The Importance of Backflow prevention
Backflow is a situation that can occur when hydraulic conditions within a water system deviate from "normal" conditions, possibly allowing contaminated water to enter through a cross connection in the drinking water distribution system. To prevent this situation from occurring, the Village of Palm Springs Utilities Department requires non-residential and large meter customers to install and maintain testable backflow prevention assemblies to protect the public drinking water distribution system.
Backflow is possible in two situations: backsiphonage and backpressure.
Backsiphonage and Backpressure
When there is a sudden reduction in water pressure in the public drinking water distribution system, such as during firefighting or when a water main breaks, water flow can potentially be reversed. This can create a suction effect, possibly drawing contaminated water into the drinking water system.
Backpressure is created when the pressure in a private non-drinking water system, such as in a re-circulating system containing soap, acid, or anti-freeze, exceeds the pressure in the public drinking water system that it is connected to. This can force contaminated water into the drinking water system.
Backflow Prevention Assembly
A backflow prevention assembly is an approved, testable assembly that uses valves in different configurations to prevent potentially contaminated water from reversing direction and flowing into the public water distribution system.
How do I know if I need a backflow prevention assembly?
New customers connecting to a newly installed water service will be provided with written notice if a backflow prevention assembly must be installed prior to service activation.
Existing customers without a backflow prevention assembly installed will be notified by letter that the backflow prevention assembly needs to be installed.
Who can install a backflow prevention assembly?
Village of Palm Springs Utilities Department recognizes only State or County-licensed plumbing contractors and their employees that are a Certified Backflow Prevention Technician (CBPT) for the installation and maintenance of potable backflow prevention assemblies.
Where should a backflow prevention assembly be located?
Backflow prevention assemblies must be located on the customer's side of the water meter and installed in accordance with the Village of Palm Springs’ Code of Ordinances, the Palm Beach County Plumbing Code and manufacturer specifications. The assembly must not obstruct any maintenance required on the meter, and the backflow prevention assembly must remain on private property.
Who owns and is responsible for testing and maintenance of the backflow prevention assembly?
The customer owns and is solely responsible for ensuring that the assembly is installed and in satisfactory operating condition at all times.
New customers requiring a backflow prevention assembly are responsible for hiring a CBPT to install the backflow prevention assembly. A Village of Palm Springs Utilities employee will perform the Initial Backflow Prevention Assembly Certification at the time the water service is activated. Service will not be activated until the assembly passes this Initial Backflow Prevention Assembly Test and Certification. If the assembly does not pass this certification, the customer must contact a CBPT to have the problem corrected and retested. The customer must then contact the Village of Palm Springs Utilities and provide proof of a passing certification, for water service to be activated.
New and existing customers with a backflow prevention assembly already installed are responsible for ensuring backflow assemblies are always in satisfactory operating condition. The Village of Palm Springs Utilities Department will perform the initial annual inspection of all assemblies within the Village’s service area. If the customer’s assembly fails, the Village will have BSI Online send out a failure notice. It is then the customer’s responsibility to have all repair and maintenance performed on the backflow prevention assembly by a CBPT. After any repair or maintenance, the assembly must be re-tested immediately, and test results will be submitted through BSI Online. Failure to have the assembly repaired or replaced within the time allotted in the failure letter may result in fines, and/or discontinuation of water service, until assembly is brought into compliance.
Finding an Approved Certified Backflow Technician (CBPT)
A plumbing contractor who is a CBPT can be found through an online search.
General Compliance Schedule and Process
Your backflow prevention assembly will be tested annually by a Village of Palm Springs Utilities employee. If the device fails, a notification will be sent requiring compliance within 30 days of the date shown on the notification letter. If compliance has not already been achieved after 30 days, you will receive a notice that your water service may be discontinued unless you achieve compliance.
The Village of Palm Springs Utilities Department requires that your backflow prevention assembly be tested at the following times:
- When your backflow prevention assembly is first installed
- Once a year annually
- After any repair or replacement of a backflow prevention assembly
View Ordinance 2010-26 for a further detailed explanation of the Village of Palm Springs' Cross Connection Control Program and the Backflow prevention guidelines.
Who is responsible for obtaining all required permits?
Customers and or their hired contractors are responsible for obtaining all required permits from the plumbing code officials responsible for the location. For any address inside the Village of Palm Springs please see Village of Palm Springs Planning and Zoning, for Palm Springs Customers outside Village limits please see your municipal entity’s Building Department or Palm Beach County Building Department.
Annual backflow testing is performed by the Village of Palm Springs Utilities Department. If your assembly fails, you will be responsible for having any failed assemblies repaired or replaced and then retested. *
BSI (800-414-4990) operates the Village of Palm Springs Backflow Program Database. Plumbers can simply visit www.bsionline.com, create a user ID, submit the fees related to your test and enter the test data. *
*Only a certified backflow tester can test or repair backflow preventers.
For BSI online submittal instructions, please see this document.
If you would like more information or have additional questions about Backflow Prevention or the Village’s Cross Connection Control Plan, contact us.