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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 our public water supply by preventing backflow.
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Contact a Backflow Tester from our List of Approved Backflow Testers and schedule a test. Provide a copy of the letter to your Tester. After completing the test, the Tester will submit the results to the City of Alamogordo Utilities Department.
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 our public water system.
Yes, however, we require you to utilize independent private contractors. The City of Alamogordo Utilities Department does not install or test backflow preventers. We only inspect them. We do require backflow tests to be performed by Testers on our List of Approved Backflow Testers.
Residential customers are only required to install a backflow preventer if the home has an in-ground irrigation system, well, or pool. It is the customer's responsibility to notify us if an irrigation system, well, or pool is installed. Backflow requirements vary for commercial customers based on the business's water use. Our staff reviews newly established commercial water accounts to assess the degree of backflow hazard and notifies businesses about backflow requirements.
A cross-connection is a link between a potable water system and a non-potable water system, in our case, the City of Alamogordo's public water lines and our customers’ private plumbing systems. Backflow can occur through cross-connections.
A sudden drop in water pressure in our 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.
Since 1999, the City has installed residential dual check valves on every residential water service. We also require customers whose water use presents a backflow hazard to install and annually test a backflow prevention assembly according to our specifications.
Install a hose-bib vacuum breaker on each of your outside water spigots. These devices will prevent water from being back-siphoned from a hose or irrigation system into your home's plumbing. Hose-bib vacuum breakers are inexpensive and available at hardware stores.
This annual fee is assessed on each backflow prevention assembly to offset the cost of maintaining our backflow prevention program. Residential irrigation customers are exempt from this fee.
Different customers present different backflow hazards, even at the same location. If your water use is different from the last customer, contact us to schedule an assessment.
Compliance with our backflow requirements is the responsibility of the water account holder. If you are renting a commercial space, your landlord or property management company may agree to take care of the backflow installation and/or annual testing, but it is ultimately the account holder's responsibility.
We recommend contacting a licensed plumber. You can install it yourself, but it must be installed according to our specifications, and the Utilities Department will inspect it after installation. If you hire someone to install it, provide them with a copy of the letter. After completing the install, contact a Backflow Tester from our List of Approved Backflow Testers and schedule a test. Provide a copy of the letter to your Tester. After completing the test, the Tester will submit the results to the City of Alamogordo Utilities Department.
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