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Boundary backflow prevention

Backlow1Backflow is the unwanted reversal of water flow in a plumbing system. It can occur when the normal flow of water is disrupted, causing (possibly) contaminated water to flow backward into the reticulated water supply.

We need to manage the risk of backflow as part of a multi-barrier approach to provide safe drinking water.


Which legislation covers boundary backflow prevention?

Relevant legislation includes, but is not limited to:

  • Building Act 2004
  • Local Government Act 2002
  • Health Act 1956
  • Water Services Act 2021
  • Taumata Arowai Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules

Which types of backflow preventers are used in Hastings?

  • Reduced pressure zone device (RPZ)
  • Testable double check valve
  • Dual check valve

Where are backflow preventers installed?

Backflow preventers are assigned based on risk to the reticulated water network. The levels of protection range from non-testable dual check valves for low-risk residential connections, to fully testable Reduced Pressure Zone devices for higher risk properties undertaking commercial and industrial activities.

Risk Activity Device Testing
High Uses or produces toxic or bacterial matter that may cause death or serious illness if leaked into the main water supply Reduced pressure zone Annual
Medium Produces backflow that can endanger health Testable double-check valve Annual
Low Could cause a nuisance from colour, smell or taste but does not endanger health Dual check valve Non-testable. Replaced as part of routine asset renewal programme.

How did you decide where to install them?

The devices are installed at the property boundary and are installed where a risk to backflow has been identified. All properties require a backflow preventer appropriate to the risk that is being managed.

Hastings District Council oversees the device testing to ensure it fully complies with the Water Services Act. See the table above for the testing frequency.


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