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Backflow Prevention Program

Backflow Prevention: Description and Objectives

A new Backflow Prevention Program is being developed to prevent the backflow of contaminated water from buildings connected to the City’s drinking water system. The intent of the program is to comply with the highest industry drinking water protection standards, ensure public safety, and address the last unmitigated risk to the drinking water system.

What is a backflow incident?

Backflow incidents happen when low water pressure causes contaminants to flow from buildings into the city drinking water system, potentially causing a public health risk. The City has a duty to comply with the highest industry drinking water protection standards and will work to prevent these incidents to ensure public safety and the long term safety of our shared water resource.

Backflow prevention programs are currently in place in numerous Ontario municipalities, including Toronto, Hamilton, London, Markham, Halton Region and Waterloo.

Implications for property owners

Approximately 14,000 institutional, commercial, industrial and multi-residential facilities across the city will need to be assessed to determine their level of risk. Once assessments are complete, severe and moderate risk buildings will be required to install a backflow prevention device.

NOTE: The majority of City drinking water customers (approximately 212,000 minor risk residential buildings) will not be impacted by this program.

If you have any questions or require further information, please send an email to backflow@ottawa.ca and City staff will follow up with you.

Stakeholder Consultations: March 2016

 Stakeholder consultations took place in early March 2016 for building owners that could be impacted by the Program and professionals that may have a role in implementing the program.

Presentation

The consultation sessions included a presentation on the proposed program.

The following sessions were held:

  • March 8: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre, 300 Pères-Blancs Ave. – Kiwanis Hall
  • March 10: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Dr. – Chamber Hall

Feedback

Feedback on the proposed program was collected during the consultations and through an online survey in March 2016.

Results from these sessions and from the online survey will inform an upcoming report to City Council that will propose the approach for the Backflow Prevention Program. Implementation of the program is planned to begin in 2017.

If you have any questions or require further information, please send an email to backflow@ottawa.ca and City staff will follow up with you.