What We Do
Backflow Preventer Information and Rebates
Updated November 30, 2012
A common device called a Backflow Preventer (also called a Backwater Valve) can be installed in your plumbing system by a licensed plumber, and can effectively shut off the home or business from the street sewer system during extreme sewage backups. Automatic and manual devices are available. However, if the device is closed, you must not use the toilet, sink, shower, washer, dishwasher or any appliance that discharges wastewater. If you have a preventer installed, be sure to inspect and maintain it regularly, including periodically cleaning out debris.
DC Water's rebate program covers 90 percent of the cost of the device and installation, up to $3,000. We have sent information about the program and application forms to all eligible homes, based on address and engineering criteria.
This program will be retroactive to July 1, 2012 and is accepting applications through March 31, 2013. If you are installing a preventer or have had one installed since July 1, please retain an itemized receipt from a DC licensed plumber and the barcode from the box of the device.
Please note that DC Plumbing Code requires a permit for this work, which must be obtained by a DC-licensed Master Plumber (This applies to the installation of the valve itself, not to the preparation or any floor work.) If you had a backflow preventer installed by a non-DC licensed plumber since July 1 but before DC Water announced this program, you must do the following to qualify for the rebate:
- Get a DC-licensed Master Plumber to pull a permit for the work that was already performed.
- Submit the work to a DCRA inspection as part of the permit process.
- Present us with the approved inspection along with the rest of the rebate paperwork.
Community workshops: DC Water hosted two free homeowner workshops, featuring experts from the Backflow Prevention Institute, with the Bloomingdale Civic Association.The presentation from these workshops is available here.