THE CONSOLIDATED MUTUAL WATER COMPANY
BACKFLOW PREVENTION POLICY
1.0 Legislative Intent.
It is the intent of THE CONSOLIDATED MUTUAL WATER COMPANY to protect the COMPANY potable water system from
contamination or pollution by backflow from a Stockholder’s private plumbing system or auxiliary water source, and to provide for
the maintenance of a continuing program of backflow prevention, which will systematically prevent the contamination or pollution
of the COMPANY potable water system.
Per Colorado State Regulation 11.39, THE CONSOLIDATED MUTUAL WATER COMPANY has the responsibility to implement
a backflow prevention program in accordance with this regulation and for enforcement thereof. If a backflow preventer is required at
the COMPANY water service connection or any specific hazard on the property, for the protection of the COMPANY potable water
system, the Backflow Prevention Department shall give notice in writing to the Stockholder or designee to install an approved backflow
preventer at each service connection to the premises or each individual hazard. The Stockholder shall install an approved backflow
preventer at the Stockholder’s sole expense. Backflow preventers must be installed by a licensed plumber and in accordance with the
manufacturer’s specifications. Adequate drainage is required to prevent potential damage caused by water discharge from a backflow
preventer. Backflow preventers must be tested by an ASSE or ABPA certified backflow tester upon installation, repair, maintenance,
and at least once per year. New or replacement containment and containment-by-isolation backflow preventers must be tested with an
authorized COMPANY representative present to witness the initial backflow test. The Consolidated Mutual Water Company is in no
way liable for any damages resulting from the installation, testing, repair, malfunction, or correction of a backflow preventer.
When not otherwise clearly indicated by the context, the following words and phrases have the meanings described below:
Air Gap – the unobstructed vertical distance through the free atmosphere between the lowest opening from any supplying pipe, faucet,
tank, plumbing fixture, or other device and the flood level rim of the receiving vessel. An approved air gap will be at least double the
diameter of the supply pipe, measured vertically, above the top rim of the vessel; and, in no case less than one inch. When an air gap is
used at the service connection to prevent the contamination or pollution of the potable water system, an emergency bypass shall be
installed around the air gap system and an approved reduced pressure principle assembly will be installed in the bypass system.
Approved – accepted by the COMPANY as adequate backflow protection. All backflow preventers must be lead-free and meet the
laboratory & field performance specifications of ASSE or the Foundation for Cross-Connection Control and Hydraulic Research
(FCCHR) of the University of Southern California.
Auxiliary Water Source – any water source on or available to the premises other than the COMPANY potable water supply. These
auxiliary waters may include water from another purveyor’s potable water supply, natural sources (i.e., a well, spring, river, stream,
pond, lake, etc.), “used waters”, or industrial fluids. These waters may be polluted, contaminated, or may be objectionable and
constitute an unacceptable water source over which the COMPANY does not have sanitary control.
Backflow – the undesirable reversal of flow of water, liquids, mixtures, gases, or other substances into the distributing pipes of the
COMPANY potable water system from any source by backpressure and/or backsiphonage.
Backpressure – a form of backflow from pressure within a private plumbing system that exceeds the COMPANY supply pressure
and allows for the reversal of the normal direction of flow. Some causes of backpressure include pumps, elevated piping, thermal
Backflow Preventer – any device, method, assembly, or type of plumbing configuration designed to prevent backflow.
Backflow Prevention Department – the person(s) appointed by the President of the COMPANY to enforce and supervise the
compliancy of the applicable COMPANY water service accounts to the regulations set forth by the Colorado Department of Public
Health and Environment (CDPHE).
Backsiphonage – a form of backflow caused by a negative atmospheric pressure. This can occur in a potable distribution system when
experiencing heavy consumption demands (i.e., firefighting, main breaks, main flushing, etc.).
Certified Backflow Tester – any person who has passed an ASSE (American Society of Sanitary Engineering) or ABPA (American
Backflow Prevention Association) backflow tester exam, and who is listed by ASSE or ABPA as a certified tester. The certified
backflow tester must abide by all CMWC policies. The certified backflow tester must submit a copy of their certification and gauge
calibration before testing any backflow preventer within the CMWC service area and after each re-certification to the Backflow
Prevention Department to maintain an active status. CMWC reserves the right to perform random testing on any assemblies and to
refuse tests from any certified backflow tester who has not displayed honest and appropriate testing and/or reporting.
Check Valve – a self-closing device which is designed to permit the flow of fluids in one direction and to close if there is a reversal
of flow. Check Valves are not considered backflow preventers.
COMPANY and CMWC – The Consolidated Mutual Water Company.
Compliance Period – the allowable time between a failed survey and the installation, testing, correction, and/or repair of a backflow
preventer that must be completed or ready for inspection by an authorized CMWC Backflow Prevention Department representative.
Compliance Period may also refer to scheduling an inspection or survey for a property.
Containment – the type or method of backflow protection that is appropriate for the degree of hazard installed at the water service
connection to the Stockholder’s private plumbing system. No branches, tees, or threaded connections are permitted upstream of the
service connection backflow protection.
Contaminant – any substance that could impair the quality of water to a degree which would create a hazard to public health.
Critical Level – the C-L or C/L marking on a backflow preventer that determines the minimum elevation above the flood level
rim of the fixture or downstream uses at which the backflow preventer may be installed. When a backflow preventer does not bear
a critical level marking, the bottom of the backflow preventer shall constitute the critical level.
Cross Connection – any physical arrangement whereby the COMPANY water supply is or could become contaminated or polluted
as a result of backflow. Bypass arrangements, jumper connections, removable sections, swivel or changeover devices, and other
temporary or permanent devices through which, or because of which, backflow could occur are considered to be cross connections.
Cross Connections, controlled – any cross connection between a potable water system and a nonpotable or potentially nonpotable
supply that poses a health or pollution hazard, which is adequately protected by a properly installed and approved backflow preventer
that will continuously protect the COMPANY potable water system for the degree of hazard.
DOMESTIC Backflow Preventer – a lead-free Reduced Pressure Principle Assembly (RP) that conforms to ASSE standard
1013 unless a variance has been granted by the Backflow Prevention Department in writing.
Double Check Valve Assembly (DC) – a testable assembly that conforms to ASSE standard 1015 consisting of (2) independently
operating check valves. A variance must be granted by the CMWC Backflow Prevention Department in writing before a DC can be
accepted as adequate backflow protection. DC assemblies must be readily accessible for testing and maintenance.
Double Check Detector Assembly (DCDA) – a specially designed assembly that conforms to ASSE standard 1048 consisting of a
line-size DC with a protected bypass containing a specific water meter. The meter shall register accurately for rates of flow up to 2gpm
and shall show a registration for all rates of flow. A variance must be granted by the CMWC Backflow Prevention Department in
writing before a DCDA can be accepted as adequate backflow protection. DCDA assemblies must be readily accessible for testing and
Dual Check Valve with Intermediate Atmospheric Vent – a non-testable device that conforms to ASSE standard 1012 consisting of
(2) independently acting check valves with an intermediate relief valve. This type of device is utilized for backsiphonage and low
backpressure protection but can only be installed for pollution hazards.
FIRE LINE Backflow Preventer – a lead-free Reduced Pressure Detector Assembly (RPDA) that conforms to ASSE standard
1047 unless a variance has been granted by the Backflow Prevention Department in writing.
Flood Level Rim – the top edge of a receiving vessel from which water can overflow.
Gauge Calibration – any gauge used to test backflow preventers in the CMWC service area which is required to be calibrated annually.
A copy of the calibration must be submitted via email to the Backflow Prevention Department after each calibration to maintain an
active status within the CMWC service area.
Hazard, degree of – evaluation of risks to public health from materials which could come in contact with the COMPANY potable water
system through a cross connection.
Hazard, health – an actual or potential threat of impairment to the quality of water within a potable water system to a degree
that could create or, in the judgment of the Backflow Prevention Department, may create a hazard to public health and wellbeing.
Hazard, pollution – an actual or potential threat of impairment to the quality of water within a potable water system to a degree
which does not create a hazard to public health but would affect the aesthetic qualities for domestic use.
Hose Connection Backflow Preventer – a testable device that conforms to ASSE standard 1052 consisting of (2) independently
acting check valves with an intermediate atmospheric vent. This type of device is utilized for backsiphonage and low backpressure
protection but cannot be subjected to more than twelve (12) hours of continuous pressure. A variance must be granted by the
CMWC Backflow Prevention Department in writing before a hose connection backflow preventer can be accepted as adequate
Industrial Fluids System – any fluid or solution which may be chemically, biologically, or otherwise contaminated or polluted in any
form or concentration which would constitute a hazard if introduced into the COMPANY potable water system.
Nonpotable water – water that is not safe for human consumption or is of questionable potability.
Pollution – any substance that could impair the quality of water to a degree which would affect the aesthetic water qualities (i.e., taste,
odor, color) but would not constitute a hazard to public health.
Potable Water – water sources that have been investigated by the Colorado Department of Health & Environment (CDPHE) and have
been approved for human consumption.
Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB) – a testable assembly that conforms to ASSE standard 1020 consisting of (1) independently
operating check valve and an independently operating air-inlet valve located on the discharge side of the check valve. Temporary
variances may be granted by the Backflow Prevention Department for existing PVB’s that are properly installed, though a lead-free
Reduced Pressure Principle Assembly would be required in the event that the existing PVB needed extensive repair or replacement.
Private Plumbing System – all plumbing located on the downstream side of the water meter including pipes, conduits, tanks,
receptacles, fixtures, equipment, and appurtenances used to move water from the COMPANY potable water system to the
Reduced Pressure Principle Assembly (RP) – a testable assembly that conforms to ASSE standard 1013 consisting of (2)
independently operating check valves with an automatically operating differential relief valve. The assembly will operate to maintain
the pressure in the zone between the (2) check valves at a level less than the pressure on the COMPANY water supply side of the
assembly. In case of leakage of either of the check valves, the differential relief valve will operate to maintain the reduced pressure
in the zone between the check valves by discharging to the atmosphere. Before the pressure between the check valves is within 2psi
of the inlet pressure, the relief valve will open to the atmosphere. RP assemblies must be readily accessible for testing and
maintenance and must be installed in a location where no part of the assembly will be submerged.
Reduced Pressure Detector Assembly (RPDA) – a specially designed assembly that conforms to ASSE standard 1047 consisting of
a line-size approved RP with a protected bypass containing a specific water meter. The meter shall register accurately for rates of flow
up to 2gpm and shall show a registration for all rates of flow. RPDA assemblies must be readily accessible for testing and maintenance
and must be installed in a location where no part of the assembly will be submerged.
Submerged Inlet – a water pipe or extension thereto from the public water supply terminating in a tank, vessel, fixture, or appliance
which may contain water of questionable quality, waste, or other substances and which is unprotected against backflow.
Vacuum – any pressure less than that exerted by the atmosphere.
Vacuum Breaker – any backflow preventer that introduces atmospheric pressure into the plumbing system or plumbing fixture to
stop water from being siphoned backward.
Water Service Connection – the terminal end of the COMPANY service connection from the COMPANY potable water system
(i.e., at the Stockholder’s stop box shut-off valve or meter). If a meter is installed at the end of the service connection, then the service
connection means the downstream end of the meter. Any unprotected takeoffs from the service line ahead of the meter or backflow
preventer located at the point of delivery to the Stockholder’s private plumbing system is prohibited. Service connection will also
include water service connections from a fire hydrant and all other temporary or emergency water service connections from the
COMPANY potable water system.
2.0 Water System.
The COMPANY water system consists of the source and distribution system to the point of the Stockholder’s private plumbing system.
The source includes all components of the facilities utilized in the production, treatment, storage, and delivery of water to the
distribution system. The distribution system includes the network of pipelines used for the delivery of water from the source to the
Stockholder’s system. The Stockholder’s system begins at the water service connection.
A. The Backflow Prevention Department must conduct official onsite surveys for all applicable water service accounts to determine
whether the COMPANY potable water system is at risk or has the potential to be at risk of any contaminants or pollutants entering
the COMPANY potable water system from backpressure and/or backsiphonage. Accounts without the highest level of backflow
protection at the service line are required to be reinspected every 3-5 years, though the COMPANY reserves the right to reinspect
any water service account at its discretion.
B. Should the Backflow Prevention Department determine a water service account poses an actual or potential risk to the COMPANY
water system, the Stockholder shall complete all required backflow preventer installations or corrections at their sole expense
within the given compliancy period.
A. An approved backflow preventer will be installed at or near the property line or immediately inside the structure being
served; but, in all cases, before the first branch leading off the service line, or at a specific hazard wherever any of the
following conditions exist:
- 1. It is a commercial property where potential or existing hazards are present.
2. It is a multi-family residential property with one water meter that serves 3 or more units where potential or existing
hazards are present.
3. It is a residential house which is operating a business where potential or existing hazards are present.
4. It is any property with a fire suppression system.
5. It is any property utilizing COMPANY water service for agricultural activities (i.e., growing crops, rearing livestock)
where potential or existing hazards are present.
6. It is any property utilizing COMPANY water service where a known and unprotected hazard has been observed.
7. It is any new construction project for multi-family, commercial, industrial, agricultural, or irrigation water services.
8. In the case of premises having an auxiliary water source which is not or may not be of safe bacteriological or chemical
quality and which is not acceptable as an additional source by the COMPANY.
9. In the case of premises in which any industrial fluids or any other objectionable substance is handled in such a fashion
as to create an actual or potential hazard to the COMPANY potable water system. This will include the handling of
process waters and waters originating from the COMPANY potable water system which have been subject to
deterioration in quality.
10. In the case of premises having internal cross connections that cannot be permanently corrected and controlled, or
having intricate plumbing and piping arrangements, or where entry to all portions of the premises is not accessible
for inspection purposes making it impracticable or impossible to ascertain whether dangerous cross connections exist.
11. In the case of construction or other projects that utilize the COMPANY potable water system or appurtenances to the
COMPANY potable water system.
B. Complete lists of approved backflow preventer models are available upon request through the Backflow Prevention
Department when provided with the connection size and orientation needed. Certified backflow tester reference lists are
also available upon request.
C. Replacement backflow preventers must be lead-free USC approved RP assemblies unless otherwise approved by the
Backflow Prevention Department.
D. An authorized CMWC employee must be present to witness the initial testing of all new or replacement backflow preventers
for containment or containment-by-isolation protection**
E. Backflow preventers are to be installed in an accessible and safe location to facilitate inspection, testing and maintenance.
Adequate drainage must be provided in the event that water is discharged at minimum and maximum rates. Backflow
preventers shall not be installed in areas with hazardous gases, extreme temperatures, underground, or locations that are not
F. Approved backflow preventers shall be installed by a licensed plumber in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications
and only in the USC approved orientation., though in no case shall the assembly be installed less than 12” above the
surrounding ground or floor Applicable backflow preventers must also maintain a proper air gap at least 2X the connection
size, but no less than 1-inch, between the bottom of the assembly and any drainage flood level rims.
G. The installation of a backflow preventer will create a closed plumbing system and any backpressure created within a
property’s internal plumbing system may cause excess stress on the piping and/or plumbing fixtures. CMWC highly advises
consulting with a licensed plumbing professional to avoid potential damage to the system.
H. In the case of a property required to install a backflow preventer where an unauthorized tap has also been discovered in the
water meter pit, the removal of the unauthorized tap will be required in addition to the backflow preventer installation. The
removed tap can be reinstalled into the Stockholder’s plumbing system a minimum of 5ft downstream from the water meter
pit. NO soldering is permitted when making these corrections in the meter pit, which must have a final inspection and
receive approval from an authorized CMWC representative.
2.3 Backflow Preventers.
A. Any backflow preventer required herein will be of a model and size approved by the Backflow Prevention Department (full lists
available upon request).
B. Backflow preventers currently installed which are not approved shall be replaced with a lead-free USC approved backflow
prevention assembly within 60 days of notification unless otherwise approved by the Backflow Prevention Department.
C. The following testing laboratory has been qualified by the Backflow Prevention Department to test and certify backflow
Foundation for Cross-Connection Control and Hydraulic Research
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0231
D. Testable backflow preventers that may be subjected to backpressure or backsiphonage that have been fully tested and have
been granted a certificate of approval by said qualified laboratory and are listed on the laboratory’s current list of “Approved
Backflow Prevention Assemblies,” as well as newly installed approved backflow preventers which have been inspected and
installed to the satisfaction of the Backflow Prevention Department are deemed to be in compliance with this program.
Compliancy confirmation letters are available upon request.
2.4 Testing, Reporting, and Record-Keeping.
A. It is the responsibility of the Stockholder to have all backflow preventers tested by an ASSE or ABPA certified backflow tester
upon installation, after any repairs or maintenance, and at least once per year thereafter (tester reference list available upon request).
The Stockholder shall ensure that the tester/testing company properly submits their results no later than the annual due date. The
Backflow Prevention Department may require testing at more frequent intervals and reserves the right to perform random testing
on any backflow prevention assembly
B. Annual test due dates will not be altered based on delinquent testing. Stockholders can request due date changes through the
Backflow Prevention Department so long as the backflow preventer(s) had passing test results the previous calendar year.
C. Required irrigation backflow prevention assemblies must be tested at the beginning of spring each year to ensure the internal
components will operate correctly throughout the season.
D. The certified backflow tester or backflow testing company must submit all test results through our online portal
(cmwc.tokaytest.com) and to the Stockholder or designee. Testers and testing companies can set up an online account by contacting
the Backflow Prevention Department. New or updated tester certification and test gauge calibration documents must be provided
to the Backflow Prevention Department in a timely manner**
E. Test results must be accurately submitted with the correct tester and test gauge selections. Inaccurate submissions must be reported
to the Backflow Prevention Department immediately**
F. Test results must be properly submitted within 5 business days following the completion of a passing test or maintenance of a
backflow preventer. The certified backflow tester shall also attach a card/tag to the backflow preventer following each test or
maintenance activity to document the activities performed. Records of all tests or maintenance activities, including materials and
parts changed, shall be kept by the certified backflow tester, the property Stockholder, and the Water Distribution Manager for a
period of at least three years**
G. Verbal or written notification must be given to the Backflow Prevention Department within 24 hours for all failed containment or
containment by isolation tests via phone (303-274-7433) or email (Backflow@cmwc.net). The failed reports must be properly
submitted within 3 business days of the failed test**
H. No testing company shall delay test result submissions for any reason**
I. The COMPANY reserves the right to refuse tests from certified backflow testers who have not displayed honest and appropriate
testing and/or reporting.
J. All required repairs or replacements must be completed within 10 business days unless otherwise approved by the Backflow
Prevention Department and at the expense of the Stockholder to avoid water service interruptions. Repairs must only be made with
manufacturer and model specific repair parts. The Backflow Prevention Department reserves the right to expedite the repairs due
to the degree of hazard of which the backflow preventer is protecting.
2.5 Backflow Testing Accountability Program.
A. All backflow testing companies will be required to meet with the CMWC Backflow Prevention Department and submit a
signed Backflow Testing Agreement prior to February 1, 2023 in order to maintain an active status. Testing companies that do not
meet with the CMWC Backflow Prevention Department and/or do not submit a signed agreement prior to February 1, 2023 will
be placed on a ‘Hold’ which would prohibit testing or result submissions for assemblies in the CMWC service area. The ‘Hold’
would remain in place until the meeting and agreement requirements are properly completed.
B. Policies that could lead to a violation have been noted with an asterisk (**). It is highly advised that special attention should be
given to those particular policies.
C. Violations of the CMWC Backflow Prevention Policy will be handled as follows:
➢ 1st Violation – A certified letter will be sent to the testing company specifying what part of the CMWC Backflow
Prevention Policy had been violated and that a 2nd violation will include a monetary fine. A (1) year
review begins. The Stockholder on the account(s) will also be notified of the violation.
➢ 2nd Violation – A certified letter will be sent to the testing company specifying what part of the CMWC Backflow
Prevention Policy had been violated. This letter would also advise the testing company that they
have been placed on a ‘Hold’ until a $1,000 fine has been paid.
➢ 3rd Violation – A certified letter will be sent to the testing company specifying what part of the CMWC Backflow
Prevention Policy had been violated. This letter would also advise the testing company that they
have been placed on a ‘Hold’ until a $2,000 fine has been paid AND the testing company attends a
final meeting with the Backflow Prevention Department. An extension up to 6 months will be added
to the review process.
➢ 4th Violation – A certified letter will be sent to the testing company specifying what part of the CMWC Backflow
Prevention Policy had been violated. This letter would also advise the testing company that they are
officially prohibited from testing any backflow assemblies within the CMWC service area.
**Reinstatement requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis after an official request form is submitted to the CMWC Backflow
Prevention Department for review**
The standard compliancy periods are as follows:
- Survey: By or before the ‘Due Date’ stated on the CMWC survey request notice
Installation: Within 60 days of a failed survey unless otherwise approved by the Backflow Prevention Department
Testing: Annually, upon installation, and after any repairs
Repair: Within 10 business days of a failed backflow test or assembly malfunction
*Noncompliance with any backflow requirements will result in the termination of water service*
- A. Accounts that are delinquent on any backflow compliance requirements will have the water service discontinued until the
contractor contacts the Backflow Prevention Department directly to verify when the account is expected to be in compliance via
phone (303-274-7433) or email (Backflow@cmwc.net) between 7AM-3PM Monday-Friday before water service will be restored.
- B. A penalty fee of $100 will be assessed to the Stockholder’s account for any removed or damaged locking devices that the
COMPANY uses to terminate service for noncompliance. Continuous violation of the service termination may result in civil
and/or criminal charges.
- C. The COMPANY reserves the right to prohibit any certified backflow tester or testing company that does not comply with the
CMWC Backflow Prevention Policy or Backflow Testing Agreement.
*All variance requests must receive approval from the Backflow Prevention Department in writing*