FAQs - MDEQ Requirements for Residential Backflow Device Testing

1. What is a backflow device?

It is a mechanical device that prevents a backflow to occur on the drinking water distribution system. Backflow means water of questionable quality entering a public water supply system due to a reversal of flow. At a residential home backflow devices are typically found on an underground sprinkling system, a water assist sump, or a residential boiler.

2. You may have seen our staff in your neighborhood locating backflow devices.

We have had staff in your neighborhood the past couple of years locating backflow devices installed on all residential homes in the City of Wyoming. If your system was identified in error and you DO NOT have Underground Sprinkling, please contact our office at 616-261-3559 so we can verify and remove your device from our system to eliminate any further notifications. 

3. Why am I required to test my backflow device?

Due to recent changes in the State of MI Safe Drinking Water Rules Part 399, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality requires that all residential backflow devices must be tested periodically to ensure they are working properly. Today more than ever we are all aware how necessary it is to protect our drinking water system.

4. How often does my device require this test?

Due to these recent changes, it is now mandatory that all underground sprinkling devices be tested every five years; all other devices require annual testing. You will receive notification by mail when your backflow device is due for the required testing.

5. Can any plumbing contractor perform this test?

Most plumbing contractors have staff that is certified to test backflow devices. Go to the Cross Connection page for a list of approved testers or contact your plumbing contractor.

6. Do I need to be home for them to perform the test on my backflow device?

Typically not as most devices are located outside of the home; however, you need to make sure the water is turned on to the device and verify that the device is not located in the basement.

7. How long does this test take to complete?

Most tests can be completed in 30 minutes or less, unless repairs to the device are necessary.

8. What is the cost for the test?

Costs run approximately $50 to $100; some contractors give a neighborhood discount. You are responsible to schedule the test with a contractor and cover the cost for the test and any repairs that may be necessary.

9. Do I need to submit any documentation to the city after the testing is completed?

Please keep your receipt but the contractor will submit the test results for your device through our website.

10. What if I don’t use my underground sprinkling system anymore?

If you no longer are using your underground sprinkling system you must remove the device and cut & cap off the supply to it. The cross connection staff must be notified so we can verify the removal and take your device information out of our system.

11. Who can I contact if I have any additional questions?

You can call Wyoming’s Cross Connection Department at 616-261-3559 or email them at crossconnection@wyomingmi.gov. Just a reminder, all City of Wyoming offices are open Monday-Thursday each week.