Written by IAPMO 7:10 am ASSE, Backflow Prevention

ASSE Series 5000 Revision

Backflow prevention is the backbone of what ASSE International does. Therefore, we include some backflow articles or columns in each edition of Working Pressure magazine. Once each year we dedicate the entire magazine to backflow prevention. Welcome to this year’s Backflow Prevention Issue.

ASSE is an ANSI-accredited standards developer. For cross-connection control, ASSE develops standards for both products (backflow assemblies) and people (backflow testers, repairers, and cross-connection control surveyors, among others). The following ASSE product standards for testable backflow prevention assemblies were revised or reaffirmed in 2020 and 2021: ASSE 1013 (RPZ), ASSE 1015 (DC), ASSE 1020 (PVB), ASSE 1047 (Reduced Pressure Detector), ASSE 1048 (Double Check Detector), and ASSE 1056 (Spill Resistant Vacuum Breaker). Each of these standards have been thoroughly reviewed by subject matter experts on working groups, and the standards have also been reviewed and approved by the ASSE International Product Standards Committee. We can all feel confident that assemblies listed to these backflow standards are up to date and meet the most stringent requirements in the industry.

ASSE/IAPMO/ANSI Series 5000, Cross-Connection Control Professional Qualification Standard, is a series of standards for people who work in the field of cross-connection control. It has been in revision for over a year and is nearing completion.

A primary focus of the working group members has been the importance of correctly and thoroughly reporting the results of tests on backflow prevention assemblies. This strong focus on test reporting emphasizes what it means to properly complete and submit test report forms. The Series 5000 has had sample report forms in the appendixes for many years; however, for the current revision, the working group members determined that more emphasis needed to be put on the responsibilities of backflow testers in reporting test results and why this information is so important. The purpose of the backflow prevention assembly test report is to convey detailed information identifying the backflow assembly and that assembly’s operational condition to the owner and the appropriate Authority Having Jurisdiction.

The effective administration of any active cross-connection control and backflow prevention program requires the cooperation of all involved parties. At the forefront of these cooperative efforts is the backflow assembly testing company and the individual backflow assembly testers. Because every installed backflow prevention assembly presents an actual or potential entry point of pollutants or contaminants to the potable water distribution system, it is essential that the testing company communicate all of the required and applicable information through the test report to the water authority to effectively administer the backflow prevention program.

The revised ASSE Series 5000 will also include the use of auxiliary water systems, in addition to potable water systems. The appendixes will also have some changes — sample test report forms have been revised to reflect the changes within the standard, flowcharts have been improved upon, and some test procedures have been clarified. Notes have also been added on accurately performing the one-hose test procedure.

ASSE’s field of expertise is far broader than just backflow prevention, but we recognize that our work in backflow prevention laid the groundwork for many of the other programs that we are now deeply involved with. We also see that many of the backflow testers, who we have been certifying for over 25 years, are the very same people becoming certified to other standards that ASSE has developed. Plumbers certified in Infection Control Risk Assessment; Sprinkler Fitters certified in Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-based Fire Protection Systems; Plumbers, HVAC Technicians, and Sprinkler Fitters certified as Water Quality Specialists – all recognizing the importance of demonstrating their competence by getting certified.

A big shout out to all of the ASSE certified backflow testers reading this month’s issue. We hope you enjoy the articles. If you have any suggestions for future articles, please let us know. You can contact me at marianne.waickman@asse-plumbing.org.


IAPMO develops and publishes the Uniform Plumbing Code®,the most widely recognized code of practice used by the plumbing industry worldwide; Uniform Mechanical Code®; Uniform Swimming Pool, Spa and Hot Tub Code®; and Uniform Solar Energy, Hydronics and Geothermal Code — the only plumbing, mechanical, solar energy and swimming pool codes designated by ANSI as American National Standards — and the Water Efficiency Standard (WE-Stand)™. IAPMO works with government, contractors, labor force, and manufacturers to produce product standards, technical manuals, personnel certification/educational programs and additional resources in order to meet the ever-evolving demands of the industry in protecting public health and safety.

Last modified: December 19, 2023