What is a Backflow Administration Fee?

The Water Quality section enforces the State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water regulations concerning backflow and cross-connection control. Under Section 64764 of the regulations, backflow prevention devices must be tested annually by certified testers. Additionally, the California Health and Safety Code Section 116805 allows the water supplier to charge water users with backflow prevention devices a fee to administer the backflow program. Effective July 19, 2010, the City of Santa Rosa Board of Public Utilities authorized a fee of $3.00 per month to be charged to customers in the Santa Rosa service area with a backflow prevention device covered under our backflow program. On December 16, 2013, that fee increased to $3.25 per month. The purpose of the fee is to recover costs associated with the backflow program from those who are required to maintain backflow prevention devices as required by State regulations. Santa Rosa Water’s policy is to charge fees to customers who use specific services so that those costs are paid by the user and not the general ratepayer base.

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1. What is a backflow prevention device?
2. How often must a backflow prevention device be tested?
3. I just moved in or rebuilt the property. Why does the backflow prevention device need to be tested?
4. How will I know when it is time to have a backflow prevention device tested?
5. How do I get in touch with a Certified Tester?
6. How much do the testers charge for a backflow test?
7. What happens if I don’t have a passing backflow test for this year?
8. I’m a tenant. Doesn’t my landlord/property manager need to take care of this?
9. My postcard says my last test was less than 12 months ago. Why do I need another test?
10. Can’t I test it myself?
11. How can I make sure my backflow prevention device does not break during a freeze?
12. What is a Backflow Administration Fee?
13. How do I install a backflow prevention device?