What is Backflow Prevention and why is it important?

What is Backflow Prevention and why is it important?

Here in Australia, strict regulations around water backflow prevention allow us to enjoy some of the cleanest, safest and most reliable water in the world, straight from our taps.

Typically, your plumbing flows in one direction, from your potable water supply through the taps and other outlets in your building, down the drain and into the sewer system. Good water pressure maintains this flow so you can turn on your tap and enjoy fresh, safe drinking water.

If the Mains water pressure goes below the adequate pressure in your plumbing supply, the flow can change direction, hence the name ‘backflow’. This backflow can cause serious problems of waste, pollutants and other hazardous materials entering and contaminating your (or your neighbour’s) drinking water, posing hazardous health risks.   

Changes in pressure can occur if the water main bursts or if there’s a high demand, for example during fire fighting operations. Flooding, as seen during extreme weather events, can also cause issues with backflow.  Risks of backflow contamination can come from water used in domestic and commercial developments, manufacturing, farming and irrigation systems, and medical and sanitation equipment.

Backflow prevention is a term used to prevent the reverse flow of this potentially polluted or contaminated water entering your potable water supply.

Having contaminated water enter your water supply can be prevented by the installation and proper maintenance of a backflow prevention device. This device, and its reliable maintenance, will ensure that water flows in one direction, as typically intended.  The regular testing and maintenance of these devices is essential for preserving the high standards of water quality that we all expect.

You should have a backflow prevention device on your property if you have any of the following:

  • an irrigation system
  • fire hose reels or hydrants
  • industrial equipment
  • water outlets in proximity to pollutants, grease traps or chemicals
  • an alternate water supply
  • chemical cleaning areas
  • an area where you perform any other commercial activities involving water.

Backflow prevention devices differ depending on the level of potential risk of water contamination. This risk is thoroughly and expertly assessed prior to installation.  

Most devices installed for commercial operations are complex and Australian law requires them to be tested annually by a qualified and accredited plumber.

The steps involved in backflow prevention device maintenance include:

Investigate: your Master Plumber will thoroughly check your backflow prevention device for any signs of deterioration or wear and tear.

Test: your Master Plumber will test your device to ensure it is functioning correctly, effectively and efficiently. The requirements on the Test Tag will be completed and certified.

Lodge: your Master Plumber will record and lodge the results of the test with Council within 10 working days.

Repair: your Master Plumber will complete any maintenance or repairs on the device, if required. The device will then be re-tested, and the results will be recorded and re-lodged to the Council.

Each back flow prevention device owner, or tenant, is responsible for the Council registration of the device, the annual testing of the device by a qualified and accredited plumber, and the cost of annual testing and any maintenance.

Are you looking for a Master Plumber experienced in Backflow maintenance? The Plumbaround team can help. Our plumbers are Licensed and Qualified to test, install and certify your Backflow Prevention devices. Backflow devices are required to be tested annually by law. We can take care of testing, certifying and lodging the required Council forms for you. To schedule a job, call our team on 07 3038 1038 or book online.



At Plumbaround we are committed to ensuring a COVID-19 Safe workplace for our staff & a COVID-19 Safe service for our clients. We have implemented a COVID-19 Safe plan to manage the spread of COVID-19. Queensland’s Roadmap to Easing Restrictions outlines how businesses can operate and at which stage. We have undertaken planning to ensure we keep our business, our staff and our customers safe. We have our Work Health and Safety Plan in place, and keep up to date with strategies to on how to manage COVID-19 in this ever-changing time.

Our staff have undertaken Infection Control Training and COVID-19 Safe training in order for Plumbaround to continue to provide a safe Plumbing & Gas fitting service to our clients. Rest assure we are well equipped with up to date policies and directives from the the World Health Organisation; Queensland Health & the Australian Government.

Our staff and client health & safety is our upmost priority at all times. Remember to regularly wash your hands; use hand sanitiser where possible & practice 1.5m social distancing at all times.

5 Quick & Easy Tips to Ensure You Don’t Run Out of Hot Water This Winter

5 Quick & Easy Tips to Ensure You Don’t Run Out of Hot Water This Winter

Have you ever had your hot steaming shower rudely interrupted by ice cold water running down your back?

Especially in the middle of winter?

About 25% of the energy used in your home goes towards heating your water so there should be no excuses for having a cold shower!

Here are 5 quick and easy tips to ensure you never have a cold shower again!

1. Check the hot water system’s general condition

Look for any signs of rust or degradation on the exterior of the tank itself.

Start at the seams on the tank, which can be a weak spot. (this is particularly true of older tanks.)

While the inside itself may function (and heat the water), if there is a leak from the seams, you will be losing hot water and/or wasting electricity/gas.

Also make sure the hot water tank hasn’t misshapen as that would indicate that it’s time to call a plumber.

Lastly, check for rust. This usually goes hand-in-hand with leakage, but can also be caused by the tank itself degrading over time.

2. Inspect the Safety Relief Valve

If you’ve got a continuous dribble in your hot water valve, you might have particles caught in the valve itself.

This is a pretty easy fix.

Gently open the valve with the control lever or knob, and release a bit of water.

This will hopefully move any particles, dust or what have you caught in the mechanism.

Anything more than a drip, contact us and we’ll come out and take a look for you.

3. Inspect other hot water system valves

 If you’ve got a continuous dribble on any kind coming from the hot water system valves, it may mean you are wasting valuable water.

In these cases, you may need to enlist a plumber to inspect the possible replacement of the valves.

4. Size Matters!

An undersized water heater is usually the culprit if it seems like you never have enough hot water in your home.

If the problem is chronic—or if you’ve increased your needs for hot water by installing a big new soaking tub or high-flow shower head—you’ll probably need to get a new, larger water heater.

We’ve got access to some great hot water service dealers and can organise and replace your hot water system for you if needed.

5. Type of Hot Water System

Knowing what kind of hot water system you have can make a huge difference.

It’s surprising how many owners are unaware of having to fill their hot water units!

Check to see if your property’s water storage unit that requires filling with water every 3 months.

If it is a gas hot water system, check to see if the pilot light is still lit?

Taking the time to check your hot water system for these common issues could mean the difference between a hot and a cold shower tonight!

If you find that your hot water system needs a little extra attention by a professional plumber call the team at Plumbaround today.

Mention this blog article when you call and we’ll waive our call out fee ($60 saving).

Or book online by clicking on the link below.

Water leak in Keperra

Water leak in Keperra

Water Leaks on your property can go undetected for a long time before you or the council notice. It some cases you won’t know about a leak on your property until your water meter has been read by council.

We have recently attended to many cases where the main water lines have needed to be excavated in order to find the water leak below ground.

Once the damaged section has been located, we are able to repair the copper or poly pipe using the correct and approved fittings. We test all works to ensure everything is okay and then re instate the ground cover.

The first below picture was taken recently in Keperra and luckily the tenant identified the leak straight away in the front yard from the water pooling in one area.

This leak was quite slow and the leak itself was found on a split 25mm poly.  The issue was found and the repair was completed in a time manner.

This second picture is of a main water supply line in Carseldine that had been leaking for months and was only identified after council had read the water meter and found the property had a very excessively high water usage!

Plumbaround Pty Ltd can find just about every leak there is and repair it to ensure you do not waste any more water on your property than is necessary.

Some water leaks can waste up to 800 litres per day and this can go on for months!

Contact us on 3038-1038 at Plumbaround Pty Ltd is you suspect a water leak on your property and we will have a Qualified Plumber attend ASAP.

Backflow Prevention Testing in Northgate

Back flow Prevention Annual Testing

Back flow Prevention Annual Testing

Backflow Prevention Testing is the secret saviour for many of society’s water lines as it prevents dangerous chemicals and diseases through back flow.

There are several special valves that add in the back flow prevention which all need to be tested annually by a Backflow Prevention licensed holder.

These valves are more common than you think and are found in hospitals, doctor and dentist surgeries, chemical labs, on fire mains, and commonly on irrigation systems.

The featured Backflow Prevention test in the featured picture is on an irrigation system at a large complex of units in Northgate.

The annual testing was completed by Warwick, who is licensed in Backflow Prevention.


Contact us at Plumbaround for all your RPZ and Backflow Prevention requirements.