Backflow Prevention Program

The Backflow Prevention By-law No. 10-103 (PDF, 861 KB) ensures that we deliver clean and safe drinking water to all of our residents and businesses. The by-law affects all:

  • Industrial properties
  • Commercial properties
  • Institutional properties
  • Multi-residential properties four stories or higher

It ensures that businesses install a backflow prevention device on the water service line after the water meter to prevent the backflow of water into the city’s drinking water source.

Requirements for business owners:

The following requirements are in place for business owners: 

1. Complete a Cross Connection Survey or Self Assessed Cross Connection Survey

All property owners must complete either a Cross Connection Survey or Self Assessed Cross Connection Survey to determine the hazard level associated with their property:

Here are the steps to take for a Cross Connection Survey required by the Backflow Prevention By-law:

  1. Hire a contractor from the approved City of Hamilton list of contractors (PDF, 58 KB).
  2. Complete a Cross Connection Survey (PDF, 464 KB). to determine the hazard level associated with your property. Submit an original signed copy of the survey and the fee(listed below) within 14 days of completing the survey in person or by mail to the address at the end of this page.
  3. You will receive a Cross Connection Survey Acknowledgement Form by mail from the City identifying which devices you are required to install. The devices are based on the contractor’s recommendations from the Cross Connection Survey.
  4. You need a Building Permit for all backflow device installations. You can get the permit from the at City Hall, 71 Main Street West, 3rd Floor, Hamilton.
  5. Have your contractor install the backflow prevention device and carry out the initial test. You must have all devices tested every year after this initial test.
  6. Call Building at 905-546-2720 to schedule your backflow prevention device inspection. The inspector will come out after the installation and initial test have been completed. 
  7. Submit the initial backflow device test report and the annual required test reports along with the Test report receipt and processing fee (see below) within 14 days of completion to the City of Hamilton Backflow Prevention Program at 330 Wentworth Street North, Hamilton.
  8. You, as the property owner, will receive a Backflow Device Acknowledgment Form by mail from the City.

Fees

Effective January 1, 2016. Fees exactly as stated, HST included.

Service Fee
Backflow Prevention By-law Contractor Registration Fee $140.69 per year
Test Report receipt and processing $68.37 per submission of each test
Cross Connection Survey Form receipt and processing $168.82 per form upon submission
Backflow Prevention Device Inspection $149.73 - during regular hours
$233.80 - after hours
Building Permit (per device) Minimum cost of permit $216

Property owners with a water service line entering their building or property that is 38 mm (1.5 inches) in diameter or smaller can complete a Self Assessed Cross Connection Survey (PDF, 464 KB). This survey does not have associated fees.

If there is more than one business located on your property a survey must be done for each business.

Use the instructions below to help you in fill out the Self Assessed Cross Connection Survey:

  • Item #1: Facility or business name: The name the business operates under.
  • Item #2: Facility or business address: The municipal address of this business and their phone number.
  • Item #3: Property owner’s name, address and phone number: The person who owns this property, the owner’s mailing address and the owner’s phone number.
  • Item #4: Contact person if different than owner: The contact person and phone number whom the property owner delegates.
  • Item #5: If you have indicated that you fall under any of the types of properties or facilities listed, then you are required to only complete page 1 of the Self Assessed Survey, return the Survey to the City, and you will be required to come into full compliance of the by-law.
  • Item #6: Indicate the serial number of your water meter as listed on your Alectra Utilities (formerly Horizon Utilities) bill:
    • The serial number of your water meter can be found at the bottom of your Alectra Utilities (formerly Horizon Utilities) bill in the section marked
    • Your usage for this period under “Meter Number” beside “Water” and it will be a 9 digit number.
  • Item #7: Indicate the size of your City water meter located on your water service line: The size of your water meter can also be found at the bottom of your Alectra Utilities (formerly Horizon Utilities) bill in the section marked Your Usage for this Period under “Meter Type” beside “Water” and it will be a 4 digit number.

On page 3 on the survey:
If any of the questions apply to any equipment or process that applies to your business, check the appropriate box and if there is any type of backflow device present that isolates that equipment or process from your drinking water system, then select the device type from device selection at the bottom of the page and enter the type in the adjacent box.

If you require more information to complete your Self Assessed Cross Connection Survey call Customer Service at 905-546-4426.

Submit completed surveys by mail or in person to:

City of Hamilton
Backflow Prevention Program
330 Wentworth Street North
Hamilton, Ontario L8L 5W2

2. Have a backflow prevention device installed on your property

Backflow prevention devices must be installed on your property. Compliance dates for installing backflow prevention devices are based on the hazard level of your property. Refer to the Backflow Prevention By-law No. 10-103 (PDF, 861 KB) for compliance dates.

All backflow prevention devices must be tested when they are installed and every year afterwards.
Testing Reports: Double Check Value Assembly (DCVA) device (PDF, 34 KB)  Reduced Pressure (RP) device (PDF, 34 KB)

A Backflow prevention device is a mechanical device installed on a water service downstream of the water meter to prevent backflow.

Six common backflow prevention devices include:

  • Also known as RPDA
  • Has two independently acting check valves separated by a reduced pressure zone
  • Installed as a unit between two shut off valves
  • Each check valve is fitted with a test cock for periodic testin.
  • Can be used for health hazards such as toxic material and severely hazardous connections such as in hospitals and morgues

  • Also known as DCVA
  • Has two internally loaded check valves, force-loaded or internally weighted
  • If one check valve fails to close the other will prevent backflow
  • Each check valve is fitted with a test cock for periodic testing
  • Can be used for all non-health hazards (non-toxic) connections such as fire sprinkler and irrigation systems.

  • Also known as AVB
  • One of the simplest and least expensive backflow prevention devices
  • Available in half inch to three-inch pipe size
  • Must be installed vertically for proper operation and at least six inches higher than the downstream piping
  • Cannot be used under constant pressure and cannot be tested
  • Can only be used to prevent back siphonage, not backpressure
  • Can be used for irrigation systems, commercial dishwasher and laundry equipment, chemical tanks and laboratory sinks

  • Also known as PVBA
  • It is an outgrowth of the atmospheric vacuum breaker
  • Can only be used to prevent back siphonage, not backpressure
  • Can be used under constant pressure and can be tested

  • Also known as HCVB
  • A spring-loaded check valve seals against an atmospheric outlet when the water supply is turned on
  • Vents to atmosphere when it is turned off, protecting against back siphonage conditions

  • Also known as DuC
  • Two independently acting, spring loaded check valves
  • Usually does not have shutoff valves and may or may not be equipped with test cocks
  • Should only be used to isolate non-health hazards and is intended for single family homes

Find out more about the approved contractors registered with the City of Hamilton to do surveys, installations and testing.