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Frequently Asked Questions

Cross Connection Control

What is a cross connection?

A cross connection is a point in a plumbing system where it is possible for non-potable water or other contaminants to enter the potable water supply. Examples include a garden hose connected to a pesticide or fertilizer spray bottle, a hose submerged in a paddling pool, laundry tub or pail. Or where a potable water supply is connected to heating, cooling, processing, or manufacturing equipment.

What is a backflow preventer?

A device or assembly installed in a plumbing system that prevents a potential contaminant from entering a potable water supply. The device prevents the reversal of water flow, stopping contaminants from entering the water supply used for drinking, cooking, bathing, or other purposes.

Why is cross connection control and the installation of backflow preventers important?

Other agencies ensure the water is safe to the point of delivery; cross connection control maintains the safety of potable water within buildings, protecting their occupants and the public. 

What role does TSASK have in cross connection control and the installation of backflow preventers?

TSASK Plumbing Inspections enforces the National Plumbing Code of Canada and the requirements for the protection of potable water contained within. TSASK Plumbing inspectors ensure any cross-control device required by the National Plumbing Code has been installed correctly. TSASK Plumbing Inspectors do not test cross connection control devices.

When is a backflow preventer required?

New plumbing systems must be installed in accordance with the National Plumbing Code and Saskatchewan Plumbing Code Regulations. Permit holders are responsible for checking with their local bylaw offices and water utility regarding additional requirements for the installation of backflow prevention when performing plumbing works that may exceed plumbing code requirements.

Is a permit required to install a backflow preventer?

Yes, a permit is required. The installation of a backflow preventer is included in the base fee for a plumbing permit.

Why do backflow preventers need to be tested?

Testing ensures proper operation and that the backflow preventer is functioning as intended.

What are the testing requirements for backflow preventers?

TSASK requires testing upon initial installation as per the National Plumbing Code. Other agencies or local bylaws will determine the frequency of additional testing.

Can my plumber/contractor test a backflow preventer?

Specialized training is required to test backflow preventers. If your plumber does not have the proper training, a certified tester will need to be contacted to perform the test.

Where can I obtain the training to test backflow preventers in Saskatchewan?

As a certified tester, where can I get the Identification tags I would use to attach to a device to show I have tested it?

Email TSASK at for Identification tags.

What happens if the device fails the test?

The device needs to be repaired or replaced and re-tested.

Where can I find more Information?