What is Backflow / Cross-Connection Control?

A water distribution system is designed to allow water to travel in one direction from the treatment plant to the customer. Under certain conditions, water can flow in the opposite direction from the normal flow. This unwanted process is known as backflow. When this occurs, harmful contaminants can mix with drinking water and potentially threaten the safety of our water supply. Backflow prevention devices keep non-potable water from flowing backwards toward a potable water source.

Mandatory regulations require that water suppliers take steps to ensure that water delivered to homes or businesses remains clean and safe. To address this, approved backflow prevention devices are required for industrial, commercial, and irrigation customers connecting to the Camden County water utility. The customer is responsible for installation and maintenance of the device. The county works to protect the water supply by ensuring backflow devices are maintained properly and cross-connection sources are eliminated.

It is the intent of Camden County Public Utilities Department to keep persons who are involved with the installation or upkeep of backflow prevention assemblies supplied with current information.

Please note, the Public Utilities Division has recently made an update to our Backflow Policy. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at (252) 335-1216 or (252) 202-3012.

General Device Testing Requirements

The below listed backflow prevention assemblies are required to be tested on an annual basis:

  • Pressure & spill resistant type vacuum breaker assemblies (PVB or SVB)
  • Double check valve assemblies (DCVA)
  • Double check detector assemblies (DCDA)
  • Reduced pressure assemblies (RPA)
  • Reduced pressure detector assemblies (RPDA) 
  • Reduced pressure zone assemblies (RPZ/RPZA)

Camden County requires that a certified tester perform all testing.  A certified tester is a person who has proven their competency to test, repair, overhaul and make reports on backflow prevention assemblies as evidenced by the successful completion of an approved Cross-Connection Control School. A list of known certified backflow testers in the area can be found at the link below. The certified tester is responsible for submitting all test forms to the County’s Public Utilities Division. However, Camden County Public Utilities highly encourages customer’s to confirm with their Tester that the test has been submitted and received by Camden County Public Utilities.

Scheduling a Test: It is the responsibility of the customer to contact an approved tester to schedule a test. Tests for new installations must be completed and submitted to the Public Utilities Department as soon as the device is installed. Annual testing must be completed and submitted the Public Utilities within 30 days of annual test date.

Test Failure: If your backflow device does not pass annual testing, it is the responsibility of the tester to notify the customer of their failed test and submit the failed maintenance report to Public Utilities. The owner must then notify Public Utilities their action plan for repairs and retesting. Depending on degree of hazard, the device must be repaired and retested within 5 business days for severe hazard devices and within 10 days for moderate hazard devices.

Failure to comply with outlined procedures above will result an estimated fine of $100.00 which covers the cost of a county hired contractor to test your device as well as a $100.00 administrative processing fee to the owner of the device. This fine is subject to the size of device and any additional costs which may accrue from test failure. Depending on the severity of failure could also result in a delay to new or existing water services.