Firgrove Mutual Water Co Inc.
10408 144th St E, Puyallup, WA 98374-4958 • Hours - Monday-Friday 7:30am-4:00pm • 253-845-1542 • After Hour Emergencies 253-948-6780

Get Acrobat Reader

 

Frequently Asked Questions

All questions are good questions. Here are our responses to those most commonly asked.

Backflow Assembly Testing

What is a backflow assembly?
A backflow assembly is a component of your sprinkler system or other hazardous connection that keeps the dirty water in that system from flowing backwards into your plumbing and the public drinking water.

Why does my backflow assembly have to be tested every year?
Your backflow assembly is a mechanical device with moving parts that can break just like your car can break down. The State of Washington has determined that annual testing is most appropriate as stated in WAC 246-290.

Why is it my responsibility?
Your backflow assembly’s installation and maintenance, which includes annual testing, is your responsibility because it is protecting the public water supply from your sprinkler system or other hazardous connection. If not for your sprinkler system or other hazardous connection, there would be no need for the backflow assembly.

What are the chances that a backflow incident is going to occur?
In our service area, we tend to have a backflow assembly failure rate of 20-30% each year and it is not usually repeat failure of the same assembly. The American Water Works Association produces a compilation of reported backflow incidents. There are hundreds of occurrences across the nation and the compilation only includes those that have been reported.

How much is this going to cost?
Testing is not completed by Firgrove Mutual Water Company. Depending on the contractor that you select, costs will vary. Please contact a tester to find out what their fees are.

What if I opt to not complete the testing?
If you choose not to complete the required annual testing, Firgrove will schedule a tester to have it completed for you. There will be additional costs associated and all will be billed on your water account.

What if I am selling my house or business?
It is necessary to have the testing completed regardless of whether your house is on the market. The only way to avoid testing is to remove the backflow assembly, disconnect and cap your sprinkler system or other hazardous connection and have Firgrove personnel certify and document the physical disconnection.

What if my house or building is vacant?
It is necessary to have the testing completed regardless of whether your property is vacant. The only way to avoid testing is to remove the backflow assembly, disconnect and cap your sprinkler system or other hazardous connection and have Firgrove personnel certify and document the physical disconnection.

What if I don’t have a backflow assembly?
You will need to have one installed and then tested within the allotted time frame.

I have had my sprinkler system or building for years, why am I being required to do this now?
Sprinkler system installers are required to report sprinkler system installations to the water purveyor and all remodels are to be coordinated with the water purveyor as well. This does not always occur. Many homeowners install their own sprinkler systems and business owners remodel their facilities and do not realize that there are requirements for reporting. Without proper reporting, Firgrove does not have record of your sprinkler system or other hazardous connection and relies on other means of notification. Your sprinkler system or other hazardous connection has just been identified in the last calendar year and therefore testing is now required.

Can I do the testing myself?
Only State certified Backflow Assembly Testers are qualified to test backflow assemblies per WAC 246-290. Certification requires training, testing, and certification through the State of Washington Department of Health. It also requires continuing education and renewal of the certification each year.

top of page

Google
internet firgrove.org