Each backflow prevention assembly (BPA) in the Austin Water Utility distribution area must be accurately tested according to industry-accepted standards by licensed and registered backflow prevention assembly testers (BPATs)

Testing Standards

BPAs must be tested for operational effectiveness using methods approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and printed in the University of Southern California’s Cross Connection Manual (USC-CCM). Each BPAT must use equipment that has been calibrated by an Approved Gauge Testing Company and is within acceptable tolerances as specified by USC-CCM.

BPAT testers must strictly abide by all licensing or state certification requirements. Any classification applicable to the BPAT license will be identified by the State on the backflow technician’s license. Enforcement of state law is the responsibility of the appropriate state agency.

Testing and Maintenance Reports (TMRs)

  • Each BPAT must submit a complete and legible Test and Maintenance Report (TMR) to the Austin Water Utility for each BPA tested. Each TMR must include:
  • BPA physical address and location on the premises
  • Cause to require backflow protection
  • BPA manufacturer
  • BPA size
  • BPA model number or designation
  • BPA serial number
  • BPA operational test results
  • Description of BPA repairs (if applicable)
  • Retest of BPA after repairs (if applicable)
  • Name of owner/occupant responsible for the BPA
  • Name of owner’s representative (person responsible to have the BPA tested/repaired);
  • Owner/occupant’s complete mailing address
  • BPAT printed name and signature
  • BPAT license number
  • Test gauge serial number
  • Date of operational test

TMR Due Dates: Each BPAT must submit a TMR to Austin Water Utility for each BPA tested within five calendar days of the test. These reports can be submitted to the SSD via hard copy or entered online in the WEIRS Database.

Illegal Installations: Each BPAT must document any illegal or unapproved BPA installations or unprotected potential backflow or cross connection sources. Such documentation must be submitted to the Austin Water Utility.

BPA or Hazard Removal:  For each BPA removed, the BPAT must complete and submit a TMR to Austin Water Utility indicating that the BPA has been removed or replaced. If the hazard is not removed, then the BPA must be replaced to assure uninterrupted backflow prevention. In the event that the hazard is eliminated, the BPA may remain, but the elimination of the hazard must be reported to the SSD in order to document the respective assembly's "out of service" status. Such reporting would allow the SSD to remove the testing requirements that would apply to the BPA as tracked by the WEIRS database.

Compliance and Enforcement

Austin Water Utility will review records and conduct investigations to determine compliance with all applicable rules. Falsifying records submitted to Austin Water Utility will result in criminal prosecution against the BPAT. Falsification includes, but is not limited to:

  • Submitting a TMR without actually conducting the operational test.
  • Intentionally submitting inaccurate testing results on a TMR.
  • Submitting a name, signature or certification number on a TMR other than the actual person performing the operational test.
  • Testing a BPA before installation and submitting the TMR as if the BPA had been tested after installation.
  • Using a backflow test gauge that does not meet required calibration specifications
  • Using unapproved or unregistered testing equipment.

Other violations noted may be addressed by a Notice of Violation (NOV) or other administrative enforcement response as appropriate. BPATs who receive three (3) NOVs within a two (2) year period will have their registration suspended with the City of Austin for one year.

For More Information

Contact the Austin Water Utility Water Protection Group office at 512-972-1060 for more information.