Skip to main content

Cross-Connection Control Program

The City of Castlegar is required to maintain a cross-connection control program to ensure our community’s drinking water is always safe.

Protecting Castlegar’s Drinking Water System

The cross-connection control program is required by Interior Health and protects the City’s drinking water system by making sure that substances that are unsafe or unpleasant to drink do not contaminate City water. This happens when water moves backwards from a property back into the street.

The cross-connection control program has two key parts, facility surveys and audits and annual testing of backflow prevention assemblies.

Facility Surveys & Audits

These are checks to make sure water connections in industrial, commercial, institutional, and multi-family buildings have cross-connection controls in place to stop water from flowing backwards into the city main. Usually, these controls are backflow prevention assemblies (BFAs).

Annual Testing of Backflow Prevention Assemblies

All backflow prevention assemblies are required to be tested annually to make sure they are fully operational. Certified testers must be used to complete the test, and the results must be submitted to the City.

The City keeps a database of all properties with registered backflows to ensure they are tested, and repaired, as needed. The City also coordinates inspections to ensure that changes inside properties are addressed and do not post a risk to the water quality in the City.

What Do I Need to Do to Help Protect Castlegar’s Water Supply?

If you are the owner of a commercial, institutional, industrial, or multi-family property, you have an obligation to take steps to protect the public and the public water supply by:

  • making sure your plumbing meets BC Building Code and the CSA standards
  • installing appropriate backflow preventers
  • registering your backflow preventers with the City and arranging for annual testing

What is a Suitable Cross-Connection Control Device?

There are many types of cross-connection control devices, and the best device will depend on the possibility of cross-connection at your property and the hazard that a cross-connection would pose. Some approved cross-connection control devices are:

  • Approved Air Gap
  • Double Check Valve Assembly (DCVA)
  • Hose Connection Vacuum Breaker (HCVB)
  • Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB)
  • Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Prevention Assembly (RP Assembly)

A certified plumber or cross-connection control surveyor will be able to determine the best device(s) for your property. Visit the BC Water & Waste Association website for general information on cross-connection control.

Annual Backflow Assembly Testing

Any property owner with a backflow assembly must arrange for it to be tested annually by a certified backflow assembly tester. Property owners will receive a letter from the City approximately 60 days before the test due date, and must arrange a tester to complete the work and submit the test results by the due date.

If test reports are not received by the due date, the City will follow up with two additional notices before pursing additional enforcement under Bylaw 1014 – Elimination and Prevention of Cross-Connections.

It is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure that the test reports are received by the City. There are two ways for test results to be recorded and submitted:

FAST Tester App

The City’s preferred option is for backflow assembly testers to sign up for the FAST Tester app provided by MTS Inc. This app automatically fills relevant information about the backflow assembly, facility and customer and automatically submits test results electronically to the City and the property owner, if they provide an email address. This reduces the level of effort on behalf of the tester and the City. More information on this app can be found at


Alternatively, the City will accept hardcopy test reports submitted to Civic Works or emailed to the Cross-Connection Control Program manager at the email above.

Cross-Connection Control Program Frequently Asked Questions

Open All Close All

Backflow assemblies are mechanical devices and are subject to failure from wear and tear, corrosion, freezing, water conditions and misuse. Annual testing ensures that the assemblies are operating as designed to prevent backflow of contaminated or polluted water into the drinking water system.

Property owners should contact a licensed plumber or backflow tester to obtain pricing for their services. The cost of testing can vary between contractors and be impacted by the number of assemblies within your plumbing system.

The following local companies employ certified backflow prevention assembly testers. This list is provided only as a service to assist the public and does not represent any endorsement or implied approval by the City of Castlegar. Companies other than those listed may be used to perform testing if they employ certified testers.

  • Edge Technologies Services, Castlegar – 250-304-7632
  • Gekkelman Plumbing and Heating, Castlegar – 250-608-7131
  • Flush Away Plumbing and Heating, Castlegar – 250-304-7475
  • Pacific Western Fire Protection, Kelowna (has local presence) – 250-765-3473
  • Trainor Mechanical, Nelson – 250-352-7588
  • Troy Fire & Life, Kelowna (has local presence) – 250-860-3991
  • Valhalla Mechanical Ltd., Castlegar – 250-608-1102
  • Venture Mechanical, Castlegar – 250-365-4999

The property owner or representative should verify that anyone contracted to perform this testing has a current certification and that their test gauge has been calibrated within a year. Any certified plumbers wishing to be added to the list can contact the Cross-Connection Control Program manager at the email above.

It is the property owner’s responsibility to have failed backflow prevention assemblies repaired or replaced promptly. Property owners are asked to contact the Cross-Connection Control Program manager to arrange a replacement schedule, as otherwise testing reminders will be continued to be sent to properties until a passing test is submitted.

The cross-connection control program is unrelated to sewage backups in sanitary sewers.

Copyright © 2024 City of Castlegar, all rights reserved.