Great Facts

Q  What is a backflow prevention assembly?

A  A backflow prevention assembly is a mechanical device or means to prevent backflow into the potable (drinkable) water supply system.

Q   Where should the backflow assembly be installed?

A   For the protection of the public water system, the backflow assembly is required to be installed as close as practicable to the water service connection. This assembly is referred to as the Containment Assembly. There are also reasons to have a internal backflow assemblies within the consumer’s potable water system at the point of use where a substance harmful to human health is handled in a manner that could permit its entry into their potable water supply. This assembly is referred to as the Isolation Assembly.

Q   Why do I need to have my backflow assembly re-certified every year?

A   A lot can happen to these assembly in a year. These assemblies are installed to protect our drinking water. Parts wear out, and our hard water takes a toll on the inside of these assemblies. When parts wear out, the assembly can be in a failing state (not operating the way it was designed). The local water company has the right to force these requirement on the containment assembly (1st assembly down-stream of water meter) and can lock your service off, per Arizona Title 18. Environmental Quality, Section R18-4-215, and your local Health Dept. has the right to fine and give out poor grades on any Isolation assemblies (all assembly down-stream of the containment assembly) that are found to be delinquent with its annual re-certification. These backflow assemblies under this Section, must be tested & certified after new installation, relocation, or repair.

Q  Who can test and certify my backflow assembly?  

A   Test shall be performed by a person who is currently certified as a “general” tester by the California Nevada Section of the American Water Works Association (CA-NV- AWWA), the Arizona State Environmental Technical Training (ASETT) Center, or other certifying authority approved by the Department. Also, your local water company should have a list of approved testers in their jurisdiction.


Q  What happens if my backflow assembly fails or is found to be defective and inoperative?

A   Your backflow assembly can be repaired or replaced. The manufactures of these backflow assemblies have designed them so they can be repaired.

Q   Why am I being required to have a backflow assembly retro fitted at my water service connection, and or on property?

A   The water company may make the installation of a required backflow prevention assembly a condition of service. This would exclude residential. The water company having no jurisdiction beyond the water service connection has no control of how the water is being used on property, making it difficult to protect the public water system.  So, a user’s failure to comply with these requirements shall be a sufficient cause for the local water company to terminate water service. It is a public safety issue, and also falls under Arizona Title 18, R18-4-215. Now for the requirement of a retro installation of a backflow assemblies on the down-stream side of the containment assembly out at your water service connection may be required from your local Health Dept., and only when they find at a point of use where a substance harmful to human health is handled in a manner that could permit its entry into your potable water supply.

Q   What is a cross connection?

A   A cross connection is any connection or arrangement, physical or otherwise, between a potable (drinkable) water supply system and any plumbing fixture or any tank, receptor, equipment, or device, through which it may be possible for non potable, used, unclean, polluted, and contaminated water , or other substances to enter into any part of such potable water system under any condition.

Q   What is back pressure backflow?

A   Back pressure backflow is due to to an increased pressure above the supply pressure, which maybe due to pumps, boilers, gravity, or other sources of pressure.

Q   What is back-siphonage backflow?

A   Back-siphonage backflow is the flowing back of used, contaminated, or poluted water from a plumbing fixture or vessel into a water supply pipe due to a pressure less than atmopheric in such pipe.

Q   How do I know what type of backflow to install?

A   Before any backflow assembly is intalled for the prevention of backflow, it shall have first been approved by the Authority having Juridiction.

Psalm 90:17And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,And establish the work of our hands for us;Yes, establish the work of our hands.

Educational Videos

The bathroom video clip was shot from a camera phone and sent to me moments after this green water contamination was noticed…Facility maintenance staff was addressing the incident and has since been resolved.

Water, It’s not as safe as you may think. You need to make sure you are protected from cross connections!

Water gone bad.

ABPA is an organization dedicated to education and technical assistance. Through its network of regions and chapters, local needs and interests are supported with the resources of the national organization. ABPA is committed to advancing all aspects of backflow prevention for the continued protection of all water users.

Backflow news report.