Backflow prevention devices
  • Last updated:
  • 09 Sep 2021

Backflow is the flow of water from a property back into the drinking water supply.

Council is committed to ensuring that our drinking water supply remains safe for everyone. A robust and effective backflow prevention system in place can help ensure water is safe to drink.


Introduction to backflow prevention
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Contaminated water incidents can be serious. A backflow prevention device stops unwanted water flow entering our drinking water supply. This protects us from drinking or using contaminated water.

Failure to maintain your devices may result in compliance enforcement action.

There may be any number of contamination sources within a property. Backflow prevention provides a barrier, keeping contaminated water separate from the drinking water supply.

Sources of contamination can include:

  • irrigation systems
  • swimming pools
  • vehicle maintenance pits
  • ornamental ponds
  • air conditioning towers
  • vehicle/bin washing bays
  • chemical injection areas
  • fire hose reels (FHR)
  • commercial and manufacturing processes.

For more information refer to our backflow prevention devices fact sheet.

Backflow prevention at Sunshine Coast University hospital
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If your property has a backflow prevention, it is important to know your role.

You help protect the drinking water supply by ensuring all devices are adequately maintained. Failure to fulfil your responsibilities may result in compliance enforcement action.

Property owner's responsibilities

The owner of a testable backflow prevention device must:

  • have all devices installed by a licensed plumber
  • register the device with council by providing a copy of the initial test report
  • have it inspected or tested by an endorsed licensed plumber yearly
  • ensure that there is adequate access to devices for testing and maintenance.

Types of testable devices include:

  • reduced pressure zone
  • double check, and
  • some single check valves.

Non-testable devices; including dual check valves, do not need to be registered or tested annually.

Backflow prevention device register and annual fee

Section 101 of the Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2019 requires council must:

  • maintain a program for the registration, maintenance and testing of all backflow prevention devices
  • keep a register of these devices.

The annual fee included in the property's rates notice is to cover the costs to maintain the register.

Current fees are available in the register of fees and charges.

If your plumbing changes, you may no longer need a backflow prevention device. An endorsed plumber can assess if your backflow prevention device is still required.

If the plumber confirms there is no longer a risk to the water supply, the plumber can remove the device.The plumber must lodge a Form 4 with State Government.

You should tell council that you have had the device removed. Council will inspect the location to confirm the water supply is safe. Council will update their register,and you will no longer be charged the annual fee.

You can locate a licensed plumber in the yellow pages under "plumbers". Ensure the plumber is legally qualified to work with backflow devices.

Further information can be found in our backflow prevention guidelines.

Below are a series of videos for designers and endorsed plumbers to assist with backflow prevention devices. Refer to backflow prevention guidelines for more information.

Installation of backflow prevention devices
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Pre-backflow prevention test requirements
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Testing procedure for double check valves
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Testing procedure for reduced pressure zone
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Contact council's development services for further advice.

Lodge with council:

Lodge with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC):

Related information:

Test reports provide important information on the performance of your backflow devices. They also report on maintenance requirements to ensure your devices are working property. In turn, this protects us from drinking or using contaminated water.

Council offers several ways to submit your service report:

  • integrating your business system with council's eServices system
  • online through MyCouncil (you need to register). Note: initial test reports cannot be submitted online
  • by email or post
  • in person at any of council's development counters.

Backflow eServices

Backflow eServices enables you to directly integrate with council's register. This means we can receive and review your test reports instantaneously.

More information