Backflow Prevention

Drinking water can become contaminated due to what is known as, backflow.

These contaminations occurred because connections “crossed” between the drinking water supply and a contamination source, and contaminants “back flowed” into the drinking water system. In order to protect human health and drinking water quality, the Ministry of the Environment enforces the Safe Drinking Water Act, which, among other things, imposes a statutory obligation on owners of drinking water systems to show due diligence in maintaining water quality.

As a result, the Town of Lincoln recognized a need to address the risk of backflow into its drinking water systems from privately owned properties by implementing the Backflow Prevention Program, as set out under By-law 01-134 (as amended).

Those properties with installed devices, remember before April 15 every year, arrange to have the backflow prevention device tested by an authorized person, and submit test results to the Town of Lincoln Building Department.

The main components of the program involve:

  1. A survey of the property to identify crossconnections, risks and the recommended type of backflow prevention device required
  2. Installation of the required backflow prevention device, where needed, under a Town of Lincoln plumbing permit
  3. Maintenance and annual testing of the backflow prevention device

Properties requiring the backflow prevention device:

Not all properties require the device. The By-law does not apply to single family homes, semi-detached homes, or townhomes. 

If your property is connected to the municipal water distribution system and is zoned as per below, you require the device:

  • Properties zoned Agricultural (A), Industrial (PI, IN, EI), Commercial (NC, GC, RUC, RC), Institutional (I), Open Space(OS)*, Other site specific zoning*
  • Residential properties that  are not single homes
  • Residential properties that are four stories or more
  • Residential single family homes that are mixed use

*some exemptions apply. Contact the Town's department of Building.

If you require a device, and do not have one, here are the steps to take:

  1. Confirm that the Town of Lincoln requirements for backflow prevention apply to your property
  2. If you are a new owner of the property, investigate what backflow device(s) are already installed on your property, if any
  3. Arrange for a Cross-Connection Survey by an authorized person
  4. Review the survey with the authorized person, so that you understand the survey results
  5. Submit the completed survey to the Town of Lincoln Building Department. These must be submitted no more than 14 days after the survey is completed.
  6. Submit an Application to Construct or Demolish (Plumbing Permit application)
  7. As soon as possible, arrange to have an authorized person install the required backflow prevention device, following the conditions of the issued Plumbing Permit
  8. Before April 15 every year, arrange to have the backflow prevention device tested by an authorized person, and submit test results to the Town of Lincoln Building Department

Properties not in compliance and pose a risk to contaminate the Town's water supply, under the By-law:

  1. Order the owner to install or test a backflow prevention device
  2. Shut off water until a device is installed
  3. Have work done at the property, at the owner's expense
  4. Shut off the water supply to the property until the condition is eliminated


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