Just like any other mechanical device, backflow prevention assemblies are prone to wear and tear, and do break down from time to time. Regular testing is required in order to ensure that your device remains in proper working order.
How often should I test my backflow prevention assembly?
Manufacturers’ requirements, state plumbing codes, and local cross connection control programs usually require annual backflow prevention assembly testing.
Why is HydroCorp inspecting my facility?
HydroCorp has been contracted by your local water authority to assist with their Cross Connection Control (CCC) Program. Every CCC program includes two parts: Testing of backflow prevention assemblies and on-site inspections. The visiting technician will be conducting a visual inspection of your facility’s internal water system to identify cross connections that could possibly contaminate your drinking water or the public water supply. These may include boilers, water softeners, hose connections, utility sinks, lawn sprinklers, fire systems and restrooms. Your water service will not be interrupted during the inspection process.
How long does the inspection take?
An average inspection normally takes from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of your facility and how your plumbing system is configured.
Do I have to be present for the inspection?
An adult 18 years of age or older must be present during the inspection.
Who is responsible for completing the repairs if necessary?
If you are the owner of the building being inspected, you are responsible for any needed repairs. Renters may have to refer to their lease agreements in order to determine whether they are responsible for repairs.
Does your inspector carry identification?
All HydroCorp inspectors wear photo ID badges during inspections and are prepared to provide appropriate documentation verifying their identities. Do not admit any individuals who do not have these badges or documentation.
Is this inspection mandatory?
Yes. These inspections are conducted in order to ensure compliance with state regulations and/or local ordinances to maintain the safety of your drinking water.
What happens if I refuse to have the inspection done or to correct any problems it identifies?
Penalties for refusing to cooperate with inspections and/or refusing to make needed repairs are determined by your local water utility. These typically can include termination of water service, a fine, or both.
I just had this inspection done last year – why do we have to do it again?
Inspection frequency is based on degree of hazard a facility poses to water safety. Facilities that pose a greater risk to the public water system need to be inspected more frequently (typically every 1-2 years, depending on state regulations and local cross connection control plans).
I just had my assemblies tested – why are you doing another inspection?
There are two components of a cross connection control program: Testing of backflow prevention assemblies and onsite inspections. It is the responsibility of the assembly’s owner to have backflow prevention assemblies tested annually by a certified inspector. Your local water supplier is responsible for the inspection portion of the program. The inspection is to verify that the proper backflow prevention methods are in place to maintain drinking water safety.
My business has to be inspected, but the business across the street doesn’t have to. Why?
All facilities connected to the public water supply are required to be inspected for cross connections. Most programs strive to ensure that all facilities receive an initial inspection during their first 3-5 years of operation. If a neighboring business has not been inspected yet, it will receive its initial inspection at some later date as required.
My business was inspected by the city a while back and everything was fine, but your Inspector says that I need backflow prevention devices. Why do I need them now when I didn’t before?
Many factors can affect whether a previously-compliant facility can be determined to require additional water safety equipment or procedures. As inspectors, we often rely on assistance from the business or homeowner to escort us around the property. If certain areas of the property were previously overlooked they may be found to be noncompliant. Renovations or additions to the plumbing system may also create a cross connection that requires backflow protection.
I live in a condo or apartment complex. Why are you coming into my home?
It is not common practice for us to inspect living space. Condos and apartments only require inspection of the building’s exterior and common areas (if any). The notice you received is provided as a courtesy so that you are aware of our presence on the specified date.
Can HydroCorp be contracted to correct the violations they identified?
No. We are contracted by your local water authority only to conduct inspections and report our findings. In most cases, you will need to contract a licensed plumber to complete any work necessary.
Why does HydroCorp conduct the inspections rather than the local water authority?
Your local water authority has contracted HydroCorp to assist with their Cross Connection Control Program. HydroCorp has been managing Cross Connection Control programs for more than 30 years. We are currently managing over 200 other programs across the country. As for specific reasons for our involvement, you would need to contact the authority directly.
I’ve never had an inspection before. Why do I need one now?
All connections to the public water supply are required to be inspected for cross connections in order to maintain the safety of your drinking water. You may have been inadvertently overlooked in the past; however, thorough inspections of all connections to the water supply are required.
I received an annual test notice, but your inspector was just here and said everything was fine.
There are two parts to the Cross Connection Control Program. The first is an on-site inspection by a Cross Connection Control Inspector to ensure that the proper backflow prevention devices and assemblies are in place to protect your drinking water. Some of the assemblies the inspector finds or asks you to install are testable assemblies, which are mechanical and can break. The annual testing notice refers to testing the operation of these backflow prevention assemblies. These tests must be performed by a certified inspector every year.
I received a compliance letter. Does this mean everything is fine?
Yes, this means you have all necessary backflow prevention devices and assemblies in place to protect public water supplies. This inspection is valid until your facility’s next scheduled inspection date. If you have any testable assemblies on-site, you will receive an additional notice detailing testing requirements.
Is any older, legacy equipment “grandfathered” in?
“Grandfathering” is not typically permitted due to the high importance of maintaining drinking water safety.
Can I request a specific inspection time?
Yes. We just need a name and number so that the inspector can contact you to set up a time that is convenient for you.
What is a water wasting tee and why do I need one?
A water wasting tee is a flow-through device that needs to be installed on the hose threads of your utility sink. The wasting tee has a second set of hose threads that can be used to supply water to your wall mounted soap dispenser. The vacuum breaker on your sink cannot be placed in a continuous pressure situation (valves downstream) or be subject to backpressure (elevated piping); installation of the wasting tee will protect the vacuum breaker from being damaged from the backpressure and/or backsiphonage conditions created by the installation of your soap dispenser. Click here for sample photo of this device.
What is an anti-siphon fill valve device and why does mine need adjustment?
The anti-siphon fill valve device is located in the tank of your toilet. This device has a dual purpose: To fill the toilet and prevent backflow. This device must be placed at the proper height in order to insure that water from your toilet does not backflow into your drinking water. Proper placement is typically done during the installation process but can be easily overlooked. This device must be raised or the overflow pipe must be cut down in order to achieve a 1” air gap separation between the “critical level” of the assembly. Click here to see an installation diagram.
Click here for 3 minute video overview.