Common questions regarding backflowsExpand All
- No large out of pocket fees for testing or maintenance
- Hassle-free maintenance and testing requirements
- Enhancing the safety of the drinking water supply
- Ease of compliance with state regulations in keeping the water supply safe for everyone
A cross connection is an actual connection or a potential connection between any part of a potable water system with something else that would allow substances to enter the potable water system. Those substances could include gases, liquids, or solids; such as chemicals, water products, steam, water from other sources (potable or non-potable) or any matter that may change the color or add odor to the water.
Bypass arrangements, jumper connections, removable sections, swivel or change-over assemblies or any other temporary or permanent connection arrangement through which backflow may occur are considered to be cross-connections. Contamination could result in a health hazard or a distribution system going out of compliance.
Backflow is the reversal of fluids or substances through a cross connection to the water distribution system or to the customer’s water system.
Example: Garden hose connected to a spigot with the hose:
- lying in a pool
- placed in a sewer cleanout
- inserted into car radiator
- attached to a chemical sprayer
A drinking water supply runs the risk of a cross connection if it’s connected to an in-ground irrigation system or comes in contact with a non-drinking water source.
A backflow assembly prevents contaminated water from siphoning back into the water distribution system.
For drinking water:
A backflow assembly is important because it prevents contaminated water from possibly siphoning back into the drinking water distribution system and creating a health hazard. Toho has a responsibility to provide safe drinking water and must take precautions to protect it against contamination.
For reclaimed water:
Just like drinking water, reclaimed water is tested on a daily basis following all state and federal requirements. A backflow assembly is important because it prevents contamination from possibly siphoning back into the reclaimed distribution system which could cause it to go out of compliance.
Irrigation system using drinking water: The backflow assembly is usually located adjacent to the water meter box. They are also located on the side of the house about 12-36” above the ground. This backflow assembly is called a reduced pressure backflow assembly (RPBA).
Irrigation meters without irrigation systems: The backflow device is attached to the spigot. This backflow device is called a vacuum breaker.
Irrigation systems using reclaimed water: The backflow devices are attached underground for the water and reclaimed meter. The water meter gets a dual check device and the reclaimed meter gets a single check device installed.
If your property is required by FDEP to have a backflow assembly you will receive a door hanger from Toho notifying you of the installation. Installation should take place within a month.
Irrigation systems using drinking water are required by FDEP to have a reduced pressure backflow assembly (RPBA) to protect the drinking water supply. A shallow hole will be dug near the meter box to conduct the installation. The area will be restored to its original condition.
Irrigation meters having no irrigation system will have a vacuum breakerattached to the spigot to protect the drinking water supply.
Irrigation systems using reclaimed water are required by FDEP to have a dual check device installed for the water meter and a single check deviceinstalled for the reclaimed meter. They will be installed underground near the water and reclaimed meter box. A shallow hole will be dug near the meter box to conduct the installation. The area will be restored to its original condition.
Yes, you can place rocks, plants, shrubs or other decorative items around the backflow (see samples). Foliage and decorative rocks should be placed at least two feet away from the backflow to allow easy access for testing and maintenance. Decorative fake rocks or enclosures are also available from retailers to cover the backflow. Take the measurements of the backflow assembly to ensure the cover fits easily over the backflow.
Following the guidelines set by FDEP, residential backflow assemblies will be tested once every two years. A contractor will perform the tests on behalf of Toho.
Yes, a contractor on Toho’s behalf will test, maintain and replace the backflow assembly or any parts if necessary. Customers will not incur any additional costs.
Upon arrival to a customer’s residence, the contractor will inform the customer of the test and/or repairs to be conducted on the backflow. If the customer is away, the contractor will leave a door hanger stating that the backflow was tested, repaired and/or if a follow-up visit is required.
The contractor working on Toho’s behalf will be conducting backflow tests and repairs Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The contractor’s vehicle will have a Toho Water Authority logo on it.
We request that the area around the backflow be clear of any foliage, rocks, sprinklers or other items to allow us to test the backflow or perform any necessary repairs. Access to backflow devices should be granted to Toho technicians and contractors to conduct testing and maintenance.
Commercial customers are still required to test and maintain their backflows on an annual basis and will be notified by Toho Water Authority when testing needs to be completed.