City of Ouray Backflow Prevention Program
The City of Ouray has adopted Ordinance No.1 (Series 2018) to protect Ouray's drinking water supply in compliance with the State of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). These adopted regulations require the City to survey all commercial, industrial, mixed-use, and multifamily residential properties to determine which type of Backflow Prevention Device, if any, is required.
In other words, all non-single family residential properties within the City of Ouray must:
- Submit a completed questionnaire to the City to update property, contact, and water usage information;
- Have their property surveyed by the City’s Building Inspector to ensure the correct backflow device, if applicable, has been installed and the level of risk associated with the property;
- Have their backflow device tested each year by a Certified Cross-Connection Technician; and,
- Submit a copy of the abovementioned annual test(s) to the City of Ouray.
Resources & References:
It is important for all property owners to understand the backflow/cross-connection regulations that apply to non-single family residential properties. Please refer to the resources and references linked below regarding the City and CDPHE’s backflow program requirements.
Ordinance No.01 (Series 2018)
City of Ouray’s adopted ordinance concerning backflow prevention and program administration
CDPHE Regulation 11.39
Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control Guidance
The City uses this regulation to guide how to effectively implement our Backflow Prevention Program.
CDPHE Program Policy Guidelines (DW-007)
Water Quality Control Division Safe Drinking Water Program Policy (CDPHE)
This policy set forth by the State defines what shall be surveyed and what type of buildings would require a backflow prevention device. There are definitions explaining what an uncontrolled cross-connection is and how long the City has to control the connection with appropriate methods.
Cross Connection Identification Questionnaire for water use, connectivity, contact, and property information (City of Ouray)
The City requires a completed questionnaire prior to coordinating an in-person survey with the Building Inspector.
Common Backflow Prevention Assemblies
A quick-reference guide of backflow devices and assemblies (CDPHE)
Reference includes images and descriptions of different backflow assemblies required for different occupancies or types of properties.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
- I’VE BEEN A PROPERTY OWNER IN OURAY FOR YEARS, WHY AM I JUST NOW HEARING ABOUT THIS PROGRAM AND ITS REQUIRED COMPLIANCE?
- The City of Ouray adopted CDPHE’s backflow requirements via Ordinance in 2018 which has guided the City’s standards and has resulted in a number of letters sent to water customers over the years indicating Ouray’s failure to fully comply with these regulations. Although these regulations have been required of property owners for years, Ouray’s full-time Building Inspector has granted the City to better commit to these regulations and administer State laws.
- The City is dedicated to complying with CDPHE’s test ratios, survey requirements, and deadlines and is working in-tandem with property owners to clarify these cross-connections and regulations.
- WHAT IS “BACKFLOW” AND WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE?
- Linked below is CDPHE’s compiled “Frequently Asked Questions” to better understand this program, State requirements, and how these may apply to property owners in Ouray: Backflow Prevention/Cross-Connection Control FAQs
- WHAT DO I DO WHEN I RECEIVE A QUESTIONNAIRE IN THE MAIL?
- The City is requiring a questionnaire to be filled out and returned to the Community Development Department. We ask that if you receive one you fill it out to the best of your ability and return it to the City as quickly as possible.
- I SUBMITTED THE QUESTIONNAIRE TO THE CITY, WHAT DO I DO NOW?
- Contact the City’s Building Inspector and schedule a survey (either via email or phone). A survey needs to be scheduled and completed in order to assess the level of risk associated with the property, and discuss the process, type of backflow device required if any, and the time frame it must be installed and/or certified.
- If you own multiple properties, a questionnaire must be completed for each property. (Example: you own a commercial property and a multifamily residence in town, you must submit multiple questionnaires for each individual property).
- I LIVE OUT OF STATE, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO SCHEDULE A SURVEY?
- The City understands some property owners live out of state. We are requiring a survey be completed regardless of where the property owner(s) reside. An Authorized Agent/Property Manager can be appointed and present for the survey if the property owner is unable to come to Ouray.
- Living out of state is not a viable excuse for not complying with local regulations or completing a required in-person backflow survey.
- WHO CAN INSTALL AND TEST MY BACKFLOW DEVICE?
- A backflow prevention device must be installed by a State-licensed plumber. Once installed, it must be tested by a Certified Cross-connection Technician in accordance with Regulation 11.37(1)(b).
- There are a number of regional Certified backflow testers and State-licensed plumbers proximate to Ouray. Some certified Cross-Connection Technicians include:
- Keenan's Plumbing
- San Juan Backflow Services
- Cameron Mills
- F & F Fire
- West Plumbing LLC
- HOW OFTEN MUST MY DEVICE BE TESTED?
- Each backflow device must be tested annually by a Certified Cross-Connection Technician within the calendar year (prior to December 31 of each year). The City is keeping an accurate record of when devices have been tested and which year they are in compliance. The City recommends property owners have devices tested earlier in the year so there is no lapse in the calendar year for testing.
- Example, if your device has been tested on December 31, 2021, you are in compliance with the year of 2021; this device must be tested again within the year of 2022.
- MY DEVICE FAILED A TEST, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
- If your device fails a test and the failed test results are submitted to the City, Regulation 11.39 allows 60 days to have the assembly repaired/corrected, or service will be disconnected from the water customer. A new (passing) test, demonstrating any changes made to the device/connection, must be submitted to the City for our records (per the State) within the 60 day period.
- WILL MY WATER BE SHUT OFF?
- The City reserves the right to disconnect service to any water customers who do not comply with the backflow program, set forth in Ordinance No.1 (Series 2018). A letter of non-compliance will be sent prior to any service termination and will not be a “first notice” measure, but likely a third or more attempt to reach a property owner.
- The City is asking for all water customers to comply with keeping our drinking water safe so we do not have to disconnect any property owner’s water service.
Please direct any questions, completed questionnaires, surveys, or changes to a property's occupancy to the City's Building Inspector.