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From NYC.gov - http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/water_sewer/backflow.pdf
PROTECTING OUR WATER:
New York City’s Cross Connection Control Program
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is responsible for providing a continuous supply of safe, clean drinking water to more than nine million residents and visitors throughout the City and New York State. To protect New York City’s drinking water supply systems from contamination, DEP has a robust water quality monitoring program and regularly performs sampling throughout the City to ensure all relevant State and federal standards are met.
DEP also works to prevent contamination before it occurs by ensuring that local businesses comply with all relevant City and State codes. A key component of this enforcement and inspection initiative is DEP’s Cross Connection Control Program, which requires certain businesses to install and operate approved backflow prevention devices and enforces Part 5 Section 5-1.31 of the State Sanitary Code and Title 15, Chapter 20 of the Rules of the City of New York.
WHAT IS A BACKFLOW PREVENTION DEVICE?
Backflow devices prevent contaminated water or chemicals from flowing back into the drinking water supply if there is a sudden or unexpected change in water pressure. If a property requires a backflow prevention device, they must be installed on all water service lines to the property. Appropriate backflow prevention devices can be identified by a Professional Engineer (PE), Registered Architect (RA) or Licensed Master Plumber (LMP).
WHAT PROPERTY TYPES MUST INSTALL BACKFLOW PREVENTION DEVICES?
Unless they receive a specific exemption from DEP, the following types of businesses are required to use backflow preventers:
• Metal Plating Operations • Photo-Processing Facilities • Laundries and Dry Cleaners • Commercial Car Washes • Greenhouses • Hospitals,Clinics andLaboratories (IncludingVeterinary Hospitals) • Medical and Dental Offices • Funeral Parlors • Food Processing Plants, and Meat or Fish Packers • Dye Plants • Paper Processors • Auto Repair Shops • Breweries • Tanneries • Exterminators • Large Residential Dwellings with Treated Water Boilers • Sewage Treatment Plants or Handling Facilities • Premises with Multiple Water Service Lines • Premises with Roof Tanks and Elevated Storage Lines • Canneries • Shipyards and Marinas • Schools and Colleges • Food Processing Facilities • Nursing Homes • Barber Shops and Beauty Salons • Properties with In-Ground Irrigation Sprinklers
If your property or business type is not included in the above list and you have a specific question about your legal requirements, please call 311 and you will be directed to an appropriate DEP representative.
HOW DO I COMPLY WITH THE LAW?
1. First, you must hire a Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA) to prepare two sets of backflow prevention plans for your property. These must be submitted with two application forms to DEP’s Cross Connection Control Unit for approval. If approved, DEP will notify you via mail and return a copy of the plans to your PE or RA.
2. The backflow prevention device must then be installed by a Licensed Master Plumber (LMP) in accordance with the DEP-approved plans. Installation must comply with NYC Department of Buildings regulations and requirements.
3. Once installed, the device must be tested by a New York State Certified Backflow Prevention Device Tester. For a list of State Certified Testers, contact the State Department of Health at (800) 458-1158 ext. 27650. 4. Once testing is completed, a test report must be filed immediately with DEP (within 30 days of device installation). In the event of an improper installation, DEP will notify you or your PE/RA. The device will need to be fixed and then resubmitted for inspection and certification. 5. Your backflow prevention device must be properly maintained, and will be subject to annual testing and inspection by a certified tester. If you believe your property is exempt from backflow prevention requirements, you must hire a PE, RA, or an LMP to submit a formal exemption request. All relevant application, test reporting and exemption forms are available online at
If you have any questions about DEP’s Cross Connection Control Program, please call 311.