Backflow Prevention & Cross Connection Control By-law

Bylaw No.

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 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.

Cross Connections & Backflows

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. 

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

Instructions for Annual Testing & Maintenance

  1. Retain the services of a Qualified Person who is registered with the City of Barrie Water Operations / Backflow Prevention Program. See Qualified Persons Registry - Business List (PDF)

  2. Have all testable backflow prevention devices on your property tested. The Qualified Persons will affix a new test tag. Your property has been given an annual test month. You will receive a letter 60 days prior to the due date.

  3. Every property owner shall ensure that all testable backflow prevention devices are tested upon installation, after being cleaned, repaired, overhauled or relocated.

    If a device fails a test, is malfunctioning or otherwise not in proper working order, the property owner shall immediately have the device repaired or replaced and ensure that the City of Barrie Water Operations Branch is notified.

    If a backflow prevention device is replaced, a new testing and maintenance report for the replacement device must be submitted indicating the serial number of the replaced device.

  4. If additional backflow prevention devices or alterations to your plumbing system are needed, a permit must be obtained from the City of Barrie Building Services Department at City Hall, 70 Collier Street, 8th Floor.

  5. It is unlawful to remove any installed backflow prevention device prior to written approval from the City of Barrie Water Operations Branch.

  6. Upon completion of testing, a legible copy of all testing and maintenance reports must be forwarded by the Qualified Person to the City of Barrie Water Operations Branch at the information below within fourteen (14) days of the date of the testing.

    Mail:City of Barrie, Water Operations/Backflow Prevention, P.O. Box 400, Barrie ON, L4M 4T5
    Fax: 705-792-7921
    Office20 Royal Parkside Drive – Water Operations Branch

Administrative Fees

The following fees are associated with Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control Program (effective May 1st, 2017).

Customer's Cost
Invoiced to Customer by City of Barrie as per Fees By-law
Administration Fee & Property Registration
This is a one time fee per property and may be applied to multiple device installations at one building.
($52.00/property + $6.76 HST)
Testing & Maintenance Report Processing Fee
This is a one time fee for each testing and maintenance report completed annually.
($35.00/device + $4.55 HST)
QP Business Cost
Payable upon Receipt by QP Business
QP Business Register Fee (Initial)$113.00
($100.00 + $13.00 HST)
Annual Renewal as QP Business Fee$87.58
($77.50 + $10.08 HST)
1-Year Test Tag (each)
New tag required annually per device
($5.00 + 0.65 HST)
5-Year Test Tag (each)
Same tag used for 5 years of testing
($25.00 + $3.25 HST)