What is a backflow preventer?

A backflow preventer is a device that allows water to flow in one direction but never in the opposite direction. Its sole purpose is to prevent drinking water from being contaminated due to back siphon or back pressure.

Why do I need a backflow preventer at my home?

If you have an irrigation system (Sprinkler System) at your home, a backflow preventer prevents hazardous substances (i.e. lawn chemicals, fertilizers, soil borne bacteria and parasites) from inadvertently being drawn into the drinking water system and contaminating it.
If you have a swimming pool with an automatic pool fill it should also have a backflow device to prevent pool water from inadvertently being drawn into the drinking water system and contaminating it.

Why do I get notices from the city or water purveyor requiring that my backflow device be tested annually?

To ensure the backflow preventer is operating properly. A backflow preventer is a mechanical device that will eventually fail. This would allow for the possibility of hazardous substances to contaminate the drinking water.

Who can perform a backflow test?

​A Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester who is currently licensed with the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) and your city or water purveyor.

​If my backflow assembly fails does it have to be replaced?

​Not necessarily. If the backflow preventer body is not damaged it can usually be repaired by replacing some of the internal parts. In some instances, just removing and flushing the internal parts will result in a pass.

What is the most common reason a backflow device has to be replaced?

Often times it is due to freeze damage. Talk with your backflow tester about what can be done to help prevent freeze damage to your backflow device.

Who's responsible for submitting the backflow test report to the city or water purveyor?

The individual who is performing the backflow test. It is always a good idea to ask for a copy of the test report to have for your records. In the event that the tester fails to submit the test report within the required time frame and you get a late notice from the city, you have proof that you did have the test done.

What happens if I fail to have my backflow preventer tested?

In most cases after the final notice has been sent out, the city or water purveyor will give a date as to when they will be blocking the water in and discontinuing service.