Backflow

To ensure the safety of our community’s water supply, we need to reduce the risk of potential contamination. That means we need to make sure our customers install and maintain backflow prevention devices where they are required.

What is backflow?

Water usually flows to your property at a consistent pressure, so you’ll have the same water pressure from your taps and fixtures every day. If the pressure in the pipes is reduced, it’s possible for contaminated water from your property to be drawn back into our water supply system - this is called backflow.

Backflow can risk the safety of the community’s drinking supply. 

Preventing Backflow 

Backflow can be prevented by installing a backflow prevention device at the outlet of your main water meter. This device will only allow water to enter your property through the water meter and prevents it from flowing back into our water supply system and causing potential contamination.

When backflow device/s need to be installed 

The following new and existing property types rated as Medium or High-Risk are required to have backflow prevention device/s installed at the main water meter:

  • Commercial 
  • Industrial 
  • Residential.

Most residential properties are considered Low Risk and therefore do not require a testable backflow prevention device. However, properties will be considered Medium Risk if you have a:

  • bidet
  • toilet douche
  • below ground rain water tanks.

We’ll advise you of your property’s risk level, and subsequent need for a backflow prevention device, as part of the assessment of your plumbing application.
 

Backflow FAQs

How do I obtain a backflow prevention device?

Once we have advised you of what kind of device is needed at your property, you’ll need to engage a licensed plumber accredited in backflow prevention to carry out the installation.

The following organisations can help you find an accredited plumber for the job:

How much does Backflow device installation cost?

On average, installation costs are around: 

  • $135 (for a small business or household) 
  • up to $1,000 (for a large organisation using a high volume of water) depending on the size and type of device. 

Please note: Backflow Installation work should always be carried out by a licensed plumber. 
 

What do I need to do once the backflow device is installed?

Once the device is installed, your plumber will run a test to make sure it’s all in working order and provide you a copy of the report, as well as send us a copy. We’ll record the details of the test on our register and notify you on an annual basis of when your device is due for testing. 

Once installed, you are legally responsible to have your Backflow Prevention Device tested by your plumber annually. A defective device can: 

  • cause a backflow incident 
  • allow water to escape through leaking devices 
  • reduce the water pressure to your property. 
     

How do I arrange a test?

Arranging a test is easy – any licensed plumber who is accredited in backflow prevention can do the test for you. The following organisations can help you find an accredited plumber for the job: 

Once you have found a plumber and they arrive at your property to do the test, please encourage them to use our standard Backflow Prevention Test Report form.
 

What do I need to do with my test results?

Once your device is tested and your plumber hands you the test report, you will need to scan or take a screen shot of this and email us within 14 days of the testing taking place.

What happens if I don’t arrange an annual test?

If you fail to install or maintain your backflow prevention device, you may expose yourself and/or your colleagues to serious or even fatal injuries. You may also be liable for injury and/or product liability claims; litigation and possibly penalties, or damages caused to nearby premises. Remember, it is a legal requirement to annually test your Backflow Prevent Device/s.

If you fail to test your device and submit the results to us within the required timeframe, we may need to arrange a licensed contractor to undertake a test on your behalf and charge it back to you, which could cost more than if you were to arrange it yourself.

For further information about what’s required for backflow prevention, device testing and backflow risk ratings in our Backflow prevention containment policy and Backflow Prevention Containment Guidelines

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