Colorado Springs Utilities is committed to ensuring that our community’s drinking water is safe. As part of that effort, state and local regulations require Springs Utilities to ensure that all commercial and multi-family properties have functioning backflow prevention assemblies to keep our drinking water safe.
What is backflow and backflow prevention?
Backflow occurs when the flow of water to a facility reverses direction and flows backward toward the water distribution system. When this occurs, potentially contaminated water from the customer’s processes may enter the water distribution system. An approved backflow prevention assembly prevents water from the customer’s premise from entering the water distribution system.
What is a backflow prevention assembly?
A backflow prevention assembly is a specialized unit installed in water systems that allows water to flow only from the water system to the customer. Commercial and multi-family dwelling customers are required to have these assemblies in operation. This requirement is the responsibility of customers.
Why do customers need to test their backflow assembly/method?
Assemblies and methods that protect our water system from backflow can fail. Regular testing helps ensure that the assembly/method is in proper working order.
When do customers need to test?
The regulation requires backflow assemblies (that control a cross connection) to be tested upon installation, and annually thereafter. Springs Utilities tracks these assemblies and notifies customers when it is time to test.
How do customers arrange for testing?
They should contact a certified backflow tester. Testers can be found online or in the telephone directory.
Can customers test and/or repair one of these assemblies themselves?
Customers may test and repair the backflow prevention assemblies only if they have been trained and have become certified backflow assembly testers, and only if their certification documents are provided to CSU’s Backflow Prevention Program demonstrating up-to-date certification.
What if customers don’t arrange for testing?
Colorado Springs Utilities will partner with customers to ensure they become compliant. In the worst case, Springs Utilities would be required to disconnect water service to customers who do not comply with backflow requirements. Customers may also be subject to additional enforcement, fines and other costs based on City Code.