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Backflow Prevention Program

The Backflow Prevention Program aims to protect public health by strengthening by-law requirements, identifying cross-connections and isolating private water systems from the public waterworks.  Backflow prevention ensures potable water is protected against contaminants entering the distribution system.  This is achieved through the installation of backflow prevention devices.

How can backflow happen

Backflow incidents may seem like an industrial or institutional problem, but backflow can occur in any water supply line, including residential services.

Backflow occurs as a result of one or more of the following:

  • Back siphonage – a reversal of normal water flow in a system caused by negative pressure in a water line due to nearby fire fighting, repairs or a break in the watermain.
  • Back pressure – an increase in the downstream water pressure above that of the supplied water pressure.
  • Cross-connection – any actual or potential connection between a potable water system and any source of pollution or contamination.

Under Haldimand County By-law 1420/14, all industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-residential properties (4 storeys or higher) are required to have a backflow prevention device installed by a qualified professional.  The program is a phased approach with initial focus on achieving “premise isolation” at high-risk facilities identified in the CSA Standards Selection and Installation of Backflow Preventers and Maintenance and Field Testing of Backflow Preventers (CSA B64.10-11 and B64.10.1-11).

In accordance with the Ontario Building Code and Haldimand County By-law 1420/14, any new or existing reduced pressure backflow preventers, double check valves and pressure vacuum breakers are required to be inspected and tested by a qualified tester upon installation, when cleaned, repaired or relocated and annually thereafter.  No person shall remove any cross connection control or backflow prevention device without the permission of Haldimand County.