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Markham's Backflow Prevention Bylaw (No. 2012-27) (PDF), is designed to minimize potential contamination of Markham's drinking water caused by backflow incidents at cross connections.
The Backflow Prevention Program (PDF) involves identifying cross connections (deemed at risk) and removing or isolating them (called backflow prevention) at the building or facilities of water customers.
The By-law applies to the following categories of Markham’s water customers:
All industrial, commercial and institutional properties.
All residential buildings and structures with 2” (50mm) water connections or larger.
Single residential properties with: fire protection; lawn sprinkler; or any auxiliary water supply systems.
The program requires:
A “Cross Connection Control Survey” reportfor each facility to be completed every five years or when there is a change of property usage.
A “Testing and Inspection” report for each backflow preventer to be conducted upon installation and annually thereafter.
All backflow prevention deficiencies identified through the survey or testing reports should be rectified.
All backflow prevention work should be completed by the Qualified Persons* registered with the City.
* A Qualified Person is a private contractor with qualifications as set out in Markham’s Backflow Prevention By-law.
Videos: Backflow Prevention Program for ICI and multi-residential properties
1. Markham's Distribution System
2. Cross Connection and Backflow
3. Historic Backflow Incidents from ICI Properties
4. Backflow Preventer
5. Backflow Prevention Program for ICI and Multi-residential Properties
6. Typical Cross Connections at ICI Properties
7. Closing Words
Videos: Backflow Prevention Program for Single Residential properties
1. Historic Backflow from Residential Properties
2. Markham's Backflow Prevention Program for Residential Properties
3. What Can I do to Prevent Backflow Inside My House
City of Markham Responsibilities
Administer the Backflow Prevention Program and maintain a program database.
Ensure property owners meet the Backflow Prevention Program requirements.
Monitor By-law compliance and enforce the By-law on non-compliant property owners.
Manage Qualified Persons’ registration and post a list of registered Qualified Personson the website for customers to reference.
Provide assistance and information to property owners to ensure By-law compliance.
Property Owner Responsibilities
The property owners covered by the By-law are required to retain a Qualified Person registered with the City (PDF) at their own expense to complete the following activities:
Cross Connection Control Survey (PDF): carry out an assessment of all plumbing for cross connection control and backflow prevention once every five (5) years or when there is a change of property use.
Installation, replacement, relocation or repair of Backflow Preventers (PDF): all backflow prevention deficiencies identified through the Survey or Testing should be rectified. Such rectification may include: installation of new backflow preventers, replacement or relocation of existing backflow preventers, or repaor of malfunctioned backflow preventers.
The property owner is advised to check the registered Qualified Person's insurance coverage and working references, and discuss costs before proceeding with any work.
The property owner is also advised to log into their backflow prevention account at the "Backflow Prevention Program Online Services" website (link) regularly to ensure no incomplete backflow prevention items required for their facility exist.
Qualified Person's Responsibilities
Qualified Persons must first register with the City before doing any backflow prevention work in Markham. Qualified Persons Responsibilities include:
Provide Markham with all qualifications as set out in the by-law upon registration;
Keep all qualifications up to date and submit their renewals to Markham;
Carry backflow prevention work by following Markham's requirements;
Be responsible for accuracy and any liability arising as a result of an incomplete Survey or incorrect Testing;
Submit all reports under the Program to the City upon the completion of their backflow prevention work.
"Cross Connection Control Survey Report" Form (PDF) (DOC)
"Backflow Preventer Testing and Inspection Report" Form (PDF) (DOC)
"Device Upgrade Implementation Report" Form (PDF) (DOC)
The Qualified Person is also advised that all paper format submissions will be subject to a fee for manual processing by City staff.
Qualified Person Registration Program
City of Markham does not charge any fees on any Qualified Person's registration for doing backflow prevention work in Markham; whether it is their initial registration or annual update of their registration.
Installation of a new testable backflow preventer requires a building permit.
Replacement of an existing testable backflow preventer would require a building permit if its type or size is being changed.
Relocation of an existing testable backflow preventer requires a building permit.
Removal of an existing testable backflow preventer does not require a building permit. However, you should submit a "Backflow Preventer Removal Form" (PDF) and get the City's approval prior to the removal.
Please visit our Building Permits website or contact our Building Department at 905-475-4870 for details of your building permit application.
Fees Imposed to the non-compliant Property Owners by the City:
(Note: This Fee only applies to those property owners who have received Markham's Order to Comply notice, but failed to comply with the Backflow Prevention By-law within a compliance timeframe indicated on the notice.)
Fees Imposed to the Registered Qualified Persons by the City:
Manually Processing Fee for a Test Report– $25
Manually Processing Fee for a Survey Report– $50
Manually Processing Fee for a Device Upgrade Report – $30
(Note: Invoice will be sent to the registered Qualified Person who submitted the Report in paper format and requires manually processing from the City).
“Backflow Prevention Program Online Services” Website
This website is designed to make all backflow prevention report submissions (i.e. Survey, Test and Device Upgrade Reports) easier for registered Qualified Persons. The website is also intended to allow property owners in the Program access to the City’s records related to their facilities. The website is a secure, cost-effective and environmental friendly solution for administering our Backflow Prevention Program.