Charlotte Water

Backflow Prevention Installation & Inspection Requirements​

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Irrigation Systems – Commercial and Residential

All new irrigation systems installed on a lot that is platted and recorded after July 1, 2009, must be connected to a separate irrigation meter installed by Charlotte Water.​

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Application Process

To inquire about fees and obtaining a metered connection with Charlotte Water, call 311 (locally) or 704-432-2854 and ask for "New Services".

Effective January 3, 2017, Charlotte Water  began implementing fees for backflow prevention plan review and inspections that trigger compliance requirements. The City of Charlotte adopted a fully allocated cost recovery rate of 100% for regulatory user fees. Charlotte Water is collecting fees, in a phased approach, as follows:
  • January 2017 (Fiscal Year 2017) – 50% cost recovery
  • July 2017 (Fiscal Year 2018) – 75% cost recovery
  • July 2018 (Fiscal Year 2019) – 100% cost recovery

Charlotte Water will be assessing fees on projects which trigger compliance enforcement of Article IV of Chapter 23, Charlotte City Code. Fees will be collected along with other fees in the building permit fees collection process. Charlotte Water will be assessing approved regulatory fees for Backflow compliance as follows:
  • Backflow Plan Review: $188.00 for each project, which requires an installation of a new backflow preventer or the alteration of an existing one. 
  • Backflow Inspection: $199.00 for each inspection required for newly installed, relocated, or replacement backflow installations.   Fees will be assessed for each backflow assembly needing inspection.

Please email us if you have any questions about these fees.


Installation Process and Requirements

Work must be conducted by a licensed irrigation contractor. Once installed and Code Enforcement inspection is completed and "passed", contact Charlotte Water (CLTWater) for an inspection of backflow prevention assembly. Inspection requests for both installations should be coordinated to minimize delays. Once the work has passed inspection, the meter will be activated by the Charlotte Water backflow inspector. 

After the inspection, an initial test of the backflow assembly is required, and the original test form must be submitted to backflowtests@charlottenc.gov, (Fax)  704-632-8362, or mail:

Charlotte Water c/o Account Services - Backflow
5100 Brookshire Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28216

To inquire about obtaining approval and/or permits from Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement Department, call 704-336-3829. To schedule the inspection, contact Backflow Prevention at 704-391-5188.

All other metered connections (Excluding Single Family or Duplex Residential)
All piping connected between the building and the Charlotte Water meter must be installed per any applicable NC Building Code and inspected by Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement Department according to its requirements. A permit from Code Enforcement is required. Code Enforcement will inspect the work and release the permit holds it controls. As part of the permitting and/or meter application process with Charlotte Water, a Backflow Service Application (BSA) will be required to be completed and returned with appropriate documents and/or fees. This BSA becomes a Charlotte Water backflow permit request to install the backflow preventer. This work involves the backflow preventer and the piping five feet before and five feet after the backflow preventer. Charlotte Water needs to inspect all work involved with installing the backflow preventer. Once the work has passed inspection, the Backflow Hold controlled by Charlotte Water will be released by the Installations and Development Services Section of the Engineering Division.

After the inspection, an initial test of the backflow assembly is required and the original test form must be submitted to backflowtests@charlottenc.gov, (Fax) 704-632-8362, or mail:

Charlotte Water c/o Account Services - Backflow
5100 Brookshire Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28216

Call Charlotte Water Backflow Inspections at 704-391-5188 to verify the status of a Backflow Hold or to schedule a backflow inspection. 



Backflow Inspection Checklist

Once your Backflow Prevention Assembly has been installed, please review the following checklist of requirements before requesting an inspection from Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement or Charlotte Water:

Irrigation System Requirement
  • Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement will inspect all piping from the Charlotte Water installed meter up to and including the Reduced Pressure Principle (RP) backflow assembly. An open ditch is needed for the inspection. A meter will be required to pass inspection. It will be important to coordinate activities to minimize conflicts with the open ditch. Once Code Enforcement's inspection is completed, Charlotte Water will inspect the RP backflow assembly and activate meter upon acceptance.
Piping Material
  • For ¾" to 1" Piping Material: Type K or Type L Copper Tubing, 1" min. Galv. Steel Pipe, or Sch. 40 PVC (conforming to ASTM D1785, pressure rated for water, using 1120 PVC compounds). When using Sch. 40 PVC pipe, Sch. 80 PVC fittings are required. When using PVC, vertical support at backflow assembly will be required and horizontal support is recommended. Proper priming (purple color) of PVC is required.
  • For 11/2" to 2" Piping Material: Type K or Type L Copper Tubing or
    Galv. Steel Pipe
  • For 2 ½" to 12" Piping Material: Ductile Iron Pipe(minimum pressure Class 350), Type K or Type L Copper Tubing
Backflow Assembly
  • Correct type assembly installed as required by Charlotte Water
Concrete Pad
  • All backflows 1½" and greater in size require a minimum of 4" thick concrete pad
    All backflow smaller than 1½" requires a minimum of 4" thick washed stone
Cover
  • Above Ground Installations need an insulated cover meeting ASSE 1060 requirements
  • If it is an RP, the cover should provide drainage per Charlotte Water requirements
Non-removable enclosures: If the structure is non-removable and must be entered in order to test or repair the assembly, the same minimum and maximum clearance that is specified for vault installations shall apply.

Vault
  • Below Ground Installations requires a vault with a concrete or stone bottom
  • All vaults must have drains according to Charlotte Water requirements
Clearances / Location
  • Make sure you meet all minimum required clearances
For Reduced Pressure Principle Assemblies: Installed upright horizontal - aboveground outside zoning setback according to Charlotte Water standard details; Min. height from relief port to the ground 12" and max. 30" Inside Building / Partially Buried Vault (special approval needed)

Size, Minimum clearance
¾"-2", 30" from wall or any obstruction on the side utilized for testing and 6" from other side
2½" -12", 30" from wall or any obstruction on the side utilized for testing and 12" from other side
All, 4" from wall to shut off valve
All, Floor drain or air-gap drain

For Double Check Valve Assemblies: Must be Installed upright horizontal - above or below ground; outside zoning setback if above ground according to Charlotte Water standard details. If below ground, device must be installed in vault with a concrete or stone bottom and provide for drainage to free atmosphere. Min. height from bottom of assembly to the ground 12" and max 30"

Vault
  • ¾"-1", 8" from wall or any obstruction on the side utilized for testing and 4" from other side
  • 11/2"-2", 12" from wall or any obstruction on the side utilized for testing and 6" from other side
  • 4" clearance on each end 
  • 2½"-12", 30" from wall or any obstruction on the side utilized for testing and 12" from other side
  • 8" clearance on each end
Inside building (special approval needed)
  • All, 4" from wall to shut off valve
  • ¾'-2", 30" from wall or any obstruction on the side utilized for testing and 6" from other side
  • 2½"-12", 30" from wall or any obstruction on the side utilized for testing and 12" from other side