Backflow prevention device video transcript

The following is a transcript of Brisbane City Council's backflow prevention devices video.

Slide: Owner responsibilities for backflow prevention devices

Hi.  My name is Kate and I work at Brisbane City Council.  Over the past four years, we’ve been working hard to improve and streamline our processes to make it easier for customers. You're watching one of our many online training videos designed to help you find the information you need when you need it.  We hope this video will help make the development application process easier for you.

Slide:  What is backflow prevention?

Backflow refers to the potential contamination of drinking water when water from private properties enters the main water supply system. 

Backflow occurs when:

  • a change in water pressure due to events such as a burst water main or fire fighting operation causes water to flow backwards from a private property into the main water supply or
  •  a cross connection exists between pipes, for example if greywater pipes are connected to the drinking water system.

You may have a backflow prevention device fitted at your property if you have any of the following:

  • an irrigation system
  • fire hose reels or hydrants
  • a commercial or industrial activity or machinery connected to the water mains
  • water outlets in proximity to pollutants, grease traps or chemicals
  • an underground rainwater tank that has mains water supply backup.

Slide: Testing of backflow prevention devices

It is not enough to simply install backflow prevention devices. Testable backflow prevention devices such as reduced pressure zone devices, double check valves and some single check valves must be registered and maintained.

State Government legislation requires property owners who have an installed, testable backflow prevention device:

  • to annually register the device with the local government and
  • have the device tested by a person who is licensed to do the work at least once each year.

Licensed plumbers must have the appropriate endorsement on their licence for testing the devices. It is the responsibility of the plumber to submit to Council the test results, using the approved forms, within 10 business days of testing the device. Approved forms can be found on the Department of Housing and Public Works website.

Slide: Registration and Permits

Council has a responsibility to maintain a program to monitor the registration and testing of testable Backflow Prevention Devices installed in the Brisbane area.

Council uses the test results provided by licensed plumbers to update this register and to ensure devices are tested annually. Owners are charged an annual fee per device to maintain Council’s device registration program.

Failure to register a device and provide annual test results is an offence and may result in significant penalties.

Slide: New and replacement devices

New devices must be installed by a licensed plumber. In some circumstances, the plumber may be required to lodge a plumbing application with Council, which may require an inspection by a Council plumbing inspector. Talk to your plumber about whether a device needs to be inspected by Council prior to installation.

Plumbing applications can be submitted online via Councils website. On Council’s homepage, search for "plumbing services" to find more information.

If the device needs to be inspected by Council, the plumber must provide evidence that registration fees have been paid. A completed test certificate for each device, using the approved form, must also be provided.

The plumber you engage to replace or remove a faulty device is responsible for notifying both the Plumbing Industry Council and Brisbane City Council, using approved forms.

If you have any queries in relation to backflow prevention device permits for your property, contact the Plumbing Service Group on 3403 8888.

We hope this video has provided you with the information you need. If you need further help, have a look at some of our other training videos - or give us a call.

Last updated:7 June 2019