WHAT IS BACKFLOW?
Backflow is where water flows through your plumbing supply in the wrong direction, that is, toward the main water supply. This can potentially be hazardous to public health where water supplies are connected with pollutants or contaminants that, due to a backflow incident, can unintentionally enter the main drinking water supply....
Due to the serious health risks posed by a backflow incident, each connection to the main drinking water supply must have backflow prevention device installed. This is an obligation under the Water Services Act 2012 and Water Services Regulations 2013. Regulations 42 and 43 also provide that the Water Corporation has the right to serve an order on a property owner or occupier to install a backflow prevention device.
WHAT CAUSES BACKFLOW?
Backflow occurs when there is a drop in water pressure. This can happen for a number of reasons including:
- A burst or ruptured main;
- Use of higher eater pressure than that supplied by the Water Corporation; or
- When water is pumped from the main water supply by fire fighting services.
TYPES OF PROTECTION AVAILABLE?
There are three kinds of protection offered by backflow prevention devices. A containment protection device is installed downstream of the water meter assembly. Individual protection devices are installed at the point of any possible contamination sites. Zone protection is where a backflow prevention device is used to isolate a specific area or a building located on the property.
TYPES OF BACKFLOW PREVENTION DEVICES
There are different types of backflow prevention devices and the type required will depend upon the risk rating allocated to your property.
Risk ratings are assigned in accordance with land use codes and the activities conducted at the property. Levels of risk include low, medium and high, and each level has a minimum backflow device requirement.
Reduced Pressure Zone and Registered Break Tank devices must be tested annually and are suitable for use where a property is rated as high risk.
Double Check Valves must be tested annually and are suitable for use in medium risk properties.
Dual Check Valves do not require annual testing and are suitable for use on low risk properties.
Who can install a backflow prevention device?
Only a licensed plumbing contractor with a backflow prevention accreditation issued b y a registered training organisation can inspect, commission and test backflow devices.
Ownership, registration and responsibility
Backflow prevention devices are installed at the boundary of a property. It is the responsibility of the property owner or occupier to arrange for ongoing testing and maintenance of all installed backflow prevention devices.
All backflow prevention devices installed at a property must be registered with the Water Corporation. Bell Plumbing & Gas can submit registration information for any devices installed by us.
WHEN SHOULD MAINTENANCE BE SCHEDULED?
It is important to maintain backflow prevention equipment as the health risks associated with a backflow incident are severe. Backflow prevention devices should therefore be tested every 12 months. Additionally, all devices will need to be tested following any maintenance being carried out on the device. A completed ‘Inspection and Maintenance Report’ must be submitted to the Water Corporation following testing.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT COMPLY WITH REGULAR TESTING?
The Water Corporation will send letters to property owners reminding them to arrange for annual testing to be conducted on their backflow prevention devices. They will also carry out inspections of properties to ensure compliance. Failure to test backflow prevention devices annually or following any maintenance works will result in the Water Corporation serving a non-compliance notice on the owner or occupier of the property.
In the event of non-compliance, and in accordance with the Water Services Act 2012 (WA), the Water Corporation has the right to restrict or disconnect water services to a property in order to protect the main drinking water supply from possible contamination.
BACKFLOW PREVENTION SERVICES BY BELL PLUMBING & GAS
Bell Plumbing & Gas are accredited backflow prevention plumbers in Rockingham WA. We offer:
- Installation and commissioning of backflow valves and devices;
- Inspection, testing, servicing and replacement of all backflow prevention devices;
- Annual reminder letters or emails forwarded to clients when testing falls due;
- Submission of Inspection & Maintenance Reports to the Water Corporation following each test;
- Discounted rates for clients who choose to enter into a services contract with Bell Plumbing & Gas for annual backflow prevention services.