Keep your water supply safe

Most multi-dwelling buildings are required to have backflow prevention valve systems to ensure that fresh water only flows one way, and the main water supply cannot be contaminated by discharges from the building. 

The larger your building, usually the more complex the plumbing and the greater the risk of serious preventable mishaps.  

What is backflow? 

Backflow is a reversal of the normal direction of water flow in a plumbing system, usually when the water main is at a lower pressure than the internal plumbing system. This can occur when there is a burst or ruptured water main or due to excessive demand such as firefighting. 

It can also occur if a water pump, such as a bore pump, is cross connected to the internal plumbing system, and is pumping bore water at a higher pressure than the water mains pressure. 


If a property’s drinking water supply is inadvertently connected with a source of pollution, either through a cross connection or simply a hose submerged in a container of liquid, then these pollutants could enter the water supply when there is an overpressure on the private property side or a sudden drop in water mains pressure. 

That, of course, would pose a health hazard for not only your own strata community but the wider community and lead to a significant disruption to water supplies while it is remedied.  

Annual testing   

This is important but little-known infrastructure that is subject to strict regulatory requirements, including annual testing by an appropriately accredited and licensed plumber. All testable site containment backflow prevention devices must be registered as being operational and compliant with the requirements of AS2845:Water Supply – Backflow Prevention Devices 

The accredited backflow tester must submit test results annually to your local regulatory authority, such as Sydney Water, Hunter Water or your local Council. 


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