FAQs - MDEQ Requirements for Residential Backflow Device Testing

1. What is a backflow device?

A backflow device is a mechanical device that prevents a backflow from occurring 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 a backflow device was located, the information will be added to our system to allow us to send out a testing requirement notification for the device installed on your underground sprinkling system.

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

Due to recent changes in the State of Michigan 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 in State rules, it is now mandatory that all backflow devices for underground sprinkling systems 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 Utilities page on our website (www.wyomingmi.gov) 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, but 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 may remove the device, and cut and cap off the supply to it. Just notify us, and we will verify it and take your device out of our record 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 us at crossconnection@wyomingmi.gov. Just a reminder, all City of Wyoming offices are closed on Fridays.