If you are an owner of a commercial and industrial property, then it is your responsibility to install and test backflow devices. And not only them, even homeowners find themselves in situations in which backflow devices must be installed and tested annually.
For business owners, the required annual backflow device testing and repairs are taken in stride as simply a normal cost of doing business. Many homeowners do not understand the importance of backflow device testing and this is the reason why they resist this idea.
They are not happy with the annual expense since they feel the cost of testing should have been covered in their water bill.
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. If backflow device testing is not done, then the potable water system faces a real threat of contamination and health hazards and this has already been witnessed in some communities in 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 from whom they purchase water owns only the water lines from their source up to and including the water meter. Anything beyond it, including the water papers and the backflow device is owned by the homeowner. Water suppliers are not required by law to perform the device testing or repairs and they usually don’t. It is only ensuring that homeowners are doing backflow device testing that they are required to do. Adding this to their services is too much of a cost to offer.
Backflow device testing and repairs can be done by an independent contractor. These contractors are those that have obtained certification from the state to do so. 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. This certification must be maintained through scheduled re-testing. In order to conduct tests and make repairs, a certified independent contractor must invest in test equipment and tools. It is expensive to buy test equipment which you should have to calibrate annually in a certified facility. The cost of equipment discourages water suppliers to do backflow device testing.
Cross-connection/backflow control processes are mandated by the federal and state governments. This policy is implemented because of the threat to our potable water system which is very real.
The backflow prevention program that is in place in your community is for your protection. If the potable water systems comes in contact with backflow leakages, then pollutant and contaminants will contaminate the water system. You will have high level health hazards in your water supply.
Backflow device testing will ensure that there are no leaks in the device; these are mechanical devices that can wear, weaken, and fail over time.