Backflow Tester Certification: A Best Practice Guide

INTRODUCTION
Purpose The purpose of this document is to educate various stakeholders on the revisions to the backflow tester training and certification program. This document will outline:
  • terms/definitions,
  • the changes to the backflow tester certification program,
  • critical implementation dates,
  • procedures for certification, renewal, and recertification,
  • applicable program information, policy, and forms, and
  • a list of Department-approved training providers
Target Audience This guide is intended for certified backflow testers, training providers, parties interested in testing backflow prevention assemblies, owners, managers, and operators of water systems, technical assistance providers, and local/state/federal regulatory personnel.

TERMS/DEFINITIONS
Department.The Department means the New York Department of Health.
Tester.Tester means a person who has met the certification requirements specified in 10 NYCRR Section 5-1.31 and has been issued a certification of course completion by a Department-approved training provider to test backflow prevention assemblies as outlined in 10 NYCRR Section 5-1.31.
Training Provider.Training Provider (Training Provider) means a backflow tester certification training school that has been approved by the Department and is responsible for and can ensure/attest to an attendee's continued presence, participation and successful completion of a Department-approved training course.

REVISIONS TO THE BACKFLOW TESTER CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
In 2009, revisions were made to the Public Health Law that no longer obligated the New York State Department of Health (Department) to issue backflow tester certifications. Training providers have been designated as the entity that may issue a certification of course completion.
The main revisions to the program are as follows:
  • the Department will no longer issue backflow tester certifications,
  • training providers will issue certification of course completion,
  • to qualify for renewal, testers should take and successfully complete a Department-approved renewal training course. Starting May 1, 2011, there will no longer be a requirement to send 30 tests to the Department as part of the renewal of a certification application,
  • the Department will no longer send out renewal reminder letters to backflow testers notifying them of their certification expiration date, and
  • applicable program information, policy, and forms, and
  • the Department no longer has a provision for reciprocity with other states.

CRITICAL IMPLEMENTATION DATES
Date Implementation Step
March 1, 2011 Training providers will be issuing certifications to all initially certified backflow testers that successfully complete a Department-approved training course.
May 1, 2011 Training providers will issue all (initial and renewal) backflow tester certifications. The Department will no longer accept applications for the issuance of backflow tester certifications.

PROCEDURES FOR INITIAL CERTIFICATION, RENEWAL,
RECERTIFICATION AND RECIPROCITY
Certification Procedure/Implementation Dates
INITIAL CERTIFICATION Starting March 1, 2011
  1. Take a Department-approved training course from a training provider. A list of courses can be found on the NYSDOH Approved Backflow Prevention Device Tester - Certification Courses webpage.
  2. Upon successful completion of the training course, the training provider will issue the certification of course completion (Note: please allow time for processing).
  3. A certification will be valid for three (3) years.
  4. Three (3) months before a certification expires, a tester should follow the procedure for renewal as outlined below under the May 1, 2011 heading.
RENEWAL On or Before April 30, 2011 Starting May 1, 2011
  1. Submit an "Application for Certification of Backflow Prevention Device Tester", DOH-1024 to the Department along with 30 tests conducted during the three (3) year renewal period,
    1. If application is approved, the tester is issued a Department certification that is valid for three years. Three (3) months before a certification expires, the tester should follow the renewal requirements under RENEWAL - Starting May 1, 2011.
    2. If the application is disapproved, the applicant should follow the renewal requirements under RENEWAL - Starting May 1, 2011.
  1. Take a Department-approved training course from a training provider. A list of courses can be found on the NYSDOH Approved Backflow Prevention Device Tester - Certification Courses webpage.
  2. Upon successful completion of the training course, the training provider will issue the certification of course completion (Note: please allow time for processing).
  3. A certification will be valid for three (3) years.
  4. Three (3) months before a certification expires, a tester should follow the procedure for renewal under RENEWAL- Starting May 1, 2011.
RECERTIFICATION
- Within one (1) year after certification expiration date
On or Before April 30, 2011 Starting May 1, 2011
Follow procedure listed under RENEWAL - On or Before April 30, 2011. Follow procedure under RENEWAL - May 1, 2011.
RECERTIFICATION
- One (1) year after certification expiration date
On or Before April 30, 2011 Starting May 1, 2011
Follow procedure listed INITIAL CERTIFICATION. Follow procedure under INITIAL CERTIFICATION.
NOTE: If a tester's certification expires, the tester is no longer certified to test backflow prevention assemblies. Continued testing without a current certification may result in an enforcement action. New York State will no longer have a provision for reciprocity.

PROGRAM INFORMATION, POLICY & FORMS
INFORMATION & POLICY
FORMS

LIST OF TRAINING PROVIDERS
A list of certified testers can be found on the NYSDOH Approved Backflow Prevention Device Tester - Certification Courses webpage.

LIST OF CERTIFIED TESTERS
A list of certified testers can be found on the NYSDOH Certified Backflow Testers - County Listing webpage.

QUESTIONS OR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
For questions, additional information or paper copies of the information contained in this guide, please email the Bureau of Water Supply Protection or call 518-402-7652.