Find answers to frequently asked questions about backflow prevention devices on this page.
  • What is Backflow?

    Peoria's water distribution system is designed to keep the water flowing from the distribution system to you the customer. However, when hydraulic conditions deviate from 'normal' flow conditions, water flow can be reversed or backflow. When this backflow occurs, water can flow from the customer's system back into the city's distribution system.
  • What is Backsiphonage?

    The positive flow of water can be reversed when there is a sudden reduction in water pressure in the distribution system, such as during firefighting or when a water main breaks. This can create a suction effect, drawing non-potable water or other substance from the customer's side of the service connection into the potable water system.
  • What is Backpressure?

    Backpressure is created when the pressure on the customer's side of the service connection, such as in a recirculation system containing soap, acid, antifreeze, or in a boiler system, exceeds the pressure in the potable water system that provides the make-up water to the customer's side of the service connection. This pressure can force water entering the customer's side of the service connection to reverse direction of flow, essentially being forced into the potable water system. Non-potable substances can then enter the potable water system.
  • What is a Cross Connection?

    A cross connection is the actual physical connection between the potable (drinking) water system and another system containing substances of questionable quality. An example of a cross connection is when a water hose is left running, with the discharge nozzle submerged in a tree well or in a bucket of soap water or even in a oil pan. If a backflow event (e.g. backsiphonage, backpressure) were to occur, these substances could enter the drinking water supply where numerous consumers would be exposed.
  • How can backflow be prevented?

    Installing approved backflow prevention assemblies, such as Reduced Pressure Principle Assemblies, Double Check Valves, Pressure Vacuum Breakers, and the use of Air Gaps, can significantly reduce the chances of a backflow situation from occurring.
  • Where are backflow devices installed?

    Backflow devices are installed on the City's water supply line as close as possible to the customer's water meter and/or internally on any equipment that utilizes water that potentially may become contaminated such as boilers, carbonators, cooling towers, x-ray machines, etc.
  • Who is required to test backflow devices and how often?

    Backflow prevention assemblies are to be tested annually or more often if requested by the Environmental Division. The Backflow Prevention Program applies to and is primarily enforced on commercial businesses. However, circumstances may occur that would require these devices to be installed on non-commercial properties. It is recommended that when installed on residential properties that these devices be tested annually by a Certified Tester to ensure proper equipment performance.
  • Who performs the backflow test?

    Individuals recognized by the City of Peoria for backflow prevention testing and repair must perform the tests. Read the list of recognized testers. The tester will submit the test report(s) to the Environmental Division.
  • What is the cost for backflow testing?

    The cost of testing varies and is determined by the person or company who tests your device. Additional charges may be included for repairs or backflow assembly replacement.
  • What types of backflow preventers can be installed to help protect our home?

    Pressure Vacuum Breakers can be installed on the water supply line to any landscape irrigation system or on the water fill line to swimming pools. Hose Bibb Vacuum Breakers are small inexpensive devices that are installed on hose bibs or threaded sill cocks where garden hoses are attached.