Backflow Prevention Program

The Town of Collingwood’s premise isolation backflow prevention program is intended to protect the Town of Collingwood's potable water supply from contamination. The backflow prevention program will encompass all Town run facilities, industrial, commercial, institutional, irrigation, multi residential customers and Residential properties with auxiliary water on their premise.

Premise Owners will receive a notice by mail, of their requirements to comply with the Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control By-Law 2017-056. 

   Qualified Contractor Registry

Qualified Contractor Registration Application   | Cross Connection Survey Form  |  Cross Connection Test Report Device Removal Form  |  Test Tag Website Sample

Please note all forms must be submitted within 14 days of completion. Forms submitted after the date of completion will not be accepted. 

What is Backflow?

Backflow is defined as the reversal of flow, from the intended direction in a potable water system. Backflow hazards occur through temporary or permanent cross connections made between a potable drinking water system and any source containing non-potable water or other substances. There are two main means in which backflow occurs, backsiphonage and backpressure.

What is a Cross Connection?

A Cross Connection is defined as any actual or potential connection between any part of a potable water system and any source of pollution or contamination. Cross connections are present in every drinking water supply system. Cross connections that are not protected against backflow are potentially a dangerous source of contamination. When backflow occurs through an unprotected cross-connection, pollutants and contaminants can enter the municipal water distribution system through the internal plumbing system and be delivered to other customers and locations.


The Process:

  1. The Town of Collingwood will notify the premise owner by mail, requesting that a site survey is performed by a qualified contractor. Encompassing the entire premise, the site survey will identify cross connections as well as backflow prevention devices currently installed. The site survey is then to be returned to the Backflow Prevention Officer.
  2. The Town will then notify the premise owner, of the required premise protection backflow prevention device(s) to be installed, or confirm the installed backflow prevention device meets the requirements. The type of backflow prevention device is determined by the results of the site survey and the Standard CSA B64-10.11.
  3. The premise owner will be required to have the necessary premise protection backflow prevention device installed by a qualified contractor, and submit to the Town the Cross connection control testing and inspection report for the device.
  4. Thereafter, annually premise owners will receive a notice from the Town, to have their premise protection device tested by a qualified contractor, and to submit to the Town the Cross connection control testing and inspection report for the device.



Administration fees

Administration fees are set annually through the Town’s Fees and service charges By-law. The current fees are summarized below. In the case of discrepancies, the fees and services By-law will take precedence.


Qualified Contractor One-time Registration Fee


$100.00+ HST

Qualified Contractor Annual Fee


$75.00+ HST

Premise Survey - Administration fee for each site survey submitted, survey to be completed as per requirements of the Bylaw.


$100.00+ HST per survey

Premise Device - Administration fee for each testing and inspection report submitted.


$50.00+ HST per device

Test Tag – New tag required annually for each device, available from Collingwood Town Hall during normal business hours.

Owner or Contractor

$5.00+ HST per test tag


All fees will be invoiced directly to the owner. Test tags are available for purchase at Town Hall, located at 97 Hurontario Street. Contractors interested in joining the qualified contractor registry must contact the backflow prevention officer at (705) 445-1581 ext. 3321 to receive payment information.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is Backpressure and Backsiphonage?

•      Backsiphonage is backflow caused by negative or a reduced pressure in the supply piping, which draws the water from a contaminated source into the potable water supply.
•      Backpressure may cause backflow to occur whenever a potable water system is connected to a non-potable supply operating under a higher pressure.

What is premise isolation?

Premise isolation is the separation of the potable water system, from a premise with moderate or severe hazards. Premise isolation is achieved by the installation of a testable backflow prevention device, installed directly at the location where the water supply first enters into the premise, located adjacent to the water meter and before any other connections are made within the internal plumbing system.

How is it determined what type of backflow prevention device is required?

The type of Backflow prevention device(s) required to be installed is determined by the results of a site survey and the requirements of the standard CSA B64.10-11. The site survey will identify the cross connections that are present on the premise. Using the CSA Standard, premises, as well as cross connections, are given a hazard rating which determines the level of protection that is required.

What is a Minor, Moderate, or Severe Hazard? 

Minor Hazards - any type of cross connection or potential cross connection that involves a substance that constitutes only a nuisance and that results in a reduction in only the aesthetic qualities of the water.

Moderate Hazards – any minor hazard cross connection that has a low probability of becoming a severe hazard. This category includes, but is not limited to, connections involving water where the aesthetic qualities of the water have been reduced and, under certain conditions, can create a danger to health

Severe Hazards – any type of cross connection or potential cross connection, involving water that has additives or substances that, under any concentration, can create a danger to health.

What is a backflow prevention device?

A backflow prevention device is a device or assembly that prevents backflow. Premises with a moderate hazard classification will require a Double check valve assembly (DCVA). Premises with a severe hazard classification will require a reduced pressure backflow assembly (RP).

Is a building permit required to install a backflow prevention device?

Yes, Building permits are required for alterations to the plumbing system. For more information regarding building permits, please contact Building Services at 705-445-1030 ext. 3243

Are residential homes required to have a premise protection backflow prevention device?

Residential premises are classified under the standard CSA B64.10-111 as a minor hazard, and currently, do not require a backflow prevention device. However, residential premises with access to an auxiliary water supply, Irrigation systems, and solar hot water systems will require a premise isolation backflow prevention device.

Multi-residential premises, defined as 4 or more self-contained units on one premise, will be required to have a premise isolation backflow prevention device.

What is thermal expansion? Why does it need to be addressed?

Thermal expansion is the expansion of water in response to a change of the temperature of the water. When the installation of a premise isolating backflow preventer creates a closed piping system, thermal expansion creates increased pressure within the internal plumbing system. The increased pressure can cause failure of the plumbing system, or more commonly will cause the Pressure reducing valve on a hot water tank to dump pressure from the system. Thermal expansion is protected by the installation of a suitably sized diaphragm-type expansion tank appropriate for use within a potable water system, or an auxiliary thermal expansion relief valve designed for repeated use.

How often are site surveys required to be performed?

A cross connection survey is required to be performed and submitted to the Town: every 5 years, when there is a change to the internal plumbing system, a premise change of use, or as required by the Town.

How often do backflow prevention devices need to be tested?

Backflow prevention devices are required to be tested by a Qualified Contractor: Annually, upon installation, after making repairs, or more often if required by the Town, to demonstrate that the device is in good working condition.

What is a qualified contractor? How do I find a qualified contractor?

Qualified contractors are contractors who have registered with the Town, and have provided the required licenses and certifications, required under CSA B64.10-11 to perform work to a backflow prevention device. A list of qualified contractors and their contact information can be found on this page by clicking the link above.

Qualified contractors are independent contractors. The Town of Collingwood implys no warrenty of work, and are in no way a recommendation of work by the Town of Collingwood.

Who is responsible for the costs associated with site surveys, device installation, repairs, and annual testing?

All costs associated with site surveys, device installation, repairs, and annual testing are the responsibility of the premise owner.

I have received a notice from the Town, but I am not the premise owner what should I do?

If you believe that you have received in error, a notice from the Town with regards to the backflow requirements of a premise. Please contact the Backflow Prevention Officer at 705-445-1581 Ext. 3321

Are bypasses allowed around the backflow prevention device?

No, bypasses around premise isolation backflow prevention devices are prohibited, except where an equivalent backflow preventer is installed on the bypass.

Where can I find more information about backflow prevention?

CSA B64.10-11 / B64.10.1-11 Selection and installation of backflow preventers / Maintenance and field testing of backflow preventers
AWWA Canadian Cross Connection Control Manual
The Ontario Water Works Association
The Ontario Building Code
EPA Cross Connection Control Manual

For more information please contact the Backflow Prevention Officer at 705-445-1581 ext. 3321

Updated: 01/03/2019