Safer Waters: A Quick Rundown On Backflow Testing For Portland Residents

If you’ve just become a recent business owner or purchased a residential home in Portland, you may not be familiar with backflow testing. Yet, like other cities in the US, the state or municipality authorities legally enforce such procedures.

In short, once every year, you need to hire plumbing agencies to adhere to the mandates regarding backflow testing in Portland, OR.

So, here’s a quick rundown on things to help you understand everything involved in the process:

What exactly is backflow testing?

Backflows occur due to contaminated water reversing its initial flow and entering clean supply lines. Often, such issues happen in cross-connecting junctions or pipelines due to a drastic change in water pressure.

Needless to say, the polluted water supply contains a host of harmful particles, including bio-waste, chemicals and pesticides.

Now, you can install a safety device in the pipeline to prevent backflows from happening in the first place. So, if the pressure changes due to a burst pipe, the contaminated water cannot enter the main supply line through any means.

Backflow testing is merely an examination to ensure that the implemented safety device is working as required.

What are the preliminary steps to backflow testing?

Typically, you would receive a notification from the designated authority a month before a backflow test is required. This will also include a form you need to fill in with the appropriate documentation and test results.

Once you receive this notification, immediately consult a licensed plumbing agency to conduct the procedure. Once that’s done, the hired contractors will shut off the water supply with your permission.

However, if the pipeline connects to emergency services such as firefighting personnel, you need to notify them before shutting off the supply line.

What does a property owner need to do during the test?

There’s no such preparation or steps needed on your end during backflow testing in Portland, OR. However, ensure that you have the necessary documents and records regarding the device manufacturer and the model’s serial number.

In addition, familiarize yourself with the location of the implant so that you can help the hired contractors pinpoint the exact site.

It’d also help if you were present during the test. That way, you can observe and note anything of consequence that you may have to incorporate into the final report you send in.

Where do you send the report?

Different cities have individual requirements for backflow test reports. In Portland, you need to send a physical copy in the mail to the Water Bureau. Note that the authority does not accept digital or soft copies.

In addition, there are specific requirements for labeling the packages. However, this will be taken care of by the contractors you hire. Note that only licensed plumbing agencies have access to the designated sticker labels.

Thus, you must hire certified professionals instead of opting for cheaper or unverified teams. Doing so may open you up to legal repercussions.

Consistent checks

Backflow testing may seem like a chore for new residential or commercial property owners. While that may be true to some extent, it is necessary to follow through to build a safer environment for everyone around you.

Moreover, always ensure you are approaching the proper channels for such tests. More importantly, conduct your own evaluation of a potential contractor’s legitimacy and certification.