Backflow Prevention Program

The BPU supplies water to nearly 48,000 area residents. The New York State Sanitary Code (Part 5 section 1.31) mandates that a community's water system must be free of all sanitary hazards, including unprotected cross connections which would allow contaminants to be introduced into the (potable) drinking water system by back-siphonage or back-pressure. The code also mandates that this cross connection control is the responsibility of the supplier of water (the BPU) and the water customer (you).

To assure that no water of questionable or unsuitable quality enters the public water system, the BPU will work with the customer to determine the degree of hazard that business poses to the system. The customer will be required to install an acceptable backflow prevention device; follow it up with appropriate testing, operation and maintenance and keep adequate records of its performance and repair.

Failure to comply with this program may constitute grounds for discontinuing water service at the discretion of the Water Resources Deputy General Manager and the General Manager.

Questions regarding this policy should be directed to (716) 661-1673.

1.) Do you already have a backflow device installed?

Remember, backflow prevention devices must be installed on all connections to the city water distribution system. The degree of hazard the service connection poses to the public water supply will determine what type of device will be required. If the service connection poses a potential risk of contaminating the water supply a testable backflow device is required and the device must be tested annually by a New York State Certified Tester. All test reports must be submitted to the Jamestown BPU Water Engineering Department upon completion of the test. Below is a link for a list of NY State Certified Testers in Chautauqua County as well as a link for the Test report - form DOH-1013.

Are you not sure if there is a backflow preventer in your facility? Here are some clues to help you figure it out:

  • The backflow preventer that is of primary concern to the Jamestown BPU is the one located next to the water meter on the building side for each water service that connects your facility to the city water distribution main.
  • Below are two examples of what the backflow preventer may look like (it varies per device manufacturer).


  • On the left is an image of a DCV (Double Check Valve) backflow preventer







    On the right is a RPZ (Reduced Pressure Zone) backflow device.







  • Look for the name of the manufacturer on the device. For a list of approved backflow prevention device manufacturers, you may look on the NYS Department of Health website

2.) Will you be installing a backflow prevention device?

Your facility must be inspected by one of the following:
  • Professional Engineer
  • Registered Architect
  • Master Plumber licensed with the City of Jamestown - for existing buildings only

The inspector must evaluate the degree of hazard that your facility may pose to the public water supply and determine the type of backflow prevention device(s) that need to be installed to properly protect the public water system. To help in this determination, the inspector will need to complete the “Engineer’s Report to Determine Hazardous or Non-hazardous Use” located in each Backflow Device Application. The tester may also refer to the “Degrees of Hazard” provided in the Reference Material below.

  • If your facility is determined to be non-hazardous to the public water supply, you will be required to install an in-line Dual Check Valve (non-testable backflow prevention device). The device must be lead free, meet ANSI/ASSE 1024 or greater, and meet all AWWA standards.

  • If your facility is determined to pose an aesthetically objectionable hazard, you will be required to install a Double Check Valve backflow device (DCV) on your domestic service and/or a Double Check Detector Assembly (DCDA) on your fire service. The DCDA on the fire service will need to have a bypass line where the BPU can install a meter; a testable backflow device needs to be installed on the bypass line, as well. The DCV and DCDA devices must be approved by the University of Southern California Foundation for Cross Connection Control and Hydraulic Research (FCCC&HR) meeting ASSE 1047 or greater and meeting all American Water Works Association (AWWA) standards. An annual test is required for all DCV and DCDA backflow devices.

  • If your facility is determined to pose a health hazard to the public water supply, you will be required to install a Reduced Pressure Zone backflow device (RPZ) on your domestic service and/or a Reduced Pressure Detector Assembly (RPDA) on your fire service. The RPDA on the fire service will need to have a bypass line where the BPU can install a meter; a testable backflow device needs to be installed on the bypass line, as well. The RPZ and RPDA devices must be approved by the University of Southern California Foundation for Cross Connection Control and Hydraulic Research (FCCC&HR) meeting ASSE 1047 or greater and meeting all American Water Works Association (AWWA) standards. An annual test is required for all RPZ and RPDA backflow devices.

After determining the degree of hazard and the appropriate backflow prevention device(s) that should be installed, your licensed engineer, architect or plumbing contractor will need to complete the respective Backflow Device Application (listed below). The application needs to be submitted to the Jamestown BPU Water Engineering Department for approval prior to installing the backflow device(s). Once the application is approved, the device(s) can be installed and inspected by the BPU staff.

If a testable device is required (if found to be aesthetically objectionable or hazardous to the public water supply), an initial test must be done by a NYS certified backflow device tester. This test report must be submitted to the Jamestown BPU Water Engineering Department upon completion. Thereafter, the backflow device must be tested annually by a NYS certified backflow device tester and the test reports must be submitted to the Jamestown BPU Water Engineering Department.

Backflow Device Applications:

Reference Material:


3.) Do you have an active exemption from installing a backflow preventer?

You need to submit a renewal request each year.

Remember, by signing this form, you as the owner or responsible party are verifying that the building use is the same as it was when the building was inspected and the plumbing in your building had not been changed or modified since the building was inspected when the original exemption was granted. If the building use or internal plumbing has been changed, please refer to question #2 above.

Please use the form below to keep your exemption active.

Please note:
The exemption option for non-hazardous services is no longer offered. Only those customers that obtained the exemption during the early stages (2012-2014) of our backflow prevention program can use this form. If you did not apply for an exemption during this time frame you are now required to install some type of backflow prevention device on your water service based on the degree of hazard your facility poses to the public water supply. See question #2 above for details.

For more information, you may look at the New York State Department of Health’s Cross-Connection Control Program page at http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/cross/cross.htm.



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