Every commercial property waterline must be equipped with a backflow prevention device. The device is to be tested every twelve months at a minimum. An ASSE Certified Tester must submit the results through our Backflow Test Submission Portal. When creating an account, testers must upload a digital copy of their ASSE Certification and Calibration Certificate for each backflow test device.
Property owners are responsible to test existing backflow prevention devices every 12 months at a minimum. You must also test the device after any repairs are made. If PWSA does not receive test results, water service may be terminated.
The ASSE tester will receive notification via email when test results have been approved by PWSA staff. Paper test submissions are no longer accepted.
If you receive a letter stating that you are not in compliance with our testing requirements, contact a certified tester to perform the test. Then, reach out to our Backflow Team at email@example.com to obtain a pin number for your device to submit results online.
If you receive a letter stating that you are not in compliance with our testing requirements and you do not have a backflow device installed on your waterline, contact a certified plumber to install the device. An Allegheny County Health Department plumbing permit will be required for installation. After installation, a certified tester must submit the test results to PWSA through the backflow submission app.
The Safe Drinking Water Act is a federal law that established regulations to protect water quality in the United States. The Act sets standards for municipalities to enforce. One such standard is the prevention of all backflows into the public water system. In order to prevent backflows into the public water system, commercial buildings must install a PWSA-approved backflow prevention device.
PWSA's requirement for a backflow prevention device on all commercial structures can be found in Part III Rules and Regulations – Section B Construction and Maintenance of Facilities. The tariff is subject to change pending the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission approval.
Other Regulatory Agencies
The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) administers the Plumbing Code in the City of Pittsburgh. The Plumbing Code also regulates cross-connections and backflow devices. PWSA relies on the plumbing code for specific design specifications for approved backflow devices. An ACHD plumbing permit and inspection is required when installing a new backflow device.
The DEP also mandates a backflow prevention device under state code. Please read Title 25 Pennsylvania Code, Section 109.709 for more information.