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  Backflow Device Testing
  • Does your yard have an irrigation system?
  • Does your home have a fire suppression system?
  • Do you have both?
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.

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 your home.

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 lid.  If you're unable to find the backflow device quickly, it might be under bushes, bark, or dirt.

Read "One 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 of our water.

Read " Fire Systems and Safe Drinking Water" a document provided by the Redmond CCPM.

How do I find a state certified testing company?
Click 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 at kcaldwell@redmond.gov.

Copyright Abbey Road Homeowners Association 17704 NE 105th Street, Redmond, WA 98052