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Irrigation Season Should Start With a Backflow Test
Posted Date: 6/1/2016 4:00 PM

As we move into summer, you have likely started your lawn sprinkler system.    Did you know that most irrigation systems include a device that is designed to keep possible contamination from your lawn from coming back into your drinking water?  It’s called a backflow device!  And it should be tested every year to ensure its proper operation. 

The first step in this process is for you to determine if you have an assembly installed on your property – which is generally true for all homes with yard or garden irrigation systems.  The assembly is often located in an equipment vault or utility box linked to your lawn sprinkler system (this is separate from the water meter box owned by Sunrise).   The next step is to have that assembly inspected by a licensed, certified backflow tester.  

The state’s drinking water program maintains an active list of approved testers which can be found at the Oregon Drinking Water Program website.  Before you agree to have your system tested, make sure you ask about the cost.  The normal charge for testing an assembly is around $35-40 dollars, which includes the proper reporting of all related records.

Remember, this is a matter of personal and public safety.  Water service at your location is provided by a connection to our public water system, which begins at the meter servicing your property.  All facilities on your side of the meter are your personal property and responsibility, including lawn sprinklers or other water using systems.  Any system on your property that uses water other than the main line that serves water into your home should have a “backflow prevention” assembly installed.  These assemblies are designed to separate the potable water you use within your home from possible cross-contamination from other uses, such as your lawn sprinklers.

In the end, we understand the impact this may have on you and the maintenance of your home.  However, we are doing our best to meet the requirements of the state and protect the quality of water to all customers.  Please join us in protecting public health by getting your backflow device tested annually.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our cross connection specialist Toby Henderson at 503-761-0220 or