BCWS is responsible for protecting and maintaining the high quality of the public water supply. However, we cannot control water quality after the water enters a customer’s system. If water flows backward from a customer’s system into the BCWS distribution system, it creates a risk to the public water supply.
Backflow can occur two ways. A sudden drop in water pressure in the public system can create a suction effect, drawing contaminants into the water supply. Backflow can also occur when the pressure in a private system is greater than that in the public system, reversing the flow direction.
To prevent backflow and possible contamination, BCWS requires a reduced pressure backflow prevention assembly on each water line entering a non-residential, commercial, or industrial facility. We also require reduced pressure assemblies in residential buildings of more than three units. Double-check backflow prevention assemblies are required on fire lines.
BCWS and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency require testing of backflow prevention devices when they are installed and every 12 months thereafter. The water customer is responsible for having these devices installed, tested and repaired by a plumber with backflow certification. Water service may be discontinued if backflow devices are not tested in a timely manner. There is a $25.00 administrative fee for each device tested prior to or on the due date. The fee for a late test is $60.00. ALL FEES ARE APPLIED TO THE CUSTOMER'S UTILITY BILL. THERE IS NO NEED TO MAIL A CHECK WITH YOUR TEST RESULTS. Blank Backflow Test Report forms are availble here.
For more information about the backflow program, please see our Guide to Backflow, Cross Connection Control, Auxiliary Systems and Booster Pumps, our Backflow Prevention Brochure, our Backflow Regulation or contact the BCWS backflow prevention coordinator at (513) 785-5404.
To report a suspected Cross-connection call 513-785-5404 or 513-887-3686.