Backflow prevention devices

The Queensland Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2019 section 101 of state legislation requires all local governments to maintain a program for registering, maintaining and testing testable backflow prevention devices (BPDs) installed within their local government areas.

BPDs prevent the reverse flow of water from polluted sources from entering a drinking water supply system. A BPD installed at the property boundary prevents contamination from entering the town mains. Zone and individual devices prevent contaminated water from flowing backwards into the property's drinking water supply system.

Each testable BPD installed in the region requires registration with Council. On installation, an authorised, licensed person must test and inspect the device. The device is then subject to an annual renewal fee. A backflow endorsed licensed plumber must inspect and test the device each year.

The following circumstances usually need the installation of backflow prevention devices:

  • an irrigation system connected to a mains water supply
  • fire hose reels or hydrants
  • a commercial or industrial activity or machinery connected to a mains water supply
  • water outlets in proximity to pollutants, grease traps or chemicals
  • underground rainwater tanks with mains water backup.

Read the examples of backflow prevention devices(PDF, 875KB) factsheet to learn about how to identify a testable device.

Property Owners Responsibility

It is a property owner's responsibility to:

  • register all testable BPDs with Council.
  • keep each device in good working order.
  • have each device tested yearly by a backflow endorsed licensed plumber, regardless of whether it is installed for the first time or replacing an existing device.

Failure to conduct backflow testing could pose a risk to public health. Penalties apply for non-compliance.


Council charges an annual renewal fee for all testable BPDs. The renewal period runs from 1 July to 30 June. Council issues the notice to the property owner of the premise containing the backflow device(s).

The annual registration fee funds Council's Backflow Prevention Program, which involves:

  • managing the register
  • performing audits
  • investigations
  • sending correspondence to property owners.

Authorised testers responsibility

After testing a device, the tester must provide Council and the property owner with a copy of the test report (Form 9) within 10 business days.

Removal or replacing a testable BPD

Removal or replacement of a device requires the lodgement of a Form 4 to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) within 10 business days. This is the responsibility of the licensed plumber. Once lodged, the plumber supplies a copy to the property owner.

QR2id lodgement process

Council had over 11,000 devices registered at the end of December 2021, a number that grows each month.

To assist in the effective management of the BPD register. Council utilises a free QR code app called QR2id in conjunction with a BackflowID tag. The app benefits authorised testers by saving them time when reporting and submitting test results.

Download the QR2id app.

Contact Council if you have an untagged testable BPD installed on your property. An officer from Council's plumbing services team will attend and tag the device.

Visit BackflowID to learn more and to watch an instructional video. 

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

What is the due date for the licence renewal?

Payment for the licence renewal is due 1 February 2022.

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Can the renewals be issued via email?

Unfortunately, this option is not currently available.

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Who is the renewal notice issued to?

Renewal notices are issued to the property owner of a premise containing a backflow device/s. They were previously issued to the licensee/device owner so this could be the first time a renewal has been received in some instances.

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Where is the backflow prevention device located within the property?

If you’re unsure as to where the device/s are located, contact Council to confirm.

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I have further questions, who do I contact?

Should you have any further queries regarding backflow renewals, contact Council.

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