If you are an owner of a commercial and industrial property, then it is your responsibility to install and test backflow devices. What is true of commercial property owners should be true of homeowners as well; they should have backflow devices installed and tested annually in their property.
For business owners, the required annual backflow device testing and repairs are taken in stride as simply a normal cost of doing business. The idea of backflow device testing is something that most homeowners resist for lack of understanding.
It is because of the expense that they resist the testing and they feel that what they pay for their water bill should cover the testing.
They fail to see the importance of backflow prevention connection control processes in general and the possible hazards it can cause if the program should fail because of neglect. Pollution and contamination entering the potable water system is a real threat and it has already happened in some communities within the US.
If homeowners understand that their water bill does not contain the fee for backflow device testing, then this issue can be resolved. The water supplier that supplied water to your home simply owns the pipe from the source up to your meter. The homeowner owns anything beyond the water meter which includes pipes and backflow devices. Water suppliers don’t perform backflow device testing or repair because they are not required by law to do so. It is only ensuring that homeowners are doing backflow device testing that they are required to do. It is very expensive to do this service to homeowners.
So, independent contractors are there to test these backflow devices. contractors certified by the state are the only ones that can do backflow device testing. You need money and time to get this certification. A training course including a written test should be taken and a practical test must be passed in order to receive the certification. To maintain your certification, scheduled re-testing is necessary. It is important for a certified contractor to invest in test equipment and tools to be able to conduct tests and perform repairs. It is expensive to buy test equipment which you should have to calibrate annually in a certified facility. This is why water suppliers don’t do backflow device testing.
Cross-connection/backflow control processes are mandated by the federal and state governments. This is because there is a very real threat to our potable water system.
The backflow prevention program that is in place in your community is for your protection. Pollutant and contaminants can invade the potable water system if your backflow device is leaking. You will have high level health hazards in your water supply.
Because backflow devices can wear, weaken, and fail over time since they are mechanical devices, it then becomes important to have backflow device testing.