Backflow Testing: What Is It?

It sounds simple...

… as if all we do is test to see if your water is flowing backwards.


Backflow testing is all about making sure your water — and your neighbours’ water — is safe to drink straight from the supply.

What is backflow testing?

Backflow testing is what we call the process of testing to make sure your drinking water isn’t contaminated by dirty water that’s sneaking into your water supply. It is true that backflow refers to water flowing in a direction it shouldn’t and it’s important to make sure that water from outside your water supply doesn’t find up in your cup.

Why is backflow testing important?

Backflow can be caused by a water main break or high demand at a water source. It’s impossible to predict and you’ll only notice when it’s too late. That’s why backflow testing is important…

Why does backflow happen?

Water in your home moves at a standard pressure from your supply to your appliance — your shower, your toilet, your sink. If this pressure drops unexpectedly, which can happen because of freezing, bursting, or unusually high demand on the supply, contaminated water from the ground or from a faulty supply can enter your pipes.

How do I prevent backflow?

You can prevent backflow with backflow prevention devices, like a backflow preventer valve. These valves are installed at specific locations throughout your plumbing system wherever there’s a risk of contaminated water getting in. Air gaps are common backflow prevention gaps that create space in your water storage areas to maintain a safe pressure.


Backflow prevention devices are required on most units and there are strict testing requirements.

How often do I need backflow testing done?

Backflow testing is required every year in Queensland and your local Council will provide you an Annual Registration Fee Notice and Testing Reminder Notice so that you don’t forget. Penalties can apply for every device that hasn’t been tested or registered each year.

Do I have to do this backflow testing and registration?

Do I need backflow testing on my commercial property?

If you have a connection to a water supply — which you do — you’ll need annual backflow testing. This applies to residential and commercial properties across Queensland.

Need a backflow test?

Find your local Council’s rules on backflow below. If your local Council isn’t listed below, simply search for your local Council and ‘backflow testing’ in a search engine.

Brisbane City Council

Logan City Council

Gold Coast City Council

Ipswich City Council

Redland City Council