Backflow Testing Program

Backflow Device

Backflow Testing Program 

Federal and state laws require all water providers to meet certain standards to obtain, treat, and deliver water to protect public health.  Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requires all water providers establish a Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention Program.  Generally, this includes establishing requirements for the installation of backflow assemblies or devices preventing the flows or back-siphonage from unwanted connections that may threaten public health.  TCEQ requires all backflow devices or assemblies:

  • Must be tested upon installation and at least once annually.  Additional testing may be required depending on the health hazard.
  • Must receive a periodic Customer Service Inspection.  The inspections are intended to identify and validate all device locations, their appropriateness, and determine if additional devices are required.

The City will begin mailing informational letters to businesses and residences that are potential high hazard connections to the public water system in October 2018. Recipients who receive this notification have active water connections that may potentially contaminate the City’s water distribution system through improper cross-connections within structure plumbing and/or improperly functioning backflow prevention devices.

  • Multi-tenant centers
  • Medical and Dental Facilities
  • Restaurants
  • Funeral homes
  • Veterinary facilities
  • Commercial Kitchens
  • Laboratories
  • Schools
  • Apartments
  • Dry Cleaners
  • Well water locations
  • Septic system locations
  • Water connections from outside water sources (e.g., amenity lakes, canals and reclaimed water)

Additionally, effective October 1, 2018, the City’s third party service provider, BSI Inc., will begin mailing official notifications requiring annual certification of applicable backflow assemblies for these locations.  Archived backflow certifications have been sent to BSI for their database. If a certification has been completed and submitted to the City within the past twelve months, BSI will schedule the location’s next annual testing accordingly.

Implementation of this program is mandated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Compliance verification will be scheduled by the Building Official to review location’s backflow requirements.

Program Guidelines 
The City of Deer Park has established a Backflow Testing Program to help assure the backflow prevention devices protecting the City water system from potential health hazards are tested annually.  The program requires property owners maintain responsibility for ensuring their backflow prevention device is in good working order and providing annual test reports as proof of compliance. 

Customers
 
Backflow testing is the owner’s responsibility and is paid for by the owner.  Additionally, owners are required to pay a one-time registration fee of $35 for each backflow device.  

All repairs, replacements, or overhaul assemblies must also be performed by licensed backflow prevention assembly tester and permitted by the City.

Click here (backflow tester list) for an up-to-date list of companies and testers.

Records
The City of Deer Park uses a third party, Backflow Solutions Inc., to maintain electronic records of backflow testing information.  Backflow test reports and tester licensing and gauge information are entered by testers or testing company representatives online via the internet in the BSI database.  BSI sends testing due and over-due notices to customers with the last tester of record listed on the letter as a convenience.  Testing is due on the same date every month and not a year from the last test date.

Contact BSI by phone at (800) 414-4990, by mail at P.O. Box 246, Worth, IL, 60482 or email at bsionline@backflow.com.

Enforcement
Failure of an owner to have the annual backflow testing performed and reported to the City through BSI Online will result in an escalated enforcement measure that may include termination of water service and assessment of $40 processing fee per City ordinance. Property owners may delegate testing activities to tenants, site managers, or property managers; however, the property owner is responsible and will be held accountable for compliance in enforcement proceedings.  Correspondence and enforcement notifications will be addressed to the party receiving the water bill for the address with the non-compliance.

Owners should remind their testing company to adhere to the following procedures when submitting backflow assembly test reports.

Testers and Testing Companies
Certified backflow prevention assembly tester registration fee: Annual registration fee of $75 for the TCEQ approved testers shall be a nonrefundable fee to show proof of their current TCEQ License and testing equipment in accordance with current TCEQ regulation.  The annual fee is payable to the City of Deer Park.  
To register, click here. 

All backflow assembly test reports for existing and replacement backflow devices must be submitted via the BSI Online Backflow Tracking System (and not to the City) at: www.bsionlinetracking.com 

All testing companies are required to submit test reports within 48 hours of test date.  Failure to do so will result in enforcement notification of the customer regarding the non-compliant status of their devices.  If not entered online, the ultimate escalation of enforcement is termination of the customer's water service. 

Testers and testing companies are reminded to obtain the Customer Confirmation Number (CCN) from your customer located at the top of the reminder or overdue letter received.  This number is needed by the backflow tester in order to access records in the BSI Online System.  Contact BSI if the number is lost or unknown.


Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. Why does The City of Deer Park need a Cross-Connection and Backflow Testing Program? The program safeguards the public drinking water and protects the health of its customers by ensuring that any contaminants that could backflow into the public water supply system are isolated within the customer's internal distribution system. 
  2. What is backflow? Backflow refers to the reverse flow of non-potable water, or other substances, through a cross-connection and into the piping of a public water system or customer's potable water system.  Two types of backflow are backpressure backflow and back-siphonage. 
  3. What is backflow prevention assembly?  A backflow prevention assembly is a means or mechanism to prevent backflow.  The basic means for preventing backflow is an air gap, which either eliminates a cross-connection or provides barrier from backflow.  The basic mechanism for preventing backflow is a mechanical backflow preventer, which provides a physical barrier to backflow.  The principal types of backflow preventers are the reduced-pressure assembly, the pressure vacuum breaker assembly and the double check valve assembly. 
  4. Why do backflow devices need to be tested? Mechanical backflow prevention assemblies have internal seals, springs, and moving parts that are subject to fouling, wear or fatigue.  Also, mechanical backflow preventers and air gaps can be bypassed.  Therefore, all backflow prevention assemblies have to be tested to ensure that they are functioning correctly.  Mechanical backflow prevention assemblies have to be tested with properly calibrated gauge equipment. 
  5. What type of documentation needs to be submitted to the City as proof that testing has been completed? The licensed tester will input the approved backflow testing report to BSI Incorporated's database.  BSI will notify the City upon input completion.  If the customer's backflow testing report is not inputted into the BSI database on or by the due date; then BSI will mail a past due notice to the customer.  If the backflow report is not inputted into the BSI database two weeks after the due date, BSI will notify the City that the customer's backflow assembly is not in compliance.  At which time, the City may disconnect the water service until the customer's backflow device comes into compliance.
  6. How can I verify that the testing of my backflow prevention assembly has/has not been completed?  You can email us at publicworks@deerparktx.org or call 281-478-7239.

References