Backflow prevention

Backflow prevention program

BackFlow Prevention By-law

Purpose of the Program

In order to help ensure the supply of safe, clean drinking water to its users, the City of Guelph has chosen to take a pro-active approach with respect to backflow prevention. This has resulted in the establishment of a Backflow Prevention Program designed to:

  • enhance Backflow Prevention Regulations in the City’s Water By-law (1991)-13791
  • identify any and all cross-connections where potential contamination of potable water may occur
  • maintain a database of qualified backflow device testers
  • maintain a database of water users who have backflow prevention devices.

Definitions

Backflow means the flowing back of or reversal of the normal direction of flow of water;

Backflow Prevention Device means a device that prevents backflow and includes a reduced pressure principle assembly, dual check valve, double check valve and the like;

Cross-connection means any actual or potential connection between a potable water supply or system and any source of pollution or contamination and includes any by-pass, jumper connection, removable section of pipe, swivel or changeover device and any other temporary connecting arrangement through which backflow may occur.

Background

Backflow prevention ensures that potable water is protected against the entry of contaminants, pollutants, infectious agents or other materials or substances. This is achieved through the installation of an appropriate backflow prevention device at the water connection where this potential exists. The main water supply must also be isolated by installing a backflow prevention device at or near the meter.

Backflow occurs as a result of either back siphonage, back pressure or both. Back siphonage is a reversal of normal water flow in a system caused by a negative pressure in the water line. Back siphonage is induced when there is a reduction in, or stoppage of, the main water supply pressure due to nearby fire fighting, repairs or breaks in watermains. Backflow can also occur when there is an increase in the downstream water pressure above that of the supplied water pressure (back pressure) or, when there is a direct cross-connection between the potable water supply and another process line which has the potential to transmit a contaminant into the potable supply.

While the possibility of such events occurring and contaminating potable water supplies may seem like an industrial or institutional problem, backflow can occur in any water supply line including individual residential units. The potential for contamination and fatal illness due to accidental poisoning does exist in every home. Therefore there is a need to raise awareness of this issue with all residential, as well as, all industrial, commercial and institutional water customers in Guelph.

Backflow permit requirements

Why?

To ensure installation complies with the Ontario Building Code and all other relevant codes and by-laws.

When do I need a permit?

  • Installing a new or additional device,
  • Replacing a device that is not identical to the one being replaced (different type, size, location or used for different purpose. If you are replacing a device that is identical, no permit is required).

How Do I get a permit?

  • Visit Building Services at City Hall, 1 Carden Street, 3rd floor
  • OR
    Call to inquire 519-837-5615 x 2642
  • OR
    Apply online by first registering and completing a form found here. (You will receive a Username and PIN emailed to you when you submit the registration form. This will enable you to apply for permits and request inspections on-line.)

What information is required?

  • Estimated cost of instalment,
  • Name, address, telephone numbers of owner and contractor,
  • Size, type and purpose of each device

When Do I Call For Inspection?

Call for an inspection after your permit has been issued and when work is completed at 519-837-5614. Any call before 3:00 p.m on any business day results in an inspection scheduled the next business day.

Documents and forms

BackFlow Prevention By-law Building Permit Application Revision to a Permit Application Instructions For Annual Testing
Instructions to comply with By-law (2008)-18660 Re-survey

Cross Connection Control Survey

For more information

Jeff Crossman
Backflow Prevention Officer
Building Services
519-837-5615 extension 2725
Lin Holmes
Clerical Assistant, Backflow Program
Building Services
519-837-5615 extension 2642

519-837-5652
backflow@guelph.ca

Last Updated: October 14, 2014. Broken links or incorrect information? Let us know!