Is a Reduced Pressure Backflow Assembly (RPBA) the only assembly I can install on my irrigation system?

Yes, RPBA provides the best backflow protection against the high hazards of an irrigation system. The RPBA provides a warning sign when the assembly is failing and does not allow backflow to occur. A Double Check Valve Assembly (DCVA) is not allowed for new installation because it has no exterior indication of failure, which can be as high as 15%. This means a DCVA could have passed a test but started to fail soon after, a problem that would not be caught until the next annual test, leaving customers unknowingly without protection.

Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB) is testable, but proper operation requires the assembly and sprinkler heads to be installed at a certain height and the assembly must also pass testing. Even if the test for the PVB was good, the assembly’s operation may be compromised because of improper installation. A correctly installed RPBA is required instead of the PVB since the installation of the sprinkler heads downstream of the RPBA does not affect the assembly’s operation.

Atmospheric Vacuum Breakers (AVB) are non-testable devices that also require certain installation requirements for the device and sprinkler system. There is no test to determine if this device is working properly and the operation of the device may be compromised by modifications to the sprinkler system. A properly installed RPBA is required instead of the AVB since modifications of the sprinkler system downstream of the RPBA do not affect the assembly’s operation and the RPBA can be tested to verify proper operation.