Drinking Water Protection
Learn how to protect drinking water on your property through our Cross Connection Control Program.
Cross Connection Control Program
A cross connection is when our clean drinking water system connects to non-potable substances. For example, a garden hose submerged into a soapy bucket or a fire sprinkler system directly connected to a drinking water line.
Cross connections may lead to serious health risks. They create a path for contaminants to flow backwards into the drinking water supply under low-pressure conditions. This is called backflow. To avoid backflow, install backflow preventer devices at applicable connection points.
Our Cross Connection Control program maintains drinking water quality in our water distribution system. The program includes:
- enforcement of annual testing of existing backflow preventers
- installation of backflow preventers for all new or redeveloped properties in the City
This all supports the City’s Cross Connection Control Bylaw.
How to Reduce Backflow Risk
- Hire a plumbing contractor to select and install required backflow preventers.
Hire a certified tester to test and inspect backflow preventers every year. Submit the test report to the City.
- If a backflow preventer fails a test or is leaking: have it inspected, repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
- If a backflow preventer and the hazard it isolates is removed: send a removal form to the City.
Backflow Preventer Testing
All testable backflow preventers need regular testing to ensure they are working correctly. To test a backflow preventer, hire a certified tester who:
- has a valid BCWWA certification and City of Surrey business license
- has calibrated testing equipment
follows appropriate testing guidelines: see Cross Connection Control Standard and Specifications and CSA.
Test backflow preventers:
- when installed
- every year afterwards
- after a device is repaired, relocated, replaced
- if any other alterations are made to the device
You must submit the test report to the City of Surrey after each backflow preventer test and inspection.
Backflow Preventer Forms and Procedures
New or Unregistered Backflow Preventers
The tester must submit the test report within 14 days of the date of the test to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Submissions must be legible and signed
- You need a plumbing permit for all new or previously unregistered backflow preventers.
- All fees, including test report fees, are due at the time of your permit application.
- You can also submit a paper copy to Engineering Department – Water Section 13450 104 Avenue Surrey, BC V3T 1V8
The test report form now includes a space for a plumbing permit number. We will only accept reports with a valid permit number.
Existing Backflow Preventers
- You must submit test reports online.
- Certified testers can register and submit test reports via the City’s contractor, BSI Online.
- Follow the steps in the Tester Introduction Brochure.
Replacing a Backflow Preventer
If you replace any part of an existing backflow preventer, test the new/replacement device must immediately.
Submit the test replacement through BSI Online. Include information about the device being replaced.
Removing a Backflow Preventer
Complete A Backflow Preventer Removal Form and send it to email@example.com. This confirms that the backflow preventer, and the hazards it isolates, have been removed.
You must also include photos showing the previous location of the backflow preventer and hazard.
After we receive your forms, we will deactivate the backflow preventer. We won't issue further notice for testing of the device.
For more information on cross connections and backflow, contact Engineering at firstname.lastname@example.org.