connected, directly or indirectly, to any other water supply system that may contain pollutants and/or containments. Typical hazards common to cross-connections include an in-ground irrigation system, a garden hose, a secondary source of water such as reclaimed water or a well, a swimming pool, or a body of water such as a lake or pond. If there is a change in water pressure from the main supply system, due to a line break or a loss in pressure, the direction of flow can change causing the backflow of potentially unsafe drinking water into the public drinking water supply system.

Why does the backflow prevention assembly need to be tested annually?

To fulfill the duties of the Florida Safe Drinking Water Act (FSDWA) the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) adopted Rule 61-555.360(2) which requires community water systems to establish and implement a cross-connection control program. Manatee County Ordinance No. 13-35, §2-31-307(1)a, requires backflow prevention assemblies be tested at least once every year. Furthermore, it is important to test the backflow preventer assemblies to insure they are functioning properly, thus protecting the drinking water supply system.

I’ve scheduled my backflow prevention assembly test. What happens now?

A certified backflow technician will perform the test(s) and the measured values will be submitted to the appropriate municipality. You will then receive an invoice along with a copy of filed report(s) for your records. If the backflow preventer fails or if there were any other issues during the test, it will be indicated on the invoice along with a quote to repair the issue(s). No work is ever done without authorization. Once you have your invoice you can submit payment by check via mail or by credit card via our website (see Pay Invoice).

Do I need to be present for the backflow prevention assembly test?

You do not need to be present during the backflow test. We only ask that our technician has clear access to the backflow preventer and that any vegetation is trimmed back. The test does require the water to be turned off, so if you are home during the test, you may experience a short period without water. Of course, you are always welcome to come out to observe the test and/or ask any questions you might have about backflow prevention and testing process.

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