Backflow refers to the unintended reversal of flow of contaminated or non-drinking water into the drinking water distribution system.
Backflow is caused by two conditions:
- reverse flow due to a loss in pressure in the supply main (back siphonage); or
- from a consumers pressurised system through an unprotected cross-connection (backpressure).
Why is Backflow so Important?
Either of the above conditions could potentially pollute or contaminate the public water supply or even the consumer's own supply.
There are three hazard ratings for backflow, depending on the degree of risk associated with the water service at each property and the type of activity at the property:
- Low Hazard
- Medium Hazard
- High Hazard
Who Should Have a Backflow Prevention Device?
Every water meter supplying water to a domestic or commercial property must have some form of Backflow Prevention Device (BPD) installed. To protect the public water supply for Coffs Harbour residents, Council provides water meters with integral low hazard Backflow Prevention on services up to and including 25mm.
For medium and high hazard water connections or services above 25mm in size, it is the responsibility of the property owner to provide a suitable backflow prevention device.
Property owners are responsible for backflow prevention at their property in the following situations:
- medium or high hazard
- water service connections above 25mm
- below ground rainwater tanks - Rainwater Tanks - specifically see the Rainwater Tank Local Information Sheet
- private sewage pump stations
- grease traps
- any other identified hazard which could pose a risk to the public drinking water supply
Property owners should discuss the specific hazard rating of their property with a backflow accredited plumber to ensure the most suitable type of BPD is fitted.
Backflow Prevention Device Registration and Annual Testing
All Medium and High Hazard BPD must be registered with Coffs Harbour Water at the time of installation.
Backflow Prevention Device Registration Form
All registered BPD must be tested annually by a qualified tester with the white copy of the official Inspection and Maintenance Report forwarded to Council within 2 working days.
Backflow Prevention Regulations
Backflow Prevention in the Coffs Harbour City Council area is regulated by our Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control Policy - Containment Only and in accordance with:
- Australian Standard 2845 - Backflow Prevention, and
- Australian Standard 3500 - Plumbing Guidelines (Section 4: Cross Connection Control and Backflow Prevention)
Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control Policy
If you are unsure of the backflow situation at your property or the risk your property poses to the community drinking water supply, please telephone Council on 02 6648 4000.