Backflow Information – For Testers and Installers

Registering with Aquaresource

If you are planning to test backflow assemblies attached to the City of Asheville’s water lines you must first register with our online portal Aquaresource.  To register Click here.  

You will have to submit a photocopy of the certificate you received through either an accredited NC backflow testing certification program or through UF TREEO.  You will also need to provide a photocopy of a calibration report for each test kit you plan on using.  Once you have submitted all of the requested information, a member of the COA’s Backflow Department must approve your request for access.  

Approved Testing Methods

The City of Asheville only accepts the sight tube method when testing double check assemblies and the three hose method when testing reduced pressure assemblies.   

Submitting Tests

All test reports must be submitted and signed by the tester performing the test as these are legal documents.  All test reports must be submitted in a timely manner.

The City of Asheville Water Policy states that “A certified tester shall provide a copy of all test and repair reports to the customer and to the City of Asheville’s Backflow and Cross Connection Control Office within ten (10) business days of any completed test or repair work.” (Section VI – Cross Connection Control Policy, Subsection B – Responsibilities, Certified Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester).

As of Monday, May 1, 2023, the City of Asheville shall enforce the policy with the actions listed below:

  1. The first offense of submitting a test more than 10 days after the testing date will result in the tester receiving a final warning from this office.
  2. The second offense will result in a 3 month suspension from the Asheville area, which will start on the date of discovery of the offense. For 3 months after the date of discovery, the tester will not be allowed to submit test results through AquaResource, which is the only official way to submit test results in the Asheville area.

Backflow test reports are legal documents, and falsifying the testing dates on these reports is an offense that can lead to your NC testing certification being revoked. Please submit the test reports within 10 business days of the testing date with the accurate information.

Failed Tests

There is currently no charge for failed test submittal.  When submitting a failed test please include as much information as possible so that it is apparent why the backflow assembly failed.  Failure to submit failed tests with detailed information may result in suspension from submitting tests to the City of Asheville.

Replacing Assemblies

There are many backflow assemblies on Asheville’s water system that have been grandfathered in and if these assemblies need to be replaced they will have to be brought into full compliance per City of Asheville policy.  It is always best to call and speak with a backflow inspector if you have any questions about replacing a double check assembly.  Otherwise, you may fail the installation inspection.  Our office phone number is 828-259-5914.

Installing New Assemblies

Before a new backflow assembly can be installed, a backflow inspector from the City of Asheville must approve the location and the type.  All assemblies should be installed within 15 feet of the meter, on the private side of meter unless a variance has been granted by a backflow inspector.  Variances are granted on a case by case basis and it should not be assumed that a variance granted at one location will be granted on the next.

The City of Asheville provides the following details:

Double Check Assemblies:

Reduced Pressure Zone Assemblies:

General Guidelines

  • Road rated boxes are only required if the box is located in an area where there will be vehicular traffic.  
  • All installations require proper clearances.  
  • All indoor installations must be installed between 12” and 40” above finished floor.  (DCA’s can be granted a variance for installations lower than 12”) 
  • All underground installations must be 18”-24” below finished grade to top of backflow assembly.
  • If installing a reduced pressure assembly outside it must be in an 1060 ASSE rated box and must be able to properly drain water.  This means the drain can’t be blocked by dirt or mulch.  The exterior drain flap will be checked for proper operation. 
  • If installing a reduced pressure assembly inside there must be a drain pipe installed that leads to the outside or to a floor drain.  This drain pipe must be installed with a proper air gap below the relief valve.
  • All Assemblies must be USC (FCCCHR) Certified and lead freeFor list of USC certified assemblies click here. 
  • If water pressure is above 175 PSI, a pressure reducing valve shall be installed prior to backflow assembly.
  • All pressure reducing valves will be checked to ensure water line pressure does not exceed 175psi.
  • When installing a reduced pressure assembly outside; power shall be run to a GFCI box and either heat tape or a wet/damp approved heater shall be installed and operational at the time of inspection.
  • Assemblies shall be installed horizontally unless they are USC (FCCCHR) certified to operate in the vertical position.  
  • When installing a reduced pressure assembly the relief valve shall be in the proper orientation.
  • All Test cocks shall be easily accessible and all test kit equipment shall fit with reasonable tolerance.
  • All assemblies must be tested upon installation.
  • All initial tests must be submitted within 30 days of the initial inspection.


Contact Information

City of Asheville Water Backflow Division