Understanding Cross Connections and Backflow
The City of Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) has established a cross connection control and backflow prevention program to ensure water quality. This program is designed to safeguard the integrity of your water supply and protect the health of our community.
A cross connection is a physical link between potable (safe-to-drink) water and potentially harmful liquids or gases. Backflow occurs when water flows in the opposite direction from its intended path, either due to a drop in pressure within the supply lines or an increase in pressure on the customer's side.
Backflow prevention assemblies play a vital role in protecting your drinking water from potential contamination. Over time, wear and tear can affect the performance of these assemblies. Regular testing is essential to identify issues and ensure proper functionality.
City Regulations and Compliance
Installation and maintenance of backflow prevention assemblies must adhere to the guidelines set out in City of Dallas Chapter 49, Section 29, and Texas Administrative Code 290.44. High-hazard backflow prevention assemblies require annual testing by a licensed backflow tester registered with the City of Dallas.
For irrigation systems like lawn sprinklers, annual inspections are not mandatory. Testing is only required for newly installed, repaired or replaced irrigation backflow devices.
Notification letters are being sent to locations on record with high-hazard devices that require testing. If you receive a letter, you will need to hire a registered backflow tester. If your device was tested and did not pass, you will have 30 days to have the device repaired and retested.
To maintain a successful cross connection control and backflow prevention program, DWU inspectors conduct periodic customer-service inspection walk-throughs of facilities. These inspections ensure existing backflow prevention is still in place and identify any new cross connections, potential contamination hazards or illegal connections.
Registered Tester Information
Starting November 14, 2022, the City of Dallas transitioned to an online submission system for backflow test reports through SwiftComply. This approach increases on-time testing, enhances compliance and reduces administrative delays. This program's participation is mandatory.
All backflow assembly testers must be registered with the City of Dallas Building Inspection office and enrolled with SwiftComply. You can find the City of Dallas registration form here.
Enroll at the SwiftComply portal: www.bftester.com/dallastx
Submitting tests through SwiftComply incurs a $10 fee for passed tests, while failed tests are exempt.
On the portal, you can:
- Request individual Tester accounts
- Submit your Testing Certification and Test Kit Information (required for registration)
- Access frequently asked questions
- Download test reports for submission to Building Inspections, required for permitted devices
For any questions about the Backflow Prevention Program, please contact us by email at DWUBackflowInspections@dallas.gov or by phone at (214) 670-0910.