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City of The Dalles, OR

Home Sprinkler Safety

While sprinkler systems make it easy to water lawns and gardens, they also pose a potential risk. Without the proper plumbing equipment, water can flow backward (backflow), allowing contaminated water from your sprinkler system to flow into your home’s drinking water supply and water mains.

Install a backflow preventer, to keep your water drinkable.

All sprinkler systems must be equipped with a properly installed, state approved backflow preventer to meet the requirements of Oregon plumbing code requirements. The City provides home sprinkler safety information by issuing a no fee permit. Also, all sprinkler systems fed by public water systems need a plumbing permit before installation.

Annual testing is needed for all assemblies, except atmospheric vacuum breakers, to ensure safe operation and health protection.

How to Protect Your Health: Four Types of Backflow Preventers
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ATMOSPHERIC VACUUM BREAKER (AVB)
-Cannot be tested to ensure safe operation and health protection
-Several may be needed to protect the whole system
-Elevated piping or valves not allowed downstream

PRESSURE VACUUM BREAKER ASSEMBLY (PVBA) AND SPILL RESISTANT VACUUM BREAKER ASSEMBLY (SVBA)
-Must be tested to ensure safe operation and health protection
-Only one PVBA or SVBA needed to protect the whole system
-Elevated piping not allowed downstream

DOUBLE CHECK VALVE ASSEMBLY (DCVA)
-Must be tested to ensure safe operation and health protection
-Only one DCVA needed to protect the whole system
-Elevated piping allowed downstream

REDUCED PRESSURE BACKFLOW ASSEMBLY (RPBA)
-Must be tested to ensure safe operation and health protection
-Only one RPBA needed to protect the whole system
-Elevated piping allowed downstream
-Only backflow preventer allowed for application of fertilizer or lawn chemicals through sprinkler system
-Only backflow preventer allowed for sprinkler systems connected to both an on-site well and a city water system

You can learn more about backflow testing and download a Backflow Prevention Assembly Permit at thedalles.org/waterdistribution