Backflow is the term used to describe the unwanted reverse flow of water. All water supply systems intended for human use, food preparation, utensil washing or oral hygiene must be protected from contact with contaminated water. This applies to water services connected to rainwater tanks, Council’s main water supply and/or alternative water supplies. Contamination of potable water supplies can cause serious health risks.
Backflow Prevention Devices are installed to control the risk of backflow of potentially polluted or contaminated water into drinking and bathing water supply systems. There are a number of different types of Backflow Prevention Devices available to suit any particular situation.
Backflow Prevention Devices can only be installed, inspected and tested by a licensed Plumber with a Backflow Prevention Device endorsement.
Some potential sources of contamination include:
- Fire Hose Reels (FHR)
- Swimming pools
- Vehicle maintenance pits
- Ornamental ponds
- Air conditioning towers
- Vehicle/Bin wash bays
- Chemical Injection areas
Some examples of properties which may require Backflow Prevention Devices are:
- Motels, hotels, unit complexes and caravan parks
- Vehicle repair workshops
- Medical and Dental Surgeries
- Hospitals and Funeral Parlors
- Car and plant washing facilities
- Dry Cleaners and Laundries
- Schools, Day Care Centres and Kindergartens
- Club houses for sports
- Pest Control and water carrying vehicles
- Botanic Gardens
First & Final Notice
Backflow Prevention Devices come under the Standard Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2003, Part 5 Division 2 Section 38, which states that
(1) A local government must implement and maintain a program for its local government area for the registration, maintenance and testing of testable backflow prevention devices installed in the area.
(2) The local government, or an entity authorised by the local government, must keep a register of the testable backflow prevention devices.
(3) An owner of an installed testable Backflow Prevention Device must -
(a) register the device with the local government or entity; and
(b) at least once each year, have the device inspected or tested by a person who is licensed to do the work.
Maximum penalty - 20 penalty units
(4) A person who inspects or tests a testable backflow prevention device must, within 10 business days after inspecting or testing the device, give the local government written results of the inspection or test in the approved form.
Maximum penalty - 10 penalty units
An annual fee for each device is to be submitted to Council with the results of the test undertaken by a person licensed to do the work. Please see the Fees and Charges
section for more information.
To remind the owner that their Backflow Prevention Device is due for testing, Council issues a First & Final Notice at the beginning of the month in which the device is due to be tested. Failure to comply with a First & Final Notice will result in a Show Cause Notice being issued by Council, and then an Enforcement Notice with legal ramifications if no action is taken.
If you have any queries about Backflow Prevention Devices, please contact the Plumbing Section on 1300 242 686 or 07 4982 8378.