Backflow Prevention Devices
  • Last updated:
  • 30 May 2016

All water must be safe for people to consume. This includes water used in food preparation, dish washing or brushing your teeth. Water from rainwater tanks, mains or other sources must also look, smell and taste suitable for human use.

Backflow prevention

Backflow is the reverse flow of water into pipes. Backflow prevention devices protect water quality from contamination. There are many backflow prevention devices to suit different needs.

Where to start

There may be any number of contamination sources within a property. Backflow prevention begins by keeping these separate from mains or tank water.

Examples of potential source of contamination:

  • Fire Hose Reels (FHR)
  • Irrigation
  • Swimming pools
  • Vehicle maintenance pits
  • Ornamental ponds
  • Air conditioning towers
  • Vehicle/bin washing bays
  • Chemical injection areas

Examples of properties requiring backflow prevention:

  • Motels and unit complexes
  • Hotels
  • Vehicle repair workshops
  • Shops
  • Restaurants
  • Caravan parks
  • Medical and dental surgeries
  • Car and plant washing facilities
  • Dry cleaners and laundries
  • Hospitals and funeral parlours
  • Club houses for sports
  • Schools
  • Day care centres and kindergartens
  • Pest control and water carrying vehicles
  • Botanic gardens

Backflow prevention devices register

Council is required to keep a register of testable backflow prevention devices. Section 38 of the Standard Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2003 requires that:

  • council must:
    • maintain a program for the registration, maintenance and testing of these devices
    • keep a register of these devices
  • property owners must:
    • register the device with council
    • have it annually inspected or tested by a licensed plumber
  • the person who tests the device must:
    • provide council with written results within 10 days of the inspection.

Locating a licensed plumber

You can locate a licensed plumber in the Yellow Pages under 'Plumbers'. Ensure the plumber is legally qualified to test backflow devices.

Annual fee

 This is a fee included in the property’s rates notice to cover the costs to maintain the register. Current fees are available on council's register of fees and charges.

Submitting a test report

Council offers several ways to submit a backflow test report:

More information

For more information or help for submitting an online test report, refer to the following fact sheet: