Backflow Prevention Program

The Backflow Prevention By-law #10-103 (PDF, 861 KB) ensures that the City of Hamilton drinking water quality and distribution system is protected from each industrial, commercial, institutional or multi-residential property. Under backflow conditions, contaminates from these properties could enter the drinking water system when a property is not sufficiently backflow protected.

The by-law affects all:

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

What is Backflow?
Backflow is the flow of water through a pipe in a direction opposite to that which is normal or intended. When this occurs, contaminates may be drawn back into the City’s water distribution system unless prevented by a backflow preventer. There are two types of backflow that can occur, they are, backsiphonage and backpressure.

What is Backsiphonage?
Backsiphonage is backflow that can be caused by a pressure drop in the City’s water distribution system which could draw water from the private property back into the City’s water distribution system. This can occur due to a watermain break, or excessive demand on the system such as fire fighting.

What is Backpressure?
Backpressure is backflow that can be caused when the pressure within the private water supply system is greater than the water pressure supplied by the City’s water distribution system. This can be caused by things such as booster pumps located on the property.

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

Backflow Survey Requirements for Property Owners

Self Assessed Survey


Property owners with a water service line entering their property that is 38 mm (1.5 inches) in diameter or smaller need to complete a Self Assessed Survey once every 5 years. This will determine the level of backflow risk associated with your property. There is no cost for completing this survey. If there is more than one business located on your property a survey must be completed for each individual business.

Please complete your Self Assessed Survey or 5 Year Resurvey online or submit a completed paper copy of the survey by mail or in person to:

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

If you require more information to complete your Self Assessed Survey call Customer Service at 905-546-2489.

Cross Connection Survey


Property owners with a water service line entering their property that is 50mm or larger or are deemed by the City of Hamilton through the Self Assess Survey to require a completed Cross Connection Survey.

  1. Hire a contractor from the approved City of Hamilton list of contractors (PDF, 56 KB).
  2. The contractor will complete a Cross Connection Survey (PDF, 464 KB) to determine the hazard level associated with your property.
  3. Submit an original signed copy of the Cross Connection Survey and the fee (listed below) within 14 days of completing the survey in person or by mail to:
    City of Hamilton
    Backflow Prevention Program
    330 Wentworth Street North Hamilton, Ontario L8L 5W2

  4. You will receive a Cross Connection Survey Acknowledgement by mail from the City of Hamilton. It will identify the hazard level based on the completed Cross Connection survey and determine the appropriate backflow prevention device required for your property.

Backflow Device Installation Process

  1. A Building Permit is required for all backflow device installations. You can purchase the permit from at City Hall, 71 Main Street West, 3rd Floor, Hamilton.
  2. 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.
  3. Call the Building Division 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. 
  4. Submit the Initial Backflow Device Test Report and the fee (see below) within 14 days of completion to the City of Hamilton Backflow Prevention Program at 330 Wentworth Street North, Hamilton.
  5. You, as the property owner, will receive a Backflow Device Test Acknowledgment by mail from the City.
  6. All backflow prevention devices must be tested every year after installation.

Testing Reports

 

Backflow Prevention Program Fees

Effective January 1, 2018. Fees exactly as stated, HST included.

  • Self Assessed Survey Fee
    No Fee
  • Cross Connection Survey Fee
    $176.00 per form upon submission
  • Test Report Fee
    $71.50 per submission of each test
  • Backflow Prevention Device Inspection
    $156.35 - during regular hours
    $233.80 - after hours
  • Building Permit (per device)
    Minimum cost of permit $216

Reduced Pressure Zone Assembly

Reduced Pressure Zone Assembly

  • Also known as RP
  • 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 testing.
  • Can be used for health hazards such as toxic material and severely hazardous connections such as in hospitals and morgues

Reduced Pressure Detector Assembly

  • 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

Double Check Valve Assembly

  • 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.

Double Check Detector Assembly

Double Check Detector Assembly

  • Also known as DCDA
  • 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
  • Used for Moderate hazard Fire service connections.

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