The City of Escondido Utilities Department requires the annual testing of all backflow prevention devices in accordance with the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, State of California Title 17, Article 2 section 7605, subsection C. The testing, maintenance, installation, and/or repairs of these private backflow prevention devices is the responsibility of the customer and all results are to be communicated to the City of Escondido Cross Connection Control Department. If you have a question related to your backflow prevention device and/or testing of that device, please contact our office at 760-839-4348 or


What is a backflow prevention device?

A backflow prevention device is designed to prevent water from reverse flowing. This prevents contaminants and pollutants from entering the potable water distribution system.

When is a backflow prevention device required?

Commercial, industrial, agricultural, and multi-family properties. Properties with fire sprinkler systems, wells, booster pumps, and auxiliary water supplies.

Why are backflow prevention devices required to be tested annually?

As required by California State Law: Title 17, Article 2 section 7605, subsection C; Backflow preventers shall be tested at least annually or more frequently if determined to be necessary by the water supplier or health agency. By maintaining compliancy with state law and having your backflow prevention assembly tested annually, you will help to ensure that the drinking water supplied to your community remains safe. 

Additionally, mechanical backflow prevention devices have internal seals, springs and moving parts that are subject to fouling, wear or fatigue. These parts may need to be replaced periodically and a backflow test will help in determining this.  Mechanical backflow prevention devices can also be illegally bypassed, therefore, all backflow prevention devices need to be tested annually to ensure they are functioning properly and protecting the public water supply. 

What is backflow?

The flow of water (or other liquids, mixtures or substances) under pressure into the city system from any source or sources other than its intended source.

What is a cross-connection?

Any physical connection, or arrangement of piping or fixtures, between two otherwise separate piping systems, one of which contains potable water and the other of which contains non-potable water or industrial fluids or questionable safety, through which, or because of which, backflow or back-siphonage may occur into the city system.

A metered water service connection between the city system and a customer system which is cross-connected to a contaminated fixture, industrial fluid system or which a potentially contaminated supply or auxiliary water system, constitutes one type of cross-connection. Other types of cross-connections include connectors such as swing connections, removable sections, four-way plug valves, spools, dummy sections of pipe, swivel or change-over devices, sliding multiport tube, solid connections, etc..

What is backsiphonage?

Back-siphonage. The flow of water (or other liquids, mixtures or substances) into the city system from any source other than its intended source, caused by the sudden reduction of pressure in the city system.

What do I do after receiving a test notice?

If you have received an Annual Backflow Assembly Testing Notice, your device is due for its annual test.  Please have your backflow assembly tested by a certified tester by the due date indicated on your notice.  Your tester will need to submit your test results to the City electronically through their SwiftComply account.  If you have received an additional Annual Backflow Assembly Testing Notice after having had your device tested, please contact your Certified Tester to ensure they have successfully submitted your test results electronically through their SwiftComply account to the City of Escondido. 

What do I do after receiving an install notice?

A review of our records has indicated there is a hazard present on the private side of your water service connection.  The installation of an approved backflow prevention device at your meter is required to protect the public water distribution system from this hazard.  Once you have selected an approved device, install it per the City of Escondido standard design drawing for backflow prevention devices which can be found on our City website.  Contact the Cross-Connection Control Department to have your new device tested immediately after the installation is complete.

Quick tips and install criteria for backflow prevention assemblies: • Reduced pressure principle backflow prevention assembly (RP) type only • Must be installed directly behind meter; no more than 18” between customer side ball valve and upstream riser of device • Relief valve of device must be installed between 12” and 30” above grade • Threaded red brass or copper only; no PVC • No unions on upstream side unless associated with a regulator required for device rating • Must be same size as meter or larger • Must be lead free * follow below link to reference Standard Design Drawings for more information 

Click Here to view Certified Testers List

Click Here to view Approved Backflow Prevention Assemblies

Click Here to view Standard Design Drawings - Backflow Assemblies


Backflow device