VILLAGE ANNOUNCEMENT: MANDATORY BACKFLOW TESTS
For anyone who has not responded to prior notice for mandatory backflow testing, the deadline letters have been mailed. You have twenty (20) business days to comply with the letter or a fine of $1,500 will be assessed. This is the final notice. The Nassau County Health Department has mandated all devices must be tested annually and has designated the Water Purveyor (Village of Garden City) responsible for enforcement. The Health Department considers all untested devices a hazardous threat to the water supply. As such, they have given the authority to the Village to shut off water services to residences that do not conform. In addition, the Village risks incurring a Nassau County Health Department fine which would be passed on to the residences.
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ABOUT BACKFLOW TESTING
The Nassau County Department of Health requires that all automatic lawn sprinkler systems undergo an annual backflow test on the prevention valve installed on the water main. Test results are forwarded to the Village of Garden City for compliance. Many homeowners coordinate the turning on of their systems with a backflow test in the spring; however, individual homeowners may have the test completed at different times of the year. Many plumbers, sprinkler companies and even landscapers can provide a certified tester.
While Garden City has approximately 6800 active sprinkler systems (6500 of which are residential devices), on average 30% do not comply with annual testing. Therefore, the Village has begun to take a stronger stance on compliance.
HOW DOES THE VILLAGE HANDLE NON-COMPLIANCE
Three warning letters are sent to homes and commercial businesses. The first letter: 30 days prior to the date on which the property would be in non-compliance. The second letter: A final notice letter sent after device is registered non-compliant for failure to test. An additional 15 business days is granted to complete the testing and fines are outlined if the device is not tested. The third letter: Notice outlining Fines and Water Shut-Off. This grants an additional 30 days to comply.
WHAT IS THE FINE FOR BACKFLOW TEST NON-COMPLIANCE
The current fine for non-compliance is $1,500. No business or homeowner, including senior citizens, is exempt from providing the results of a backflow test to the Village. The certified tester files the proper paperwork with the Village at the completion of the test, so the homeowner is in compliance with the County requirement.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS
If you have any questions, you can call the Engineering Division of the Village Public Works Department at 516-465-4010.