Are you interested in a career in backflow testing? Are you curious about the water industry? There are a lot of unknown questions surrounding backflow testing and what it takes to become an inspector. If you want to learn more about the necessary requirements to be in the field of backflow testing, keep reading!
Let us begin with the job duties of a backflow tester. The overall goal of a backflow tester is to ensure a potable water supply system remains free of contaminants. If there is a backflow problem a tester’s job is to determine what is causing it and ultimately fix the problem of the device. Responsibilities of a backflow tester include taking the necessary steps to test the backflow prevention system and assembly while identifying plumbing systems where there is a risk of contaminated water entering into the potable water system. Backflow is then possible where there is a cross-connection of potable and non-potable water systems. A backflow tester must test and then create result records for the existing backflow protection components, indicating a pass or failure. Backflow testers visit install sites to make certain the device functions properly without chance for error, all while meeting assembly standards. Municipal codes mandate annual testing of backflow devices, to ensure that there is no cross-connection, and the device is functioning properly.
Backflow prevention courses are available that provide training to ensure one knows how to properly test devices, as well as find and fix existing problems. The qualifications required to become a backflow tester can be summed up into two main criteria: experience and professional certification. Since backflow testers travel to many different locations to test and inspect devices, a valid driver’s license is required, as well as a high school diploma. Backflow certifications vary from state to state or different provinces, so one state or province may include requirements that another does not. Once one completes a testing period and passes an exam, they will acquire a testing certificate. When a tester is performing repair work on the plumbing components of the backflow prevention systems, a plumber’s license is a requirement. Mechanical skills are necessary to be possessed by one testing backflows.
Two great resources for backflow information and training resources from professional organizations in the water industry are the American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA) and American Water Works Association (AWWA).
To expand your knowledge on backflow in all departments, check out BSI’s Backflow Academy