Fire service certification and backflow prevention
What is Backflow and how does it affect my business?
Backflow is the unintended reversal of potentially contaminated water from a property, back into Council’s drinking water supply system. This may occur when there is a sudden reduction in pressure in the water reticulation network. Backflow prevention devices reduce the risk of contamination of the water supply from backflow, back siphonage and cross connections.
Do I need a backflow prevention device for my business?
Yes, you do. All properties with a water connection must have a Backflow Prevention Device in accordance with Council Policy and the Plumbing Code of Australia. If your property has more than one water service connected to Council's water supply, you will need to install a device on each water service.
If contaminated water enters the water reticulation network, it could be used by other customers and may cause serious health issues and even death.
The property owner is responsible for installation of the appropriate Backflow Prevention Device on their property. Council will assign a default level of hazard, based on an assessment of the activities being carried out at the property.
A licensed plumber with backflow prevention accreditation can assist in determining the type of device required, in accordance with Council's Water Connection, Backflow Prevention & Pricing Policy (PDF 945.6KB), and the Plumbing Code of Australia.
Council Policy requires the property owner to ensure that a Backflow Prevention Device is tested, maintained, and replaced as required by Council Policy. If your business activity is rated as a Medium or High hazard, an annual backflow test is required to be undertaken by an accredited backflow plumber and test result documentation must be submitted to Council.
Who can I get to undertake the regular 12 monthly test of my backflow prevention device?
You need to engage an accredited backflow plumber (PDF 11.8KB). The plumbers on this register are not affiliated with or accredited by Council, nor is any recommendation implied.
If you are an Accredited Backflow Plumber, Council invites you to register your backflow prevention accreditation with Council. To be placed on Council’s accredited backflow plumber list please complete the pro forma (PDF 202.6KB) and return to it Council.
Backflow Prevention Hazard Ratings
Assigning a Backflow Prevention Hazard Rating
A default hazard rating is assigned to a premises based on the business activities undertaken on the premises. The degree of the hazard rating is guided by recommendations from the Australian Plumbing and Drainage Standards AS/NZS 3500.
Disputing/Change of Hazard Rating
There may be instances where the property owners disagree with the default hazard rating assigned to their premises. In these cases, they should engage an accredited backflow licensed plumber to re-assess the hazard rating and submit an Application to review a Backflow Prevention Hazard Rating. (PDF 197.2KB) Council will review the application and advise of the outcome within 21 days.
If you would like further information please see the fact sheets below
Backflow Prevention Fact Sheet (PDF 923.9KB)
This fact sheet answers frequently asked questions by property owners regarding installation, maintenance and testing requirements in accordance with Council's Water Connection, Backflow Prevention and Pricing Policy.
Backflow Prevention Fact Sheet for plumbers (PDF 310.2KB)
This fact sheet is designed for plumbers who may install or test backflow prevention devices.
Council policy exempts dedicated Fire Services from Water Access Charges if they comply with the Plumbing Code of Australia and Council Policy. Services that do not comply are subject to Water Access Charges.
Council requires owners of dedicated Fire Services to arrange an inspection by a licensed plumber certifying it is a dedicated Fire Service. The Policy requires these inspections be undertaken between March and May each year.
It is the property owner's responsibility to ensure the resulting Fire Service Certificate is submitted to Council before 31 May annually. Council will then recognise it as a dedicated Fire Service for the following financial year and so exempt it from Water Access Charges.
Last Edited: 08 Oct 2018