Why is Backflow prevention important?

This article provides information for fall sprinkler blowout activities and cross-connection control (a.k.a. backflow).

Irrigation systems are exposed to contaminants such as pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and animal waste. These contaminants can enter the sprinkler system and water supply through broken sprinkler lines or heads, fall sprinkler blow out, or a high demand event (such as a broken water main) on the public water system. To protect water quality and the public water supply, your irrigation system is required to have a properly functioning backflow device. A backflow device is a mechanical valve designed to prevent the reverse flow of water from a point of hazard (irrigation system) to the public water supply. Because backflow devices are mechanical devices, they must be tested annually to verify they are working properly. A properly functioning backflow device prevents these potentially hazardous substances from entering the water supply.

Starting in 2021, the District will require annual backflow tests to be completed by June 30th for residential, multifamily and commercial customer connections. Testing must be performed by a Washington State certified Backflow Assembly Tester. While testing on sprinkler systems is performed each spring when the system is activated, you may choose to install, or repair devices this fall in anticipation of the 2021 requirements.

Please visit the District’s Cross-Connection Control Program webpage for requirements, additional education resources, and a list of local, Washington State certified Backflow Assembly Testers at https://libertylake.org/utility/cross-connection-control-program/. If you have questions, please call the District at (509) 922-5443 or email us at backflow@libertylake.org.

We appreciate your partnership in support of clean, safe drinking water.

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