See also the Schedule for the Annual Testing and Water Shutoffs.

All testable backflow devices that are connected City of Iowa City water are required to be tested annually. The Backflow Coordinator sends out all notifications.

The procedure

  1. For each property, an Annual Reminder is sent out one month before the test is due. This gives the owner the entire month that the test is due, plus the month before and the month after, to complete the test. 
  2. At the beginning of the fourth month, a Final Notice is sent out. The owner now has 10 days to complete the test. 
  3. In the middle of the fourth month, approximately two weeks after the Final Notice is sent, all overdue properties are re-evaluated. 
  4. If the overdue test is a fire sprinkler system backflow device: 
    1. A citation case is created for the property. 
    2. The property owner is verified again. 
    3. A citation is filled out and sent by certified mail. 
    4. The citation is not filed and there is an additional few days to test the device. 
    5. If the test is completed, the citation is discarded. There is no fine or other costs levied against the owner (First time violators only).

If the overdue test is for a backflow device on the potable water system (containment, boiler, etc.):

  1. The property owner and account holder are verified (if different). 
  2. Water shutoff is scheduled for one week. The time and date are verified with the Water Division Service, which schedules personnel to do the shutoff.
  3. The Backflow Coordinator mails a water discontinuation notice to the owner and/or the account holder.
  4. The Backflow Coordinator posts the same notice at the property. 
  5. If the Backflow Coordinator receives the test report before the scheduled water shutoff, the shutoff is cancelled.

The next backflow test is due from the original expiration date, NOT when the device was tested. This keeps the date of testing consistent from year to year.

The entire process allows the owner or account holder a total of 4 months to complete the test of the backflow device. This process also does not include any additional fees, other than the cost of the test itself, for any first time offender.

At any time, a citation can be issued for overdue testing. If the citation is filed in Johnson County Court, fines will be imposed against the owner or account holder. This level of enforcement is reserved for repeat offenders only.