What does it cost?
Annual Backflow tests are $150 per device. This includes the DPH tags and all paper work for the PUC and DPH.
PLEASE NOTE: THE TESTING FEE IS DUE WHETHER YOU PASS OR NOT
What happens if my Backflow device fails?
For San Francisco residents this does not happen very often due to the quality of our water supply. The biggest failure for backflow devices is contamination from sediment and high mineral content in the water supply. Since our water originates mostly from the snow pack in the Sierras it is clean and free of contaminates. If your device does fail you have several options: 1) Sometimes the BF device can be opened and cleaned after the test procedure, then reassembled and rechecked. Normally there is no charge for this. 2) If cleaning does not rectify the problem or damaged seals, springs or seats are found, replacement parts will need to be ordered. A new appointment will be necessary when the parts arrive after 1-2 days.
Who needs a Backflow device?
Anytime there is a potential for backflow, defined as the reverse flow of non-potable (bad) water into the potable (good) water system a backflow device is required. The city of San Francisco started its backflow program in 1984 with Article 12A. Today there are approximately 26,000 backflow devices in the city. In 1984 there were less than 1000.
What are the hazards of backflow?
Anytime you have the reverse flow of contaminated or polluted water into the potable drinking system you have the potential for sickness and or death. Outside in the yard we have the potential of ěbacksiphonageî from watering the garden and lawn which contains herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers. Inside we have the potential of ěbackpressureî from the boiler which uses chemically treated water to heat our homes. If you have a fire suppression system you also have the potential of ěbackpressureî allowing the treated water in the fire lines to flow into your drinking water.
Why is it necessary to inspect my backflow devices?
The most important reason is for the safety of all who consume water from your home or business. Backflow devices are mechanical in nature and will fail over time. A malfunctioning device could allow backflow and contaminate your drinking water. Secondarily, it is the law. Under the State of California Administrative Code, Title 17 and the City of San Francisco article 12A, any customer who has a backflow device on their property is required to have an annual inspection by a certified AWWA tester. Failure to comply could result in a disconnection of water service.