Backflow Prevention

backflow prevention form

Wingecarribee Shire Council has a responsibility to provide safe drinking water to the community. To reduce the risk of contamination to our drinking water supply, we have implemented a Backflow Prevention Policy.

It is the responsibility of all property owners to ensure that they do not impact the water supply with any contaminated water from their property. 

Through working together with our customers, we can better protect public health and the environment. 

For more information on our Backflow Prevention Policy, please click here.

What is Backflow?

The water supply system is designed so the water flows out of your tap under pressure in one direction. Backflow is when water flows backwards into the water supply. This could possibly occur if:

  • There is a sudden drop in pressure, e.g. from a burst pipe inside or outside the property.
  • Water pressure in the main is lower than at the property (e.g. pump on site).

To prevent this from occurring, backflow prevention devices are installed to stop the water flowing back into the water supply system. There are different types of devices available with varying elements to prevent water flowing backwards. 


Example of Backflow Prevention Device

What is a cross-connection?

A cross-connection is any connection between the water supply and a source of potential contamination. This could be from a faulty plumbing fixture, pool, storage tank, that when used, might enter the drinking water supply. 

An example would be to use a hose to clean a grease arrestor, if there is a sudden drop in water pressure (e.g. due to a water mains break) this could siphon the contaminated water into your water pipes and therefore, the drinking water supply.

Which properties require backflow prevention?

Properties identified as having a potential backflow risk (e.g., commercial, industrial or farmland) will require a backflow prevention device to be installed. This is determined by the potential contaminants on the property and the level of risk or hazard they pose to the drinking water supply.

We will determine and consult with the property owner the risk level for the hazards or potential contaminants on the property. We will also advise on the most suitable backflow prevention device required to be installed.

Installation & Maintenance
Who can install and maintain a Backflow Prevention Device?

Any licenced plumber can install a backflow prevention device, however to test or maintain a backflow prevention device, the licenced plumber must be backflow accredited. 

Register your Backflow Device with Council

Once the backflow prevention device is successfully commissioned and tested, it must be registered on our Backflow Prevention Register within 5 working days of installation.

Your plumber can submit the Backflow Registration & Testing form to us however, it is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure the backflow prevention device is registered with the initial registration fee paid (refer to the current Fees & Charges).

Access a printable and fillable version of our Backflow Registration, Inspection, Maintenance & Testing Form(PDF, 297KB).

Annual Testing Requirements

This device must be tested each year by a backflow accredited licenced plumber. The testing results must be recorded on our Backflow Prevention Register with the annual registration fee paid (refer to our current Fees & Charges).

To assist, we will send reminder letters to property owner’s when backflow prevention devices are due for testing. 

Failure to install or annually test a backflow prevention device can cause a major public health issue, and therefore non-compliance may result in the property’s water supply being restricted or disconnected until these requirements are met.