Annual Testing of Backflow Prevention Assemblies

Annual testing of backflow prevention assemblies is required by Chapter 24 of the City of San Antonio’s Plumbing and Fuel Gas Code, Chapter 34 of the City of San Antonio Code of Ordinances, and the SAWS Cross-Connection and Backflow Prevention Control Program.

SAWS will send out notification letters regarding the annual testing of external and internal backflow assemblies located at commercial and residential sites with alternative water use or on-site sewage facilities (OSSF). Residential reminders for annual backflow assembly testing for lawn irrigation systems are sent quarterly with bill notices.

In order to satisfy testing requirements, the following must be completed:
Hire a licensed tester to conduct the test.

  • Testing of an irrigation backflow prevention assembly must be performed by a licensed backflow prevention assembly tester.
  • Testing of a backflow assembly on a “fireline” service must be tested by a licensed fireline tester.
  • Testing of a backflow assembly on a recycled water service must be tested by a backflow prevention assembly tester with a gauge designated for recycle water.
  • All testing coordination must be organized between the customer and the tester.

Download: List of Companies Employing Licensed Testers of Backflow Prevention Assemblies

The tester will complete a Test & Maintenance Report (T & M) for each backflow assembly located on the premise.

If the test reveals that the assembly is not operating satisfactorily, necessary repairs must be made to resolve the issue(s) with the backflow prevention assembly. The assembly then will need to be retested by the tester. Submitting a T & M form with a “failed” report will be considered a delinquency by SAWS. All backflow prevention assemblies should be able to satisfy all testing requirements at all times.

The completed T & M form (original) to:

SAWS Backflow Prevention Section
Office 210-233-2910

Please note that the requirement to test backflow prevention assemblies does not negate your responsibility to test and maintain thermal expansion equipment and water heater pressure relief valves installed within the premises.

Annual testing protects and ensures the quality of the potable water system as required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (Sec. 290.44 Rules and Regulations for Public Water Systems), the San Antonio Building Inspection Department, and in accordance with the latest edition of the plumbing code as adopted by the City of San Antonio.

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