NYC Enacts DEP Reporting Legislation on Backflow Prevention Devices

Passed on February 28th and now enacted into law, the New York City Council passed Local Law 58 of 2019, requiring the NYC Department of Environmental Protection to report annually to the Mayor and Speaker of the City Council data related the installation of backflow prevention devices. Such report must include:
Number of all facilities that DEP estimates requires the installation of one or more backflow prevention devices;

  • Number of such facilities DEP has determined to be hazardous facilities;
  • Number of all facilities in which backflow prevention devices were installed in the preceding calendar year;
  • Number of hazardous facilities in which backflow prevention devices were installed in the preceding calendar year;
  • Number of annual backflow prevention device test reports filed with the department in the preceding calendar year;
  • Number of violations issued in the preceding calendar year for failure to install a backflow prevention device; and
  • Number of violations issued in the preceding calendar year for failure to file an annual backflow prevention device test report with the department.

The Plumbing Foundation City of New York, Inc. has been vigorously pushing for this legislation for a number of years. We commend the sponsor Council Member Donovan Richards, Chairperson of the Environmental Protection Committee and co-Sponsor Costa Constantinides, and the entire City Council for passing such necessary legislation.

“Backflow” occurs when drinking water is contaminated by hazardous substances. It happens when street pressure pushes water into buildings where dangerous materials and chemicals may exist, and no device prevents that now contaminated water from re-entering the drinking water supply. Sometimes water flow can be reversed due to a water main break or a mistaken or accidental cross connection between the building’s water distribution and drainage systems. Therefore, it is vital that buildings install and maintain backflow prevention devices to prevent the harmful results of contaminated water, which can contain bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella.

Please click here for the full text of the law.

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