Backflow Prevention

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A Consumer’s Guide to Backflow Prevention in Texasbackflow-assembly-image

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requires all public water systems to maintain a cross-connection control program that protects the distribution system delivering drinking water to your home or business.

A cross-connection control program includes:

  • An inspection of the customer’s private plumbing to identify and prevent cross-connections and potential contamination, including contamination from high lead levels in the plumbing.
  • Installation and testing of backflow- prevention assemblies, where required.
  • Rules to prevent cross-connections and unacceptable plumbing practices—ordinances, regulations, service agreements, and a plumbing code.

Some public water systems may have more stringent requirements than the TCEQ. TCEQ regulations are the minimum requirement. 

How can backflow be prevented?

Backflow into a potable-water system can be prevented by using a backflow-prevention assembly, or an air gap, which is a physical separation between the water supply and a potential source of pollution. Licensed professionals as well as your public water system are responsible for determining the type of backflow-prevention assembly required, based on the degree of hazard.

Testing backflow-prevention assemblies

Because backflow-prevention assemblies are mechanical assemblies that can fail, the TCEQ requires testing of all backflow-prevention assemblies at installation by a TCEQ-licensed tester. Backflow-prevention assemblies installed to protect against any health hazard must be tested annually.

How can I find out more information about backflow?

For more information about backflow and cross-connection control, visit or

Questions about The City of Pearland’s Backflow and Cross Connection Program please contact:

Michael Morrison
Backflow Compliance Coordinator 


Types of high hazard locations

Frequently Asked Questions for Backflow Prevention

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