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Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention Program


A backflow prevention device is a critical water quality device that ensures that water flows in only one direction: from the city’s water main into your home or business.  

These devices are designed to kick in if there is a loss of water pressure, for example, because of a water main break or a fire hydrant being opened. When water pressure drops, instead of the water being pushed forward, the water will flow backwards into the city water lines. 

A backflow prevention device stops water that’s already inside your pipes from flowing back to the main City water lines and contaminating the public water supply.  

Who needs to install a backflow prevention device? 

An approved backflow prevention device must be installed on any water service connection that the Water Department has identified as having a potential for backflow. This may include, but is not limited to the following: 

  • All commercial and industrial facilities, congregate living facilities such as nursing and convalescent homes, and water treatment plants and pumping stations.  
  • Properties that are connected to both potable and reclaimed water supplies. 
  • Properties that have an auxiliary water supply, such as a well or a pond.  

A list of facilities that usually require a backflow prevention device at the service connection can be found in the City of Tampa Municipal Code, Sec. 26-83

Testing and Reporting Requirements 

Backflow prevention devices must be tested by a certified backflow prevention device technician.  

Testing schedule 

  • Commercial Properties: Annual 
  • Residential Properties: Biannual (every 2 years) 

How to submit test results 

Certified test results must be forwarded to the Water Department within seven (7) calendar days following the completion of the testing procedure. 

Additional Resources 

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