Commercial / Industrial

What and Where?

Commercial properties usually have at least three backflow preventers that need to be tested:

There are occasionally multiple Fire System preventers, as well as additional system isolation preventers for certain chemical processes.  It depends on the type of business.  The location of the preventers on the property can vary widely.


Cities and water purveyors tackle commercial backflow testing programs with priority because they are the highest hazard for contamination and pollution to a public water system.  The reason is simple: they are the most unpredictable and uncontrollable.  Think of the number of businesses that use chemicals on a daily basis: hair salons, auto shops, restaurants, laundries, car washes, hospitals, funeral homes, art studios, industrial and manufacturing plants, etc.

To safeguard a public water system, a backflow preventer is required at the "front door" of any commercial property -- any water that goes into a business must not come back out because there is no guarantee what mixed with the water inside that property.


Testing of the domestic water line does result in the water being turned off for a few minutes ... usually less than five minutes total.  Fire Systems and Irrigation water lines have some additional considerations.  Please refer to the links.

Who and When?

Testing for all backflow preventers at a commercial property usually takes place at the same time. This prevents having to revisit the property more than once a year.  Normally the owner or manager of a property is responsible for having the annual testing of these backflow preventers done.  Although often it is the tenant who receives notices that the testing is required.  Testing can take place any time of year, but is often concentrated during the summer months if an irrigation backflow preventer is involved, since the irrigation system must be active for testing to occur.