Backflow prevention and owner responsibilities

A backflow prevention device prevents the reverse flow of water from a potentially polluted source into the potable (drinking) water supply system. You may have a backflow prevention device fitted on 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 mains
  • water outlets in proximity to pollutants, grease traps or chemicals
  • an underground rainwater tank that has mains water backup.

If you have a testable backflow prevention device on your property it must be tested annually and the test results forwarded to Brisbane City Council. Reduced pressure zone, double check and some single check valves are testable backflow prevention devices.

The details of the device must also be registered with Council. Non-testable devices like dual check valves and some single check valves do not need to be tested annually.

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Testing of backflow prevention devices

It is a requirement under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002 that owners of installed testable backflow prevention devices must:

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

Council issues annual reminder notices to prompt owners of premises where testable devices have been installed to arrange testing.

It is the responsibility of the plumber to forward the test results to Council within 10 business days of testing the device.

Backflow prevention device register and permit

Council has a responsibility under Queensland legislation to maintain a program for the registration, maintenance and testing of testable backflow prevention devices installed in its area.

The information supplied to Council from the test report submitted by the plumber is recorded in the register to ensure that the installed devices are tested annually. 

Council charges an annual fee per device which is used to maintain the register and for any correspondence that may need to be sent to owners. 

New devices

The majority of new devices will be installed as part of a larger scope of plumbing works. When devices are shown on hydraulic drawings to be assessed by Council, the registration fee is charged at lodgement. 

When devices are installed under the notifiable work category, it is the responsibility of the licensed plumbing contractor to submit a Form 4 to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission and forward a copy of the completed Form 9 to Council. The Form 9 can be found on the Queensland Government website.

The registration fee is payable for all new devices.

Removing or replacing a device

If you employ a plumber to replace or remove a faulty device, it is the responsibility of the licensed plumbing contractor to submit a Form 4 to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission and forward a copy of the completed Form 9 to Council. The Form 9 can be found on the Queensland Government website.

Fees and charges

Backflow prevention devices fees
Annual registration fee Each device $62.50

More information

Watch our training video to find out more about backflow prevention devices and owner responsibilities.

Alternatively, you can find out more about plumbing and drainage by phoning Council on 07 3403 8888 for residential customers, or 133 BNE (133 263) for business customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

31 October 2017