What It Is: Premises isolation means protection of a public water system ’s distribution system from backflow from a user’s premises through the installation of one or more air gaps or backflow prevention assemblies, installed as close as practical to the user ’s service connection, in a manner that isolates the water user ’s water supply from the public water system’s distribution system.
When It Started: In 2003, the District took the initiative to adopt a Premises Isolation Program as a cautionary measure to protect the distribution system. This step was a secondary precaution since customers with irrigation systems, swimming pools, and certain water features were tasked to comply with State requirements to have their original backflow tested annually..
When It Changed: By 2020, the District had installed backflow devices on the District's side of the meter for approximately 680 customers. Continued increasing costs for the actual backflow device, coupled with routine maintenance and repair costs, plus the annual cost to have an outside contractor test and certify these assemblies became too much for the District's budget to support. In October 2020, the Board of Commissioners voted to abandon the Premises Isolation Program due to financial constraints.
What It Means: The District began to remove these backflows in early January 2021. Customers are notified, in advance, by a door tag with background information explaining the process along with the date and time of removal. (See below).
Door Tag Notice
On _______________ we will be removing the backflow device the District installed several years ago inside the meter box. This device was purchased and maintained by the District under a Premise Isolation Program that was terminated in October 2020 due to financial constraints.
If you have an irrigation system or certain water features, you will still be required to have the backflow that was originally installed with this feature annually tested to meet State regulations. Since the early 1990s, all contractors were required to install a backflow device for irrigation, swimming pools, and other water features. Remember, this is a separate backflow device and should not be confused with the District’s backflow in the meter box.
When removing the backflow, water service may be shut off for a period up to 4 hours. We will make every effort to minimize this inconvenience and hope the removal only takes 1-2 hours.
Once the backflow is removed, you may notice air in the line and a slight discoloration of your water. This is normal and there are no associated health hazards. To remedy these effects, simply run your cold tap water for 2-3 minutes.
Our water operators will be in your area from 8 am – 3 pm to remove the backflow at the meter box. No work will be started past 3 pm to ensure water service is available by 4 pm.
Please call us at 503-635-6041 if you have any questions.