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.