Backflow prevention devices

Backflow prevention

Backflow prevention is the term used to prevent the reverse flow of water from a potentially polluted or contaminated source into drinking and bathing water supply systems. All water supply systems intended for human consumption, food preparation, utensil washing or oral hygiene must be safeguarded. This applies to water services connected to rainwater tanks, main water supply and/or alternative water supplies. A water supply should not be offensive in appearance, taste or odour.

By installing a backflow prevention device this risk of reverse flow is managed. There are a number of backflow prevention devices available.

Where to start

Backflow prevention starts within a property boundary, by isolating a possible contamination source from the town mains or storage tanks (rainwater tanks) from the tap or appliance.

Properties requiring backflow prevention may include:

  • motels and unit complexes
  • hotels
  • vehicle repair workshops
  • shops
  • restaurants
  • caravan parks
  • medical and dental surgeries
  • car and plant washing facilities
  • dry cleaners and laundries
  • hospitals and funeral parlours
  • club houses for sports
  • schools
  • day care centres and kindergartens
  • pest control and water carrying vehicles
  • botanic gardens

Potential sources of contamination include:

  • fire hose reels
  • irrigation
  • swimming pools
  • vehicle maintenance pits
  • ornamental ponds
  • air conditioning towers
  • vehicle/bin washing bays
  • chemical injection areas

Register of backflow prevention devices

Council maintains a program for the registering, maintenance and testing of backflow prevention devices as per s38 of the Standard Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2003  – testable backflow prevention devices. 

We request:

  • a location number to be attached to the testable backflow device, starting location number one at the containment, then working the way to an individual device.
  • a person who inspects or tests a testable backflow prevention device must, within 10 business days, provide written results to us.

The owner must:

  • register the back flow prevention device with council.
  • maintain the device in accordance with the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002
  • have the device inspected or tested by a licenced person at least once each year.  If the device is located in a flood area, the device must be tested within 10 business days of subsidence of flood water.