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The City of Waterloo's backflow prevention team works with the community to protect our drinking water quality by preventing backflow into the drinking water system.

The water distribution system is designed to supply drinking water from our distribution system into homes and businesses. Backflow occurs if the drinking water flows in the opposite direction - from homes and businesses back into our distribution system. This can result in pollutants and contaminants entering our drinking water. 

We have a backflow prevention by-law that is targeted at industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-residential properties to reduce the risk of backflow. Some homes may also be affected by the by-law. 

Property owners are responsible for installing, maintaining and testing backflow prevention devices, which require a permit to install. The first step is to get a survey completed by an approved tester to identify hazardous cross connections within a building. Approved testers must be licensed and maintain their qualifications. Once backflow prevention devices are installed, annual testing by an approved tester is required to ensure they remain in good working order. Testers will submit test reports from your property for review. 

By-law Update

An updated version of the backflow prevention by-law was presented and passed at the Council meeting on May 28, 2018.

Notable changes to the by-law include the introduction of a re-survey process, which will require property owners to submit new cross connection surveys every five years. New cross connection surveys will ensure that backflow prevention on all properties is up to date with current standards and capture any new cross connections from building changes over time. The City will also be introducing a fee for late test report submissions. 

We will be reaching out to property owners to inform them the new requirements in the backflow prevention by-law. If you have any questions or concerns about the program, please contact the backflow prevention team. 


Submission fee for annual test report(s)

$25 each

Test tag

$2 each

Permit fee to install a device on an irrigation system 


Please contact the backflow prevention team for inquiries on permit installation fees. We accept cash, cheque and debit.


More information

These guides will help you reduce backflow in our water supply: