Backflow Device Requirements

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Updated: 8/XX/18

BACKFLOW DEVICE REQUIREMENTS Residential Rebuilds in the Resilient City Areas To ensure our drinking water is of the highest quality, the City of Santa Rosa requires backflow preventers to be installed by consumers who have potential hazards on their property which have a greater chance of polluting or contaminating our water. Backflow devices are only required if the proposed development of the homes involves one of the components shown below: Sewage Ejector Pump If your house is constructed at a lower elevation than the sewer main in the street, you will be required to install a pumping system to safely discharge the sewage from the site. This type of installation may also be required on flatter elevations when the sewer main in the street is shallow or the home is placed at a significant distance from the sewer main. The presence of an operational sewer ejector pump on the property requires the installation of a backflow device on the public water supply. Specific Requirement: Reduced Pressure Backflow Device City Standard: 876 Water Booster Pump In certain situations, the available pressure in the City’s public water supply may be lower than what is desired at the plumbing fixtures. This often results in the property owner installing a booster pump designed to increase the house pressure. Installations of this nature can cause the pressure onsite to exceed the available pressure in the main and may result in forcing water from the property back into the public supply. Specific Requirement: Double Check City Standard: 875 Fire Sprinklers Backflow devices are required when fire sprinklers are installed within the structure. This is because water within the automatic fire protection system does not circulate and will degrade over time. The stagnant water can back siphon into the public water supply if the public main experiences a significant loss of pressure. Specific Requirement: In-Line Check Valve City Standard: 875 F Sprinkler systems may be designed in a fashion that allows for a circulation of the water within the sprinkler lines. This type of design is referred to as a passive purge or multi-purpose system. The system Additional information regarding the Santa Rosa rebuilding effort available online: |


must include a toilet connection at the end of the main sprinkler line and avoid the installation of any dead-end lines connecting to the main line. If this type of system is installed, a backflow device will not be required. Contact the Fire Department at 707-543-3500 to discussion any specific design related questions. Plumbing Fixture 30’ Above Water Meter If any fixture within the house (typically a showerhead) is installed 30 feet above the elevation of the water meter, a backflow device is required. The height creates additional head pressure and can encourage a back-siphoning event if pressure in the main is lost or dramatically reduced. Specific Requirement: Double Check City Standard 875 Well/Auxiliary Water System or Pump: Backflow devices are required anytime a secondary water source, such as a well, is present on the site. Well water may enter the public supply if plumbing from the well is accidently connected to plumbing that is fed by the City’s water supply. The backflow device protects the City’s water supply against any on-site cross connection in the plumbing lines. Specific Requirement: Double Check City Standard 875 Construction/Temporary Water Supply: If the water service needs to be re-established for construction purposes, an inline check backflow device is required to re-establish water service. Specific Requirement: Inline Check City Standard 875F Temporary Use Permits for RV (temporary living or construction trailers): If a trailer (RV or construction trailer) is permitted to connect for temporary use, a backflow device will be required. The minimum is a double check unless other hazards exist that would require a Reduced Pressure Backflow Device (for example, a sewer grinder pump). Contact Water Engineering Services for additional information at (707) 543-4200. Minimum Specific Requirement: Double Check City Standard 875 Testing Requirements Backflow devices must be tested by a certified backflow tester after the initial installation and on an annual basis thereafter. The In-Line Dual Check is exempt from the testing requirement. To ensure that the device is function properly, In-Line Dual Checks must be replaced every 5 years. For additional information regarding the City’s backflow device requirements, please contact the Water Department at 707-543-4200

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