Backflow Prevention & Testing Brisbane
Backflow prevention devices are required to be regularly tested and maintained by a licensed plumber on an annual basis and the results of these tests need to be provided to your relevant councils such as the Brisbane City Council or the Moreton Bay Regional Council. Failure to conduct these tests may lead to public health risks.
Inspection & Maintenance of Backflow Prevention Devices & Air Gaps
It is important to keep backflow prevention valves functioning properly as a malfunctioning backflow device can leak contaminated fluids back into Brisbane’s water supply.
What is Backflow?
Backflow is the process where a reversal of fluids then enters the main water supply line of a property. These contaminated fluids could contain chemicals, sewage, or other foreign matter. Understandably this is a high risk situation and could lead to major health problems if not properly contained with an effective backflow preventer.
How Does Backflow Occur?
The main water supply system in Brisbane and Moreton Bay catchments is designed so that the flow of water to your property is delivered under pressure, this ensures a strong consistent flow of water at the tap. If that pressure fails or is not maintained, there is a chance that the water can flow backwards into the mains supply.
It imperative to maintain a consistent water pressure so being aware of how water pressure can drop will help you identify any possible backflow hazards. If there is:
- A crack or disruption in the water main
- Water being pumped from a water main during a fire
- A higher water pressure on your property than that supplied by the water authority
- Heavy water use downstream from your property
- An elevated water outlet that is higher than the water main
Contamination hazards are present when there is a cross connection between your water supply and a contaminated source. A pressure drop would then create a vacuum effect which can draw the contaminated fluids back to the mains supply. We have outlined the types of properties where there is a higher than normal risk to public health below. For more info, see the Brisbane Council backflow fact sheet.
How to Apply for a Backflow Device Permit
Once you’ve had a plumber complete the backflow prevention tests, copies of the Form 9 test results together with payment of the renewal fee and the removable section of the fee notice issued by your local council must be submitted. This is the basic process required to renew your backflow prevention permit for the next year. Payment methods and council contacts are listed on your fee notice for your reference.
Potential Sources of Contamination
Common areas where backflow contamination may occur include:
- Air conditioning towers
- Irrigation areas
- Fire hose reels
- Ornamental Ponds
- Swimming pools/spas
- Vehicle maintenance pits
- Dishwasher/glass washers
- Vehicle washing bays
- Sullage pits/process tanks
- Chemical injection areas
- Dockside facilities/jetties
- Boilers/steam pipes
Examples of properties required to comply with backflow prevention:
- Motels and unit complexes
- Catering and allied industries
- Vehicle repair workshops
- Shops and restaurants
- Caravan parks
- Medical and dental surgeries including veterinary surgeries
- Car and plant washing facilities
- Dry cleaners and laundries
- Hospitals and funeral parlours
- Clubhouses for sports etc.
- Industrial installations
- Schools, daycare centres, and kindergartens
- Pest control and water carrying vehicles
- Chemical (storage) plants
- Properties used for agricultural and horticultural purposes
- Marinas, shop yards and boat building properties
- Zoos and local attractions
- Botanic gardens
- Railway stations
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