Issue Background

Backflow Prevention

Protecting America's Water Supply

ASSE International’s performance standards for backflow prevention products detail how a product is intended to function under normal operating conditions and include testing procedures and requirements for performance, health and safety. Standards also include requirements for construction, maintenance and operation. Backflow prevention products that have been tested by an ASSE-accredited testing laboratory, reviewed by the ASSE Seal Control Board and to be in compliance with the appropriate ASSE performance standard may display the ASSE Seal.

The ASSE/IAPMO/ANSI Series 5000, Cross-Connection Control Professional Qualifications Standard, sets minimum education and performance requirements for backflow prevention assembly testers, cross-connection control surveyors, backflow prevention assembly repairers, fire-sprinkler system cross-connection control testers and backflow prevention program administrators.

ASSE standards are developed under the ANSI-accredited standards development process of openness and consensus.

Advancing solutions to a century old problem

Backflow prevention assemblies and devices, along with proper installation, testing and maintenance, have been an important part of protecting public health since the 1890s. ASSE International has led the way in cross-connection control by gathering experts from various regions and industry segments for the purpose of developing product and professional qualifications standards through true consensus, thereby advancing the backflow prevention community.

What is backflow and cross-connection?
Backflow is the potentially dangerous reversal of the flow of water from its intended direction in any pipeline or plumbing system. A cross-connection is a physical connection between two separate piping systems; one containing potable water and the other containing water of questionable safety. Backflow can allow drinking water in plumbing systems to become contaminated and unusable.

What is a backflow preventer?
Backflow preventers are mechanical plumbing devices and assemblies installed in a plumbing system to prevent water from flowing backward in the system. A properly installed, tested and maintained backflow preventer can reliably prevent water of an unknown quality from contaminating a community’s water system.