Backflow Prevention Program

MAWA Backflow Prevention Program

The water that runs through the pipes of the Meadville Area Water Authority (MAWA) distribution system is meant to run in one direction. When water attempts to run in the opposite direction in the system, it is called backflow. Backflow can be one of the greatest threats to the safety and integrity of a water system. For that reason, the MAWA has implemented a Backflow Prevention Program required by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) under the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act to establish standards to assure compliance with the provisions of the act. Accordingly, Section 109.608 of the department’s rules and regulations requires that “a water system may not be designed or constructed in a manner which creates cross-connection.” In addition, Section 109.709(b) further requires that “At the direction of the department, the water supplier shall develop and implement a comprehensive control program for the elimination of existing cross-connections or the effective containment of sources of contamination and prevention of future cross-connections.”

Backflow issues can be caused by construction damage to existing water mains, sudden interruptions in the operation of water production facilities, natural disasters, or numerous other emergency situations. Backflow from residential, commercial, industrial, municipal and fire suppression customers can contaminate the local water supply.

Currently, MAWA requires all customers; residential, commercial, industrial and municipal facilities to have an approved backflow prevention device installed on the customer side of the meter, with the goal of preventing a cross-connection to the public water system. Read MAWA’s Policy for the Control of Cross-Connection and Backflow Prevention.

General Rule for Required Backflow Devices:

Customer Backflow Device
Residential customers with one meter Non-Testable Dual Check Backflow Device. No annual inspections are required.
Apartments with one meter and three or more apartments Testable Dual Check Backflow Device. The backflow device will be required to be inspected yearly by a certified backflow tester.
Commercial, Industrial, Municipal, and Fire Suppression Systems MAWA will perform a backflow survey at no cost to you to determine the required backflow device. The backflow device will be required to be inspected yearly by a certified backflow tester.


Finding a Certified Backflow Tester?

A registered plumber can install a new backflow device but only a certified backflow tester can test backflow devices. View a list of certified backflow testers in our area. Please note: MAWA does not endorse any backflow tester.

Submitting Backflow Information:

MAWA has contracted with Backflow Solutions, Inc. BSI for backflow testers to enter the backflow testing data and to send notification letters to customers of the required testing schedule. Backflow testers will need to register with BSI Online at to enter backflow testing data using the Backflow Testing Form. Read BSI Online instructions. The cost for backflow testers to submit testing results is $20.00 pass or fail for each backflow device. If you have questions on the data submitted or other questions, please contact:

Backflow Solutions, Inc
P.O. Box 246
Worth, IL 60482
Tel: 800-414-4990
Fax: 888-414-4990

Backflow Survey Form:

For backflow devices other than residential customers having one meter and one service, MAWA will conduct a backflow survey forward the survey report to BSI Online. Many times, this survey can be conducted over the phone or the backflow tester completes the backflow survey or emails the survey to MAWA at If you have questions, please feel free to call our office at 814-724-6057. Read the Backflow Survey Form.

Other Forms:

Residential Customers Backflow Requirement, read this Backflow Requirements Schematic.

Residential Customers with three or more Apartments, Commercial, Industrial, Municipal, or Fire Suppression Systems, read this Backflow Requirements Schematic.

For complete backflow policy information, see the Policy for Cross-Connection and Backflow Prevention.