New Backflow Prevention Assembly Fee

The backflow prevention assembly fee fact sheet is available here. 

Please review frequently asked questions below, and call (202) 364-3144 for more information. 

What is this fee?

Beginning August 1, 2019, customers with backflow prevention assemblies will be billed $6.70 for each backflow prevention assembly on their property.

What are backflow prevention assemblies?

Backflow prevention assemblies in a building’s plumbing system are required by District code to prevent non-potable water from mixing with potable (tap) water. Points where this can occur are called “cross-connections” and include law irrigation, fire sprinklers, swimming pools, boilers, cooling towers, chillers, and other systems.

Who has these assemblies, and who is required to pay this fee?

Both residential and nonresidential customers can have backflow prevention assemblies. Only customers with testable backflow prevention assemblies will pay this fee.

Backflow prevention assemblies installed on the fire sprinkler system will be exempted in the fee calculation.

Why is DC Water charging this fee? Where does the money go?

District regulation requires that each customer that owns backflow prevention assemblies contact a DC Water-approved contractor for annual inspection, and report that information to DC Water.

The revenue from this fee will increase the number of inspections for customers to ensure compliance with DC code. The fee will also help maintain the Third Party Portal: an online record system and smartphone application for reporting the installation, maintenance, and testing of backflow preventers.

I’m not sure I have a backflow prevention assembly, and I have more questions about the Compliance program.

Contact the DC Water Compliance Program by telephone at 202-364-3144 (M-F, 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM) or through email at


More information about the fee can be found at, and more information about the Compliance Program can be found at