Backflow Device Testing
The City of Redmond Cross Connection Program Manager (CCPM), Kathy Caldwell, was a guest speaker at the 2008 Abbey Road Homeowners meeting
held April 10, 2008 at Emerald Heights. She presented that there
are homes in our neighborhood that have backflow devices that haven't
been tested annually as required by law.
- Does your yard have an irrigation system?
- Does your home have a fire suppression system?
- Do you have both?
Washington State Law
(WAC 246-290-490) requires annual testing for all backflow devices by a state
certified backflow assembly tester. Annual test results must be
submitted to the City of Redmond.
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, it is likely your
home has one or more backflow devices installed somewhere in your water
line. If backflow device testing is not being performed annually
on your home, or this is the first time you're learning about it, read on and arrange
to have your backflow device tested today.
What is a backflow device?
A backflow device (backflow prevention device) is a mechanical device designed to prevent
contaminated water from flowing back or reversing into the public
drinking water system. The public drinking water system is the
source for the water that comes out of the faucets in your home.
What causes a backflow?
Backflows can happen if the pressure in the water mainline drops.
A number of reasons can cause a drop in water pressure. An example
is a break in the water main pipe located under the street in front of
Where is the backflow device in my property?
Backflow devices are most likely installed a few feet from the water meter.
They are usually in a box similar to the water meter box with a green
you're unable to find the backflow device quickly, it might be under
bushes, bark, or dirt.
Call Locating Service" before digging to look for the backflow
device. Don't break your own water line!
This document was provided by the Redmond CCPM.
There is also the slight possibility that you don't have a backflow
device installed in which case you'll need to install one for the lawn
irrigation system and another one for the fire suppression system.
Why test annually?
Annual testing of backflow devices are required by Washington State Law.
Typical sources of water contamination include lawn irrigation systems and
fire sprinkler systems. Water from your lawn may contain
pollutants like pesticides and animal waste. Fire suppression
systems may have stagnant water in the pipes that run through your home.
Diligent annual testing of the backflow device will insure that
the device is functional and will prevent any backflow and contamination
Fire Systems and Safe Drinking Water" a document provided by the Redmond CCPM.
How do I find a state certified testing company?
here for the list provided by the Redmond CCPM. The list
is provided for convenience only and does not constitute a recommendation
for the companies listed. The companies listed have current state
certifications and calibrated test equipments.
If you don't use a
tester from the list, make sure that they
are certified by the State of Washington as a Backflow Assembly Tester
and that their equipment has a current Certificate of Calibration.
Where do results go?
Results of the annual backflow device test can be sent by fax to Kathy
Caldwell at (425) 556-4222.
For more information with regard to backflow devices not found on
this page, please contact Kathy Caldwell at (425) 556-2847 or by e-mail