Opt-In Testing Program

The City of Durham Code of Ordinances requires annual testing of backflow preventers (BFPs) to ensure they are in good working order to protect the quality of water for you and the rest of the city’s water users. The only method to determine satisfactory operation of backflow prevention assemblies is to have them tested by a certified tester with approved test equipment. The City of Durham Code of Ordinances requires the annual testing of all backflow prevention assemblies by a certified tester, with the results submitted to the City.

New Residential Service

Water Management is excited to offer a new service to residential customers who have irrigation BFPs. It is the City’s hope that this new service will streamline the testing process for you. Participation in this program is optional. If you prefer to directly retain your own testing contractor, you may do so as long as you remain compliant with the City’s testing requirements.

Under this program, the annual backflow test associated with your automatic lawn irrigation system will be performed by an approved tester under contract with the City of Durham. Testing will typically begin in mid-April and continue through the end of October. The city has negotiated a cost of $95 for the testing of each assembly. The cost includes the annual inspection of your assembly and any minor repairs or replacement parts that are required. The cost also includes submittal of your test to BSI, an online electronic portal. If you do not have a water account in your name associated with the address where the backflow test will be conducted, you may not enroll in the program. Please note, the City is not responsible for backflow preventers that freeze and are not winterized properly.

In previous years, the charge for this service was applied to the City of Durham water account associated with the address where the test was to be conducted. This charge for backflow testing has been removed from your water billing account.

  • Online payments will now be made through PAYMENTUS (details in How to Enroll section below). 
  • The cost for the 2022 testing program will be $95.
  • At the beginning of each calendar year all customers are removed from the program.
  • Your account will be enrolled in the program when:
    • Your account is compliant (no past due testing from the previous year).
    • Payment for current year has been made using the CCC payment portal. Payments are due 60 days prior to your testing period, which will remain the same as in previous years.
    • Failure to make timely payment will default your enrollment, however you are still required to have your backflow tested and submitted by the assigned deadline.
    • Applicants who miss the payment deadline can pay and enroll for the following year.

What to Expect

The testing process requires a 15-minute interruption of water service and less than one gallon of water is used to perform the test. Please ensure that the backflow preventer is installed for our approved testing contractors to perform the test. Once the test has been completed, the City’s contractor will leave a door hanger with the test results. You will not have to submit any documentation regarding the BFP test. The testing contractor will submit the results directly to BSI Online.

How to Enroll

If you would like to register for this program, follow the easy steps below;

  • Go to https://ipn2.paymentus.com/rotp/dhcc
  • Click on “Select a Payment Type” and choose “Res Opt-In Testing Program” from the options.
  • Enter your ADDRESS and LAST NAME.
  • Click “Continue”.
  • Follow the prompts to make the payment.

Once your payment has been approved, you'll receive a confirmation email, and a copy will be sent to [email protected].

How to Check your Testing Status

All submissions of backflow tests in Durham are required to be submitted to BSI, an online electronic portal where you can check the status of your annual testing and sign up to receive notifications about your account. Follow the procedures below to find out if your contractor has submitted your annual test, check the status of the backflow (pass/fail), or sign up for notifications.

Mandatory Program Enrollment

The City of Durham Code or Ordinances requires annual testing of backflow prevention assemblies. The Cross Connection Control office establishes the annual testing schedule and mails notifications to homeowners approximately 60 days prior to their due date.

Owners who fail to have their backflow prevention assemblies tested and submitted by the deadline are subject to penalty for violating City code.

In order to protect the quality of water for you and the rest of the City's water users, the City has implemented a mandatory residential enrollment program. Customers who have failed to have devices tested or repaired and are delinquent by two months or more will automatically be enrolled in the program.

Upon enrollment in the mandatory testing program, customers' accounts will be billed the contractor's annual fee plus a $100 administrative fee for each assembly that requires testing. A certified tester will be dispatched to conduct the test. The fee will be applied to the water accounts once the tester is dispatched, regardless of whether or not the backflow assembly is able to be tested.

Important Tips

Here are some additional important points about the program:

  • If the testing process demonstrates that the backflow assembly is damaged beyond repair, the contractor will report that information to you. You, as the owner, are responsible for the replacement of the assembly. As an example, backflow assemblies may freeze and break if they are not winterized properly. Typically, when this occurs, a new backflow assembly has to be installed and requires a backflow permit (separate).
  • The contractor performing the backflow testing is responsible for any damage to your property.
  • A copy of the test results will be left for the customer and the tester will provide all proper documentation for the annual backflow testing requirement into BSI.

For opt-in program information, contact the Cross Connection Control Program by phone at (919) 560-4194 or email