Backflow Prevention Program

Backflow preventers are devices that prevent water from moving backward, which greatly reduce the risk of water contamination. Backflow preventers are necessary on many commercial and industrial locations such as hospitals, greenhouses, car washes, schools, and factories. They are also used in irrigation systems.

If your backflow preventer is connected to the public water system, it must pass an annual inspection by a licensed backflow prevention tester.



All customers are required to have vacuum breakers installed on their outdoor faucets.

Commercial Customers

Commercial customers are required to submit annual certifications. Reminder letters are mailed out about 30 days before the device is due for inspection. The due date is always on the first business day of the month, a year after a device's last inspection date.

Residential Customers With Irrigation Systems

If you have an irrigation system, the backflow preventer must be tested and pass an annual inspection. Most irrigation companies offer testing services.


Fees for this service will vary according to the testing company, the device(s) tested and whether any repairs are needed.

Certification Forms

Either the property owner or the tester must submit certification (PDF) that the backflow preventer has passed its inspection. Please complete one certification form for each device. Indicate if and when the device has been replaced and if the serial number has changed. There is no fee associated with submitting this form.

Submit forms by:
  • Fax
    • 804-365-6245 (Commercial)
    • 804-365-6247 (Residential)
  • Mail
    • Public Utilities
      Attn: Backflow Prevention Program Coordinator
      P.O. Box 470
      Hanover, VA 23069
  • Email Public Utilities