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Because it is currently receiving non-potable water from another source.
Backflow is the undesired reversal of water flow against normal direction, which can cause contaminants to enter into the drinking water supply system. Backflow prevention devices, or assemblies, are used to protect potable drinking water from contaminants and pollutants. There are two causes for backflow: back-pressure and back-siphonage.
Backflow assemblies are typically found in commercial and industrial buildings, buildings three stories or more, multi-family residences, and homes where there is more than one source of water like untreated well water. These assemblies require annual testing to ensure the community water system is continually protected.
The person or entity associated with a water company for service is usually the responsible party for insuring that annual backflow compliance testing is conducted.
Testers who are certified by the American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA) or All American Backflow Prevention (AABP). *Note – Some water companies maintain an approved testers list, while others are okay with any certified tester.
Testing fees very from one tester to another as well as the process, services, credentials, payment and professionalism.
It has to be corrected or your water company may discontinue service and impose civil penalties (fees). Keep in mind that not all testers will repair faulty backflow assemblies, so make sure that you ask prior to hiring a certified tester otherwise a new test will most likely need to be performed prior to repairs being done by the new tester.
It depends on many factors. Make, model, and size will determine how much repair parts cost; weather or not every thing needs to be replaced, a few things needs to be replaced or if cleaning will correct the issue; and weather or not your tech will trouble shoot to repair existing parts or just replace everything with new parts.