Test Your Backflow Assembly


Backflow assemblies must be tested annually to make sure they are working properly. The City of Salem does not coordinate the testing of the assembly. If you are the property owner, you should contact a certified backflow assembly tester to schedule the testing. The tester should submit a copy of the test report to the Cross Connection Specialist.

A list of certified backflow testers is available on the Oregon Health Authority website.

When should my backflow assembly be tested?

Each backflow assembly has been assigned a compliance month. The City of Salem will send the property owner a notification of backflow assembly testing requirements during the first week of the assembly’s compliance month. The backflow assembly must be tested within 60 days. If the City of Salem has not received a test report within the first 30 days, a second and final notification of annual backflow testing requirements will be sent to the property owner.

Why do I have a backflow assembly?

A backflow assembly prevents the backflow, or the undesirable flow of non-potable water or other substance back into the drinking water system through a cross connection. A cross connection is any temporary or permanent condition between the potable drinking water system and any source or system containing non-potable water or any other substance.

Certain conditions or hazards require the installation and annual testing of a backflow assembly. For a residential customer, hazards are most commonly underground irrigation systems, wells, or boilers.

Does the installation or removal of a backflow assembly require a City of Salem permit?

The installation or removal of a backflow assembly does require a City of Salem plumbing permit because it is considered an alteration of the plumbing system. In order to remove the backflow assembly, the hazard must be removed.

Do I still need to test my backflow assembly if I am not using my underground irrigation system?

Yes, the backflow assembly must be tested as long as the assembly is still installed and the underground irrigation system piping is still connected.

I am a tenant and I received a notification letter. Why?

The City of Salem will send notification letters to both the tenant of the property (utility account holder) and the property owner (as indicated by tax records). In most cases, the property owner is responsible for annual testing requirements. To determine who is responsible, check your lease agreement or contact the property owner.

Has my test report been submitted to the City?

You can call the City’s Cross Connection Specialists to verify that your test report has been received.

What happens if I do not get my backflow assembly tested by its compliance date?

The City of Salem sends two notification letters regarding annual backflow testing requirements. If the report is not received after the 60-day compliance period, the City will deliver a 72-hour notice for water service disconnection. If after 72 hours City staff has not yet received confirmation from a tester that the assembly is scheduled to be tested, water service to the property will be disconnected. Water services will be reinstated once the backflow assembly test report has been received by the City.

Contact us

Cross Connection SpecialistPublic Works Department