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Be a Good Neighbor: Get Your Backflow Assembly Tested

July 27, 2020

With irrigation season in full swing, now is a good time to protect yourself, your family and your neighbors by making sure any cross connections at your home or business have functioning and tested backflow assemblies.

A cross connection is created when your building's pipe or hoses are connected to a system or container that holds anything other than pure drinking water. Landscape sprinkler systems, swimming pools and fire sprinklers are examples of cross connections.

When you turn on the tap to fill a glass with drinking water, that water flows because the pressure in the distribution system pushes the water out of the pipes, through your tap and into the glass. A change in the pressurized drinking water system can cause water to flow backwards - sucking potential contaminants into the drinking water system as if through a straw.

Even a garden hose sitting in a bucket of soapy, dirty car-washing solution can act as a straw if a low-pressure event occurs. This, too, can send contaminants into the drinking water system.

A functioning and maintained backflow prevention assembly on such systems prevents contaminated water from "backflowing" into the drinking water system. Keep in mind that if a backflow incident occurs, it could contaminate not only your water, but your neighbor's drinking water as well.

The state of Oregon (OAR 333-061-0070) and EWEB require that all backflow prevention assemblies on the systems listed below be tested each year in order to comply with health and plumbing codes.

  • Landscape sprinkler systems
  • Pools and spas
  • Heating, cooling and fire sprinkler systems
  • Wells
  • Any possible pollutant or contaminant

If you haven't called your regular backflow assembly tester yet for the annual inspection, EWEB and your neighbors ask that you do so immediately. Click here for a list of certified backflow assembly testers.