Preventing potentially contaminated water from being siphoned back into City Utilities’ drinking water distribution system is essential for the protection of public health and welfare. Indiana Administrative Code 327 IAC 8-10 and Fort Wayne City Code Chapter 52 regulate backflow and cross connections in the Fort Wayne drinking water system. All backflow prevention devices must conform with 327 IAC 8-10-7.
To ensure that you have installed and are maintaining appropriate backflow and cross connection control measures, please read the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s 2016 Cross Connection Control and Backflow Prevention Manual, City Utilities Backflow Prevention Brochure, and the City Utilities Design Standards Manual (W8 Backflow Prevention). A current listing of assemblies approved by the Foundation for Cross Connection Control and Hydraulics Research can be found here.
Backflow Preventer Device Testing
Are you in need of backflow device testing? City Utilities maintains a Backflow Tester Business Listing. City Utilities provides this list for the convenience of our customers. Companies and individuals appearing on the list are not endorsed by City Utilities. City Utilities does not warrant or guarantee the work done by the companies or individuals listed.
Due to the bacterial and chemical contaminants found on lawns, irrigation systems are considered high hazards with the potential to backflow into the public water distribution system. For this reason, these systems must have an approved backflow prevention device installed and tested annually. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that cross connections do not exist and that the backflow prevention device is maintained.
Property owners may choose to discontinue using their lawn irrigation system for a variety of reasons, but backflow prevention requirements are still in effect and enforced unless the system is physically disconnected. If the property owner wishes to disconnect their system, City Utilities recommends first reviewing this informational flyer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to many of the most frequently asked questions about City Utilities’ Backflow Prevention Test Reporting and Tracking Program may be found below.
Backflow is the reversal in the direction of the normal flow of water in a piping system. This can be caused by backsiphonage or backpressure. A negative or reduced pressure in the supply piping causes backsiphonage much the same way as drinking through a straw. Potential for backpressure backflow exists wherever there is a heating system, elevated tank, or other pressure producing equipment. When the pressure is reduced, the flow in the supply piping is reversed.
Yes, it does happen. When the public water distribution system is in normal operation, water flows directly from the City’s water main to your property. However, in certain situations backflow can occur causing water to flow back into the distribution system. The most likely time for this to happen is during periods of high water usage such as when fighting a fire, flushing a hydrant, water main breaks or repairs in the water distribution system.
A backflow prevention device is a plumbing mechanism that provides a physical barrier to prevent the possibility of backflow from occurring and potentially polluting or contaminating the public water supply
Backflow prevention devices are required to be tested annually because they have internal seals, springs, and moving parts that are subject to fouling, wear, or fatigue. Therefore, all backflow prevention devices have to be tested annually to ensure they are functioning properly to protect the public water system.
Backflow prevention devices (of all types) are required by Indiana (see Indiana Administrative Code 327 IAC 8-10) to be tested annually, and are considered past due the following calendar day after the test due date.
City Utilities does not earn any revenue by implementing and enforcing this program. Revenue associated with this program is contained within the private sector (Backflow Testers/Plumbing Companies & Aqua Backflow.) We realize and understand that there is an expense and inconvenience involved with complying with the requirements. However, protecting the public water supply is everyone’s responsibility and at City Utilities, we take our part very seriously.
City Utilities contracted with a firm called Aqua Backflow to help improve the efficiency of our customer communication, notification, and test results submittal process. For several years our staff manually entered the results of tests sent to us into our backflow management software. As our utility grows and we begin to protect more service lines, this task becomes increasingly cumbersome and is better managed by a firm that specializes in this process.
You will receive a reminder notice from Aqua Backflow before your backflow prevention device is due to be tested. The notice will include the test due date and the last company on record who has serviced it. This information can also be found online using the “My Backflow” app at trackmybackflow.com. Enter your Site ID and the Site Address Number only. The Site ID is listed on the letter you received from Aqua Backflow. If you do not have a Site ID available to you, contact Aqua Backflow at 847-742-2296.
The notification can be sent to a mailing address separate from your billing address, if you prefer. Contact Aqua Backflow at 847-742-2296 to have your backflow mailing address updated.
You must be a State Certified Backflow Tester to submit your test results online at www.trackmybackflow.com. A water utility customer may not submit the results on the tester’s behalf. Additionally, if you send a copy to City Utilities’ or Aqua Backflow’s office, this does not guarantee that you won’t receive a non-compliance notice.
Contact Aqua Backflow at 847-742-2296 to inquire if your State Certified Backflow Tester submitted the results.
A reasonable extension may be available. Contact Aqua Backflow at 847-742-2296 to discuss extending your test date.
Yes. According to state law (see Indiana Administrative Code 327 IAC 8-10), you are required to test your backflow prevention device annually even if you are not using your system. You may request a temporary or permanent removal of your backflow prevention device if you no longer wish to use your irrigation system. Contact Aqua Backflow at 847-742-2296 to discuss temporary or permanent removal of your backflow prevention device.
Contact Aqua Backflow at 847-742-2296 to ensure the records are up-to-date.
City Utilities may terminate water service for a customer who is found to be in non-compliance. You will receive multiple notices prior to the ultimate disconnection of your water service.
If you have received a Final Disconnection Notice, Recorded Message, or Red Tag related to backflow prevention compliance, we suggest you schedule testing with a State Certified Backflow Tester immediately to avoid interruption in your water service.
Once your service has been disconnected, your State Certified Backflow Tester must call City Utilities Water Maintenance & Service Department at 260-427-2476 to schedule your service to be turned back on to allow your backflow prevention device to be tested.
Contact Aqua Backflow
|Fort Wayne City Utilities
Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention
200 E. Berry Street, Suite 130
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802
Phone: (260) 427-1234
|Aqua Backflow – Cross Connection Control Operations
977 Elizabeth Street
Elgin, Illinois 60120
Phone: (847) 742-2296
Fax: (847) 742-9696