Important Changes to the City of Fort Lauderdale's Backflow and Cross-Connection Control Program: BSI is now serving Fort Lauderdale. All certifications for backflow compliance must be entered on-line through BSI’s website.
Every drinking water system in Florida must have a cross connection control program, more commonly known as a backflow prevention program. (See Section 62-555.360 Cross Connection Control for Public Water Systems https://www.flrules.org/gateway/RuleNo.asp?ID=62-555.360)
Backflow prevention is designed to protect the public water supply from contamination from customer’s plumbing systems. For more information about backflow prevention, please visit the Florida DEP site: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/drinkingwater/bfp.htm.
Who does this requirement apply to?
Domestic water services that are determined by the City to pose a contamination risk to the drinking water system will require a Reduced-pressure backflow (RP). The RP must be tested by a licensed backflow technician every year (annually). This applies to both residential and commercial accounts.
All irrigation service meters, both residential and commercial, must be protected by a backflow device as per State of Florida rules (see above). Only Pressure-Vacuum Breaker (PVB) or Reduced-pressure backflow (RP) devices are acceptable. The testing frequency for commercial irrigation backflows is every year (annually). For residential irrigation backflows, the testing frequency is every two years (biennially).
Who is managing the City’s Backflow Program?
The City of Fort Lauderdale has contracted with Backflow Solutions Inc. (BSI) to manage the backflow certification process. BSI has experience managing similar programs for other municipalities across the country. BSI will serve as the primary point of contact for backflow re-certifications within the City of Fort Lauderdale and can be contacted at 800-414-4990 or through their website at http://www.bsionlinetracking.com
What are my responsibilities?
EVERY backflow device must be be certified annually or biennially depending on the type of hazard. The results of the certification are required to be submitted online at www.bsionlinetracking.com.
How do I comply with these requirements?
Customers with known devices will receive a notification and reminder directly from BSI Online that testing is due. Once the certification is complete, the testing company will enter that information directly into BSI’s online reporting system.
If you have any questions regarding the program please contact BSI at 800-414-4990. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Frequently Asked Questions
On May 5, 2014 the state regulations (Florida Administrative Code (FAC) Chapter 62) related to protecting the public water supply were changed significantly. Part of the new regulations require that certain commercial businesses, dedicated residential and commercial irrigation systems, fire services and cooling towers must have an approved testable backflow prevention device installed.
All connections, regardless of the installation date, need to come into compliance with the new regulations. On April 21, 2015, the City codified a cross-connection and backflow ordinance in order to be in compliance with state mandates (Section 28-152 through Section 28-157 of City Code).
What if I don’t comply with local, state and federal mandates?
Your water service will be terminated to protect the public water system.
What is a cross-connection?
Cross-connection refers to any actual or potential physical connection between a potable water line and any pipe, vessel or machine containing a non-potable fluid or has the possibility of containing a non-potable fluid, solid or gas that could potentially enter the potable water system by backflow.
What is backflow?
Backflow is the undesirable reversal of flow of water, liquids, mixtures or substances into the public water distribution pipe system from any source or sources.
When might backflow occur?
Inadequate plumbing and events such as water main breaks or fire hydrant use can contribute to backflow conditions. Backflow may also occur when pressure in the property owner’s equipment is greater than the pressure in the drinking water line.
What is a backflow prevention assembly?
Backflow prevention assemblies are designed to prevent contaminated water or chemicals from a property flowing back into the public drinking water supply system.
Why are backflow prevention assemblies required?
Backflow prevention assemblies are an important component of the City’s drinking water protection program and are legally mandated under Florida rules for those water service lines identified as posing a risk to the public water supply.
What is the cost of backflow prevention assemblies?
Installation costs vary depending on the assembly and selected licensed plumbers' labor costs. The City also requires a plumbing permit to install these devices. The investment to install and maintain the assembly is minimal compared to the potential public safety hazard and liability of a backflow incident. It is a State requirement in order to protect the potable water supply for everyone.
Who can install a backflow prevention assembly?
• Domestic backflow assemblies shall be installed by a licensed plumbing contractor. (Plumbing Permit required)
• Lawn irrigation backflow assemblies shall be installed by a licensed plumbing or lawn irrigation contractor. (Plumbing Permit required)
• Backflow assemblies for boat docks shall be installed by a licensed plumbing or fire sprinkler contractor. (Fire Permit required)
• Backflow assemblies for fire sprinkler systems to any building shall be installed by a licensed fire sprinkler contractor. (Fire Permit required)
Who can Test a backflow prevention assembly?
Domestic and irrigation service backflow assemblies may be tested by a person who holds a current certification from an accredited institution (i.e.: TREEO, American Society of Sanitary Engineers) approved by the Public Works Director.
Fire service backflow assemblies must be tested by a licensed fire inspection company which is also certified for backflow testing.
Additional website resources:
State of Florida:
City of Fort Lauderdale:
It is illegal and dangerous to improperly use a fire hydrant!
Violators face stiff penalties and legal liability
The City of Fort Lauderdale has a process for allowing tanker trucks, contractors and other permitted customers to use designated fire hydrants as a temporary water supply under Chapters 28-172 and 28-153 of the City Municipal Code.
Applicants for a fire hydrant meter are required to sign an affidavit agreeing to abide by the City of Fort Lauderdale Code of Ordinances and all requirements for the issuance of meters. Any damaged or malfunctioning City equipment must be immediately returned to the City.
Upon approval of application and affidavit, hydrant meters are issued to the commercial customer for either a fixed hydrant location or mobile use for tanker trucks and trailers. The use of these meters must provide a specific level of protection from contamination for the public water system.
Fixed hydrant locations, such as construction sites or businesses, must have a reduced pressure zone assembly (RPZ) and supply a test report once installed. It is the responsibility of the meter user to purchase and install the RPZ assembly. This equipment, which protects Fort Lauderdale’s water distribution system from potential contamination, is the only equipment permitted for use on a City fire hydrant at fixed location hydrants.
Water trucks are required to have an air gap separation, which is a physical separation between the discharge end of a fire hydrant and an open or non-pressure receiving tank. Any water truck not equipped with a permanent air gap system is required to utilize a RPZ assembly. It is the responsibility of the meter user to purchase and install the RPZ assembly and supply a test report. Meters are issued with a list of addresses for the location of blue capped hydrants throughout the City. These blue capped hydrants are the only hydrants to be used without prior approval of the City’s Public Works Department.
Federal, state and local laws require Cross Connection Control Programs to protect public safety. Violators of fire hydrant safety regulations above face fines of $360 per day as well as potential criminal penalties, legal liability and civil damages for a backflow incident including revocation of the permitted meter use.
For more information about the City’s comprehensive Cross Connection Control call 954-828-8000.