Frequently Asked Questions About Backflow Prevention

  • What If I Have A Backflow Prevention Device But The DEP Has No Record Of Its Installation?
    Call Maxwell Plumb or click here to schedule service. You must ask your PE or RA to send a record drawing of the backflow preventer along with an initial test report of the device to DEP for review.
  • How Do I Schedule Testing For My Backflow Prevention Device?
    Call Maxwell Plumb or click here to schedule service. You must schedule testing with a certified tester at least once a year and file appropriate forms with DEP.
  • I Received an Order to Install a Backflow Prevention Device from DEP. The 30-Day Installation Period Has Nearly Expired.
    Call Maxwell Plumb today or click here to schedule service. As long as DEP has certification from a Licensed Master Plumber (LMP), Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA) that a device is in the process of being installed, you will not receive a Notice of Violation.
  • Will I Need To Install More Than One Backflow Prevention Device?
    Every water line to the property must have a backflow prevention device. If your property is required to have a backflow prevention device and has multiple water service lines you must install a device on each line.
  • How Do I Install A Backflow Prevention Device?
    Installation will require the services of a Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA)

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What Is a Backflow Prevention Device?  

Backflow prevention devices prevent contaminated water or chemicals from flowing back into the public drinking water supply system. Certain types of businesses are legally mandated to install and operate approved backflow preventers.

Why are Backflow Prevention Devices Required?  

Backflow prevention devices are an important component of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection's drinking water protection program and are legally mandated under the New York State Sanitary Code and the rules of the City of New York for those businesses identified as posing a risk to the public water supply.

What Types of Properties Are Required to Install a Backflow Prevention Device?   

Unless they receive a specific exemption from DEP, the following types of businesses are required to use backflow preventers:

  • Metal plating, cleaning, processing or fabricating facilities
  • Photo-processing facilities
  • Laundries and dry cleaners
  • Commercial car washes
  • Greenhouses
  • Hospitals, Clinics and Laboratories (including veterinary hospitals)
  • Medical and Dental Offices
  • Funeral Parlors
  • Food processing plants and meat / fish packers
  • Dye Plants
  • Paper processors
  • Auto Repair Shops
  • Breweries
  • Tanneries
  • Exterminators
  • Large residential dwellings with water boilers that use rust-inhibitors or other water treatment chemicals, ("treated water boilers")
  • Sewage treatment plants or handling facilities
  • Premises with multiple water service lines
  • Premises with roof tanks and elevated storage lines
  • Canneries
  • Slaughterhouse / Live Poultry Processing Facilities
  • Ice Manufacturing Facilities
  • Printing Facilities
  • Supermarkets
  • Premises with Large Boilers or Chemically Treated Boilers
  • Warehouses (with toxic chemical storage)
  • Premises with Commercial or Public Kitchens
  • Premises with Water Cooled Equipment or Chillers
  • Premises with Groundwater Wells
  • Premises that Reuse or Recycle Water
  • Shipyards and Marinas
  • Schools and Colleges
  • Food Preparation Facilities
  • Nursing Homes
  • Barber Shops & Beauty Salons
  • Properties with in-ground irrigation sprinklers

Who Is Responsible for Installing a Backflow Prevention Device?  

Property owners are required to install, maintain and test backflow prevention devices according to all relevant City and State codes. 

I am a Tenant. Am I Responsible for Installing a Backflow Prevention Device?  

No. Property owners, not tenants, are responsible for the installation of backflow prevention devices.

“It was an emergency. My building management got in contact with these guys and they totally came through.”

Jean-Paul N.

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