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San Antonio Water Systems (SAWS) Backflow Inspection Testing Requirements.

San Antonio SAWS Backflow Testing

San Antonio, a vibrant and growing city in the heart of Texas, is home to a dynamic community and a multitude of businesses. Ensuring the safety and quality of the city's water supply is paramount, and one essential aspect of this is backflow prevention. San Antonio Water Systems (SAWS) has established stringent backflow testing requirements to protect the water supply from potential contamination. In this blog post, we'll dive into the details of SAWS backflow testing requirements and why they are crucial for the well-being of San Antonio's residents and businesses.

-What is Backflow and Why Does it Matter?

Backflow is the undesirable reversal of water flow in a plumbing system, which can potentially introduce contaminants into the public water supply. Imagine pollutants, chemicals, or even bacteria from a property's plumbing system flowing back into the city's water mains. This contamination can pose serious health risks to the community.

To prevent backflow, SAWS requires the installation of backflow prevention assemblies, such as RPs, double checks, and PVBs, in certain types of properties. These devices ensure that water only flows in one direction and cannot reverse into the public supply.

-SAWS Backflow Testing Requirements: A Closer Look

1. Who Needs to Test: SAWS mandates backflow testing for specific categories of properties, primarily those with a higher risk of backflow contamination. These include commercial, industrial, residential (with irrigation sprinkler systems), and multifamily properties.

2. Testing Frequency: The frequency of backflow testing depends on the type of property and its associated risk. Typically, testing should be conducted ANNUALLY, but some properties may require more frequent testing.

3. Certified Testers: SAWS requires that backflow testing is carried out by certified testers. These professionals have the training and expertise to accurately assess and maintain backflow prevention devices. A list of SAWS certified testers can be found on their website.

4. Reporting: After a successful test, certified testers must submit their results to SAWS. This documentation ensures that the property is compliant with backflow prevention requirements. Nowadays, this is done electrically and can be done on site.

-The Importance of Compliance

Compliance with SAWS backflow testing requirements is vital for several reasons:

1. Health and Safety: Ensuring that backflow prevention devices work correctly helps protect the public water supply from contamination, safeguarding the health and safety of San Antonio's residents.

2. Regulatory Obligations: Non-compliance can lead to fines and penalties. It is essential to meet SAWS' requirements to avoid legal consequences.

3. Peace of Mind: Property owners and managers can have peace of mind knowing that their water supply is safe and meets regulatory standards.

4. Environmental Responsibility: Complying with backflow prevention requirements contributes to responsible water management, reducing the risk of water pollution.


San Antonio Water Systems (SAWS) takes water quality seriously, and backflow prevention is a key component of ensuring a clean and safe water supply for the city. Understanding and meeting SAWS backflow testing requirements is not only a legal obligation but also a crucial step in protecting the health and well-being of San Antonio's residents and businesses.

Property owners and managers should work with certified testers to conduct regular backflow testing, maintain backflow prevention devices, and promptly address any issues that arise. By doing so, they contribute to the ongoing effort to keep San Antonio's water supply free from contamination and support a healthy and thriving community.

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