Backflow prevention devices stop water flowing the wrong way. They're used to protect the public drinking-water supply and to protect people living or working inside buildings and properties.

Let us know about a device

If you recently received a letter from us asking for information about any backflow prevention devices you may have installed, please let us know about it.

Installing a backflow prevention device

You need a building consent from us before you can install a backflow prevention device. But if you've already applied for a building consent for other work, you can include your device in the same application.

To apply for a building consent for a backflow prevention device, please complete and submit the following two forms: 

  1. Application for a building consent (Form B-002), available either as:
  2. Backflow prevention device check sheet [PDF, 96 KB] (Form B-052) 

Fee

There is a fixed fee of $430 (incl. GST) to apply for a building consent to install a backflow prevention device.


About backflow prevention devices

  • Backflowprevntion

    A typical backflow prevention device for 'high risk' protection.

    The property owner is responsible for the costs of installing, maintaining and testing any backflow prevention device. Costs for installation vary widely and depend on the:

    • degree of protection required (risk level)
    • size of the device
    • complexity of the installation
  • A registered plumber must install a backflow prevention device and all testing of the device must be carried out by an Independent Qualified Person (IQP) on backflow(external link)
  • Backflow prevention devices have to be tested immediately after installation to attain code compliance for the building consent. Devices must then be tested annually to ensure they are working correctly and providing protection.
  • Testing reports must be kept by the owner and a copy forwarded to Christchurch City Council to ensure the premise has a current Building Warrant of Fitness.
  • A backflow prevention device is a specified system which is added to a building's compliance schedule.

More information about backflow and backflow prevention.


Q&As about backflow prevention

How do I know if I need a backflow prevention device?

All commercial and industrial properties, other than those with a backflow risk similar to a residential house, are required to have a backflow prevention device. If you recently received a letter from us asking you to install a backflow prevention device, then you need to apply for a building consent and have one installed as soon as possible.

Do residential properties need backflow prevention?

Yes, if there are any 'high' or 'medium' backflow risk activities occurring on-site. This includes hairdressers, swimming pools, spa pools, and irrigation systems with underground controllers. A registered plumber can advise about your specific property.

Why do I need to install backflow prevention?

Backflow can cause water (and potentially chemicals and other contaminants) to be sucked or pushed back into the public drinking-water supply, potentially causing serious illness, injury or death. As a commercial or industrial property owner, you are legally responsible for preventing backflow from your property and for making sure you don't contaminate the public drinking-water supply.

I already have a device installed – what should I do?

If you recently received a letter from us but already have a backflow prevention device installed, then you need to let us know what devices are located on your property and the level of risk they protect against.

I own a property but no building – do I still need a device?

If you don't intend to use water on your property, then you don't need to have a backflow prevention device installed. However, any use of water, even for irrigation, may mean you need a device. When applying for a building consent to develop a property, backflow is considered as part of this application. If you don't need a water connection to your property, you can apply to have it removed.

I received a letter but my neighbour didn't – why?

It's possible they haven't yet received their letter from us, or their property wasn't deemed to be a risk to the water supply network.

Can I choose not to install a device?

As a commercial or industrial property owner you are legally responsible for preventing backflow from your property and for making sure you don't contaminate the public drinking-water supply. If you don't meet these responsibilities, we may need to install a backflow prevention device at your cost.

Contact us

03 941 8999 or backflowinfo@ccc.govt.nz