Backflow Testing

As a homeowner, there are few things more terrifying than a plumbing problem. It’s something that we don’t like to think about often, but an issue with your plumbing can be catastrophic. Perhaps the most concerning would be the concept of a backflow, where the plumbing system works in reverse, sending water from potentially contaminated sources back into your house. Obviously, this would be a huge issue that could render your house unsanitary and, at least temporarily, unliveable. Even more of a problem, an issue can impact the drinking water supply for those surrounding the event, making prevention a massive issue.

Causes and Prevention of Backflow

Backflow occurs at any point of cross connection between water lines. In other words, wherever water goes in and comes out, there is the potential for contamination. Obviously, this sounds like that there can be plenty of issues when it comes to the issue of backflow. However, there are a couple of ways this is prevented. Primarily, backflow prevention comes from the installation of a one-way valve that prevents the contaminants from returning to the clean water supply.

  • There are two major types of valves, a testable and an untestable valve that is installed in most commercial properties and homes. The determination upon which valve is installed in a particular situation is based upon a risk assessment. If the risk of contamination is high, a testable valve will be used for ongoing monitoring. An untestable valve will be used when there isn’t a substantial risk of contamination.
  • Backflow testing is required by law in the Gold Coast on an annual basis, to monitor and prevent any problems. The continued testing ensures that issues are caught prior to contamination and allows maintenance or replacement to be performed without issue.
  • There are multiple types of testable backflow prevention valves. These include reduced pressure zone devices, double-check valve assembly, registered air gap, registered break tank, reduced pressure detector assembly, double-check detector assembly, spill resistant pressure type vacuum breaker and pressure type vacuum breaker. All of these require annual backflow testing in Gold Coast to stay within legal compliance.

Backflow Testing Is Required Annually

Every year, the city of Gold Coast requires testing of certain backflow prevention valves to ensure contamination does not occur. Here are some important things to know about this testing process and how to ensure it is done within compliance.

  • The city will send reminder letters from the Queensland government as a reminder. This letter will be sent annually to ensure all property owners are up to date on this compliance process.
  • A licensed plumber handles the testing process. Ensure that the plumber you select is licensed for the particular backflow valve that is used on your property. Once the plumber performs any maintenance and certifies your valve, they are responsible for filling out a Form 9 compliance certificate and submitting it to the government on your behalf, although follow up is always recommended.
  • The City of Gold Coast does include an annual registration fee for these valves. The fee is levied every September, and it is based on the number of valves and whether the property is commercial or residential. Right now, commercial buildings classed between 2 and 9 are charged $97 per valve. Residential buildings designated either class 1 or 10 pay $25 per valve.

Keeping up with the annual backflow testing in Gold Coast keeps you in compliance with the law and continues to preserve the quality and sanitation of our water supply.