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 commercial owners, but residential owners should also feel responsible to have backflow devices 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.
Most owners feel that the water bill they pay should cover the cost of backflow device testing and should not come from their pockets.
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. There is a real threat of pollution or contamination entering the potable water system and has already occurred in some communities within the US.
This issue can be resolved if homeowners understand that their water bill does not include a charge or fee for backflow device testing. 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. They are required to ensure that the testing is accomplished by the owner of the device. Adding this to their services is too much of a cost to offer.
So, independent contractors are there to test these backflow devices. These contractors are those that have obtained certification from the state to do so. You can get a certification if you invest money and time in it. You should enroll in a training course and pass your written and practical test to receive a certification. This certification must be maintained through scheduled re-testing. 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.
Most communities have a backflow prevention program which will protect its residents. Pollutants and contaminants may be introduced into the potable water system at any point at which they come into contact with each other. You will have high level health hazards in your water supply.
The reason for testing these backflow devices annually is because these devices are mechanical devices with moving parts, springs, gaskets, etc. that can wear, weaken, and fail over time.