A water distribution system is designed to allow water to travel in one direction from the treatment plant to the customer. Under certain conditions, water can flow in the opposite direction from the normal flow. This unwanted process is known as backflow. When this occurs, harmful contaminants can mix with drinking water and potentially threaten the safety of our water supply. Backflow prevention devices keep non-potable water from flowing backwards toward a potable water source.
Mandatory regulations require that water suppliers take steps to ensure that water delivered to homes or businesses remains clean and safe. To address this, approved backflow prevention devices are required for industrial, commercial, and irrigation customers connecting to the City of Greensboro water utility. The customer is responsible for installation and maintenance of the device. The City works to protect the water supply by ensuring backflow devices are maintained properly and cross-connection sources are eliminated.
Maintenance requirements include regular testing based on the type of device being used. All tests, repairs, and maintenance must be performed by a City-approved certified tester. Commercial backflow preventers used for fire sprinkler systems and domestic water connections must be tested annually, while residential irrigation backflow devices are required to be tested at least one time every two years.
Important Documents, Information, and Requirements
Cross Connection, Backflow and Back-Siphonage Control Water System Policy
Backflow Test Form
Backflow Tester Agreement
Backflow Installation Drawings
City of Greensboro-Certified Tester Resources (updated 4-23-18)
Important Information for Backflow Testing Companies
To become a certified backflow testing company in Greensboro, please complete the required forms, provide copies of all testers' certification documents, and a copy of your equipment calibration report. The backflow tester agreement must be notarized.