What is backflow?
• Backflow is the reversal of the normal flow of water. It's caused by pressure differences and can allow contaminants from an irrigation system, boiler, or other sources to enter a home or building's plumbing system or the public water supply. Backflow prevention devices protect plumbing systems and the public water supply by preventing backflow.
What causes backflow?
• A sudden drop in water pressure in a public system can cause backflow. Backpressure can also cause backflow. Backpressure occurs when a building's plumbing system has higher pressure than the public water supply. Both situations can allow water and contaminants from a private plumbing system to reverse flow into the public supply, potentially contaminating the water for other users. Backflow preventers keep this from happening.
What is a cross connection?
• A cross connection is a link between a potable water system and a non-potable water system, in our case, the city’s public water lines and our customers’ private plumbing systems. Backflow can occur through cross connections.
Is cross connection prevention required by law?
• Yes. Please see the various agencies below for further information.
• Federal EPA website: http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/drinkingwater/pws/crossconnectioncontrol/
• Florida Department of Environmental Protection: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/legal/rules/drinkingwater/62-555.pdf
How does the City of Lake City prevent cross connection?
• Since 2013, the City of Lake City has contracted with the professional services firm, HydroCorp, Inc., to manage the backflow prevention program by inspecting all commercial sites and testing of all existing backflow prevention assemblies, including private residences (when required) connected to the City water system.
Can I opt-out of the City’s backflow management program?
• No. All backflow devices must be tested annually.
What is the annual backflow test fee?
• There will be no fee for the annual backflow test. The City will cover this expense.
Why do backflow preventers have to be tested annually?
• Backflow prevention assemblies have internal seals, springs, and moving parts that are susceptible to wear and failure. Annual testing ensures they are functioning properly and protecting the public water system.
What is the difference between an annual test and initial test on a backflow device?
• The annual test is performed solely by HydroCorp, Inc. contractor, unless you opt-out of the program, to ensure proper operation of the device.
How do I know if I need to install a backflow preventer?
• Residential customers are only required to install a backflow preventer if the home has an in-ground irrigation system or swimming pool. It is the customer's responsibility to notify us if an irrigation system or swimming pool is installed. Backflow preventers are required for all residential customers.
I received a letter saying my annual backflow test is due. What do I need to do?
• By receiving the letter means you opted out of the City’s backflow program. You must contact a Certified Backflow Tester to schedule a test on your device. After completing the test, the Backflow Tester must submit a copy of the test results to the City.
I'm a renter, why did I receive a letter about the backflow preventer?
• Compliance with our backflow requirements is the responsibility of the water account holder. If you are renting a home or commercial space, your landlord or property management company may agree to take care of the backflow installation, repair, and/or annual testing, but it is the ultimately the account holder's responsibility.
I received a letter saying I need to install a backflow preventer. How do I do that?
• We recommend contacting a licensed plumber. After completing the installation, the licensed plumber must test the device and submit a copy of the test results to the City.
I don’t use my irrigation system. Do I still have to test and maintain my backflow preventer?
• As long as the irrigation system is connected to your plumbing system, the potential for backflow exists, and you must comply with all backflow requirements, including having it tested annually.
• To eliminate these backflow requirements, the irrigation system must be physically disconnected from your plumbing system.
• If your irrigation system is served by the same water service that serves your home or business, you can have the irrigation system cut and capped. Once this is complete, contact us to schedule an inspection.
• If your irrigation system is served by a separate irrigation meter, contact us to close the account and we will remove the meter.
Will my backflow device freeze during the winter?
• Yes. Like any other water component, a backflow prevention device will freeze and crack. Your local home improvement store will carry pipe insulation. All you need is the insulation material and duct tape to wrap the above-ground piping and backflow device. Be sure to wrap the insulation around the bleeder and shut-off valves as well.
I am a licensed plumbing contractor, how can I get registered to participate in the program?
• Any plumbing contractors who wish to participate in the program will need to be registered with HydroCorp, Inc. For registration and program information contact Amy LaBute by dialing 800-315-3713.
Who should I contact for more information?
• If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact the City at 386-466-3350 or Amy at HydroCorp, at 800-315-3713. For additional information on HydroCorp, Inc., please visit their website at http://www.hydrocorpinc.com/.