Opt-in Backflow Preventer Testing Program

The City Code requires annual testing of backflow preventers (BFPs) to ensure they are in good working order to protect the quality of water for you and the rest of the city’s water users. The only method to determine satisfactory operation of backflow prevention assemblies is to have them tested by a certified tester with approved test equipment. The City Code requires the annual testing of all backflow prevention devices by a certified tester, with the results submitted to the city.

New Residential Service
Water Management is excited to offer a new service to residential customers who have BFPs. It is the city’s hope that this new service will streamline the testing process for you. Participation in this program is optional. If you prefer to directly retain your own testing contractor you may do so as long as you remain compliant with the city’s testing requirements. If you would like to register for this program, complete an opt-in request form and submit it to the Department of Water Management Cross Connection Control Program (CCC).
Under this program, the annual backflow test associated with your automatic lawn irrigation system will be performed by an approved tester under contract with the City of Durham. Testing will typically begin in mid-April and continue through the end of September. The city has negotiated a cost of $85 for the testing of each device. Once you opt-in the charge will be applied to the City of Durham water account associated with the address where the backflow test will be conducted. The cost includes the annual inspection of your assembly and any minor repairs or replacement parts that are required. If you do not have a water account in your name associated with the address where the backflow test will be conducted, you may mail a check and a completed opt-in form to the Department of Water Management Cross Connection Control Program.

The testing process requires a 15-minute interruption of water service and less than one gallon of water is used to perform the test. Once the test has been completed, the city’s contractor will leave a door hanger with the test results. You will not have to submit any documentation regarding the BFP test. The testing contractor will submit the results directly to CCC Program staff.

If you choose to participate in the program and you have an existing account, your account will be billed the first available billing cycle after March 1 (or after your submittal of an opt-in request form) of each year that testing is due and you remain a registered participant in the Program.

If you have already had your backflow preventer tested for this year and would like to opt-in for the backflow preventer testing program next year, please fill out the opt-in request form and you will be added to next year’s list of opt-in customers. If you wish to opt-in for the current calendar year, please submit your opt-in request form by August 1.

Important Tips
Here are some additional important points about the program:
  • If the testing process demonstrates that the backflow assembly is damaged beyond repair, the contractor will report that information to you. You, as the owner, are responsible for the replacement of the assembly. As an example, backflow assemblies may freeze and break if they are not winterized. Typically, when this occurs, a new backflow assembly has to be installed.
  • The contractor performing the backflow testing is responsible for any damage to your property.
  • A copy of the test results will be left for the customer and the tester will provide all proper documentation to the City of Durham for the annual backflow testing requirement.
  • Customers who have failed to have devices tested and are delinquent by two months or more will automatically be enrolled in the program. Your backflow preventer device will be tested and an $85 for the contractor fee plus a $100 administration fee will be charged to the water account associated with the address.
For opt-in program information, contact the Cross Connection Control Program by phone at (919) 560-4194 or email. You may mail, fax, or scan and email​ the completed form (PDF), or complete the online submittal form.