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San Francisco Health Network
Environmental Health

 

Water Quality: Cross Connection Control Program

The cross-connection control program protects the integrity of the city’s drinking water by making sure that there are no connections between the potable water distribution system and other water pipes, storage tanks or other non-potable water sources.

The collaborative program with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) Water Quality Division is authorized under San Francisco Health Code Article 12A and governed by Section G of the SFPUC's Rules and Regulations Governing Water Service to Customers.

 

Backflow Assembly Annual Testing

Tens of thousands of backflow prevention assemblies are installed throughout the city to keep things like fertilizers, anti-corrosive agents or other chemicals that may be added to the water for industrial and other uses, from being drawn into the drinking water pipes. These assemblies must be checked each year by a certified tester. San Francisco Department of Public Health Environmental Health Branch does not recommend specific Backflow Prevention Assembly Testing Companies, however we maintain a list of companies that employ backflow assembly testers certified to work in San Francisco under San Francisco Health Code Article 12A.

All property owners with one or more backflow prevention assemblies receive an annual "30-Day Notice" letter from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission which will specify the date that proof of annual testing is due. This enforcement alert describes penalties that might be imposed if testing is overdue.

 

Backflow Prevention Tester Certification

If you would like to be included on San Francisco's Backflow Tester List, you must obtain a permit to operate by submitting the following:

  1. Completed Application Form
  2. A non-refundable application fee in the form of a check or money order made payable to the S.F. Department of Public Health
  3. A photocopy of current Test Equipment Calibration Certificate
  4. A photocopy of the current Certificate of Competency - Backflow Prevention Assembly General Tester from American Water Works Association (AWWA), American Society of Sanitary Engineers (ASSE), American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA), or Northern California Backflow Prevention Association (NCBPA).
  5. An original Certificate of General Liability Insurance.
    The Certificate Holder shall be the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Environmental Health.
  6. The Certificate of General Liability Insurance must:
    1. Show a minimum $1,000,000 General Liability
    2. Show the name of Tester holding the valid Certificate of Competency from AWWA, ASSE, ABPA, or NCBPA.
    3. Contain the following language: 
      "The City and County of San Francisco, its Officers and Employees, are named as additional insured pursuant to all operations performed for them by the named insured.
  7. Take a written examination on San Francisco Health Code, Article 12A, Backflow Prevention. A score of 70% or better is required to pass the exam.
  8. Set up CCAMS account and obtain password.

 

Please call the program contact or (415) 252-3800 to schedule an appointment to submit your application packet and take the exam.

Your application will be processed and the Tax Collector's Office will bill you for your annual license certificate. Once payment is received, your Permit to Operate will be mailed to you.

 

Required Account Updates

Annually:
  • A photocopy of current Test Equipment Calibration Certificate (submit to SFDPH).
  • A current and updated original Certificate of General Liability Insurance that meets the requirements shown above (submit to SFDPH).
  • SF Annual License Fee (paid to the SF Tax Collectors Office)
  •  
    Every three years:
  • Every three years - a photocopy of the renewed Certificate of Competency - Backflow Prevention Assembly General Tester from American Water Works Association (AWWA), American Society of Sanitary Engineers (ASSE), American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA), or Northern California Backflow Prevention Association (NCBPA) (submit to SFDPH).
  •  
    If your business has closed:
  • If your business has closed, please fill out a Business Closure Form (email it to joseph.ossai@sfdph.org)
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    Making a Complaint

    If you would like to make a complaint regarding cross connection control, you may call 311.

    311 City Customer Service Agency - Service 24x7

    San Francisco Department of Public Health Environmental Health Branch