There are different devices and plumbing configurations that can be used to prevent backflow. A consultation with a certified plumber or the Cross Connection Office should help you decide which device is appropriate for your use. 

Device Typical Applications
Air Gap Swimming pools, sewage treatment plants, some industrial processes are not practical
Pressure Vacuum Breaker Some utility sink applications 
Double Check Assembly Some fire sprinkler systems, some commercial properties 
Reduced Pressure Principal Assembly Irrigation systems, boilers, booster pumps, industrial plants, hospitals, morgues, chemical plants, some fire sprinkler systems

Basic Installation Requirements:

Chapter 12.33 outlines some basic installation requirements for backflow prevention devices summarized here.  For a complete understanding of the requirement, please consult the ordinance and/or a certified plumber.

  • Install the device immediately following the meter in horizontal plumbing for containment and on the water inlet pipe before it enters equipment for isolation.

  • Protect all backflow prevention devices from freezing.

  • If hot water is used, thermal expansion must be provided.

  • Do not install the backflow prevention device where it might create a safety hazard such as over an electrical panel or above the ceiling.

  • If you need to maintain continuous water service while testing or repairing a backflow prevention device, an additional backflow prevention device must be installed on the temporary line.

  • All backflow prevention devices must be accessible for testing.

  • All shut-off valves must conform to specified requirements in the current edition of the USC Manual of Cross-Connection Control

Additional Requirements for Reduced-Pressure Principle Backflow Devices

  • Protect the device from flooding

  • Do not install in underground vaults or pits

  • Must be able to drain the discharge of water from the device to a suitable drain

More Information about Backflow Prevention Devices

Cross Connection Control Office
Hours: 7:30-4:30 M-F

Phone: 319-286-5932

Fax: 319-286-5931

Email: backflow@cedar-rapids.org

1111 Shaver Rd. NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402


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