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Toronto’s Backflow Prevention Program – What do You Need to Know?

Backflow Prevention

Toronto’s backflow prevention program is giving rise to more than a little confusion among local property owners.

Backflow prevention by-laws in Toronto currently target industrial and commercial properties. However, some residential property owners are still affected. Confusion also centers on the differences between backflow valve installations and backwater valve protection systems.

Does Your Property Need Backflow Prevention?

The City of Toronto mandates that all industrial, commercial, and institutional properties have backflow prevention systems installed on potable water lines. However, multi-residential properties comprised of five or more units, also fall under the purview of City by-laws.

How Does a Backflow Preventer Work?

A backflow preventer systems prevent back siphonage and reversed water flows, which can result in potable water being contaminated with wastewater from sewer lines. To do this, a backflow valve installation ensures that water can only ever flow in one direction.

Backflow Preventer Valves Vs. Backwater Valves

In Toronto and elsewhere, the terms ‘backflow preventer’ and ‘backwater preventer’ are sometimes used interchangeably. However, it is essential to understand that backwater valves are intrinsically different from backflow preventer systems.

Backwater valves are installed on property sewer lines, not potable water supply lines. More importantly, valves only prevent wastewater from backing up sewer lines and flooding basements. They do not prevent contamination of clean water.

Your Backflow Prevention Reporting Requirements

If you do own a commercial or multi-residential property in Toronto, it is imperative that you comply with the City of Toronto Backflow Prevention Program. Full details and reporting obligations can be found here.

Thankfully, if you need a new backflow valve installation, service, or repair, RES Plumbing can help. We are master plumbers who are licensed in Toronto to survey, install, and service backflow valves, in-line with local by-laws. To guarantee your compliance, call or contact us today for more information.

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