Backflow Prevention - Fort Collins - Loveland Water District

FCLWD Backflow Prevention


What is Backflow Prevention?

Put simply backflow prevention is the systems and assemblies put in place to protect customer’s potable water supply from contaminants.

Why Do We Need Backflow Prevention?

Potable water is water that has gone through the treatment process and is ready to be used by District customers. Since potable water is ready to be directly used and consumed, it’s important to protect it from possible contaminants; these could include non-potable water, other fluids, mixtures and substances from private properties.

Backflow prevention assemblies are required for commercial, multi-residential and irrigation customers in order to protect potable supplies of water (and, ultimately, public health) from everything other than their intended source.

How is Backflow Prevention Regulated?

Backflow prevention is a state requirement of water purveyors that is then passed on to the customers. This means that we regulate this at the customer level and the state regulates us.

­The State of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment requires the FCLWD to adhere to regulations set forth in Regulation 11.39 (Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Rule).

Owners of backflow prevention assemblies are required to have the assemblies inspected and tested on an annual basis and the test reports sent to the FCLWD. This allows us to manage and monitor our program, so our customers stay compliant and current with State and district regulations.

The FCLWD manages every aspect of our backflow prevention program, whereas some water purveyors outsource some or all of their programs. This allows us to provide excellent customer service. Chad Coontz is the Cross-Connection Control Technician at the FCLWD. He surveys customers’ buildings to confirm if the building has the approved backflow assembly(s). He also administers and coordinates annual test reports associated with those assembly(s) to ensure compliance with testing requirements.

What Else Should You Know?

For most District customers, backflow prevention is something that’s good to be aware of but doesn’t usually require extensive action on their part. The most common residential backflow device is a PVB, or Pressure Vacuum Breaker. We recommend that customers in single-family homes have their irrigation systems tested every three years by a certified backflow prevention assembly tester. Other types of cross-connections can include hoses connected at hose bibs, in-ground irrigation systems, private fire sprinkler systems, boiler systems, and pool or pond equipment.

Other Resources

Backflow prevention Cross-Connection Control Handbook from FEBCO

Cross Connection Control Manual – April 2020

EPA Cross Control Manual prepared by Watts

50 Water Quality Questions produced by Watts

Certified Backflow Testers