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Industry Responsibilities for Safe Drinking Water

Certified tester inspecting a backflow preventer

Facility owners and operators are responsible for ensuring their employers, patrons and occupants have clean and safe drinking water.

Commercial and industrial facilities often have more cross connections and probability of backflow occurrence because of such things as elevated piping systems, frequent plumbing alterations, use of water for commercial heating and cooling systems, and chemical cleaning. Backflow preventers are devices placed on cross connections to prevent water from backflowing into our drinking water.

How to Reduce Backflow Risk

  • Allow the City to conduct the Cross Connection Survey, inspect the plumbing system for potential cross connection issues;
  • Hire a plumbing contractor to select and install the required backflow preventers in the facilities;
  • Hire a certified tester to test and inspect all installed backflow preventer devices, and submit the test report to the City.
  • If a backflow preventer device fails a test or is visibly discharging water, have the backflow preventer inspected, repaired or replaced as soon as possible;
  • If a backflow preventer and the hazard it isolates is removed, the water consumer and the certified tester need to fill out the Removal Form and send it to the City.

Common Hazards

Here are some commonly found facility cross connections and how backflow preventers can reduce the risk of contaminating the water supply:

Commercial Fire Systems

  • Ensure that fire systems interconnected to the public water distribution system are protected with the appropriate backflow preventer detailed in the City's Cross Connection Standards and Specifications.
  • Backflow protection on the main domestic and fire service connections is mandatory to comply with the City of Surrey's Cross Connection Control Program.

Boilers and Geothermal Systems

  • Ensure there is an approved backflow assembly on the connection between the main water supply and makeup to either of the two systems.

Pools, hot tubs, spas

  • Ensure there is an approved backflow assembly on the connection between the main water supply and makeup to either of the two systems.

For more information, refer to the City's Cross Connection Control Brochure.

Annual Testing

Some devices require testing annually. Small amounts of matter can plug devices and cause them to malfunction. These problems can be avoided with a well-scheduled maintenance program.

Related Content

Backflow Preventer Selection & Installation

Learn about the various types and protection methods for backflow preventers.

Backflow Preventer Forms and Procedures

Find all the forms necessary for reporting device tests, removals and replacement.