Is your city properly preventing backflow?

Written by Ryan Ward
on 21 August 2016

Backflow can cause safety issues not only for the localized owner where the event occurs, but also to a broader neighborhood depending on the severity of the event.  Cities should have backflow prevention programs in place to limit risk associated with backflow.  If a city does not have a program in place, health issues and corresponding legal issues could occur.  

What does a quality backflow prevention program look like? provides the information below about how water providers should be working to prevent backflow.  


Most water utilities have cross connection control programs, particularly in big cities. Programs include periodic testing of commercial backflow devices by certified technicians. Buildings requiring backflow prevention devices are identified and monitored. Some utility programs also incorporate backflow–sensing meters, which detect residential backflow. Backflow-sensing meters, combined with an effective pressure management program and an automated meter reading system, can provide utilities with near real-time information on backflow events.

Cities should have a maintained inventory of all backflow devices within their jurisdiction, and they should be actively managing the testing of all those devices.  Education is also an important component of any backflow prevention program.  Partnering with backflow testers and owners of backflow devices while proactively governing all aspects of a backflow prevention program ultimately helps ensure everyone is protected.