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Backflow Prevention Program

Let's all do our part to keep our drinking water safe! Thank you in advance for doing your part to help protect and maintain our safe drinking water for all who work, visit, and reside in our community.

Affected customers will receive notice by mail to comply with the Backflow and Cross Connection By-Law. This by-law applies to all industrial, commercial, institutional, and multi-unit residential properties.

Step-by-Step Process:

  1. Obtain a contractor from the Qualified Persons Registry.
  2. Have the contractor perform a survey.
  3. Have the contractor perform testing of the unit.
  4. Ensure you (the customer) keep a copy of the test report.
  5. Ensure the contractor sends a copy of the test report and survey to the City of Barrie via mail, fax or email.

What is a Cross-Connection? 

A cross-connection is any connection between drinking water and any source of pollution or contamination.  Cross connections pose a hazard to the drinking water system if backflow was to occur and contaminated water is drawn back into the drinking water.

What is Backflow? 

Backflow is the undesired reversal of water flow within a plumbing system. This can occur two ways:

  1. Backpressure: The pressure within a building is greater than the drinking water system pressure. This results in the water within that building being forced backward and into the drinking water system.  These situations can occur in high rise buildings as a result of increasing pressures to pump water to the upper floors.
  2. Back Siphonage: The pressure in the drinking water system is decreased to a negative pressure resulting in the water within the building to be sucked into the drinking water system. Causes include a watermain break, hydrant flushing operations or firefighting operations.

In these instances the unprotected cross connections to the drinking water system, which contain pollutants or contaminants, have the potential to be drawn or forced back into the drinking water piping and distributed throughout the system. This results in unsafe conditions on the property and places the drinking water system, and citizens of the community, at risk.

3 Steps to Protect Public Health & Safety

1 Identify

Obtain the services of a Qualified Person (QP).  A QP has registered with the City and has provided proof of current certifications, insurances and calibrated testing equipment. All QPs operate independently and are in no way affiliated with the City of Barrie.

The City will mail a letter entitled Notice to Comply with Section 6.0 Required Surveys when the property requires a Cross Connection Control Survey to be completed.  Have a Survey performed by the QP of your choice on your property.  This will identify any hazardous cross connections within your plumbing system.

This survey is a preliminary inspection of the facility to identify potential or existing cross connections within the building’s plumbing system.  The overall degree of hazard of the property will be classified as per the CSA B64 Standard and will be listed on the Cross Connection Control Survey.  A survey must be completed every 5 years by a QP and submitted by the owner or the QP to the City for review.

Once the City has received and reviewed your survey, a letter entitled Cross Connection Survey Results and Installation Requirements, with a copy of your approved survey, will be mailed to you.

2 Correct

All corrective measures listed on your Cross Connection Control Survey must be completed. This ensures you are doing your part in maintaining safe drinking water in our community.  This includes the following:

  • Obtain several quotes 
  • Complete the work listed on the Cross Connection Control Survey
  • Have your backflow prevention devices tested by a qualified person registered with the City
  • Ensure test/maintenance report documents are submitted to the City’s Water Operations Branch
3 Maintain

Ensure your backflow prevention devices are tested and maintained every year. In order to comply with the City’s By-Law, testable backflow preventers shall be field tested at the following times:

  • upon installation; 
  • when cleaned, repaired, or overhauled;
  • when relocated;
  • annually
  • change of property ownership

The City mails a letter entitled Annual Cross Connection Control Testing/Maintenance to affected customers annually. This letter serves as a reminder that the current backflow prevention devices are due for annual testing.

The City mails a letter entitled Annual Cross Connection Control Testing/Maintenance to affected customers annually . This letter serves as a reminder that current backflow prevention devices are due for annual testing. Applicable fees  

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