Irrigation System Requirements

Oregon State Law requires a backflow preventer assembly to be installed between the home’s drinking water piping and irrigation system piping (OAR 333-061-0070). The Oregon Health Authority requires that Springfield Utility Board’s (SUB’s) Water Division inspect these irrigation systems on a regular basis for the purpose of verifying proper assembly installation and operational integrity.

SUB’s residential water customers are required to have a backflow assembly in the following cases:

  • You have an in-ground irrigation system
  • You have a separate irrigation meter
  • You have a well water system connected to your home water supply, which is served by SUB Water

This is not an all-inclusive list. A backflow assembly may be required if there is a risk to water quality that warrants it.

sprinkler on lawnResidential customers installing a new irrigation system are required to install a Reduced Pressure Backflow Assembly (RPBA) to prevent contaminants from back flowing into the home and public water supply.

Irrigation systems can be contaminated with herbicides, pesticides, and pet waste. If your irrigation system is connected directly to your home water supply or your backflow assembly is not operating correctly this allows for potential contamination of your drinking water. To prevent occurrences like this from happening, SUB’s Water Division complies with state-mandated backflow prevention requirements to ensure safe, quality drinking water that is free from contaminants.

If You Plan to Install an Irrigation System

  1. Notify us. Contact us before you install an irrigation system at (541) 726-2396.
  2. Obtain a permit. Contact City of Springfield for a permit application at (541) 726-3753.
  3. Learn about protecting water quality and your plumbing system. Read the Customer Stewards in Preventing Cross-Connections (PDF). Also, the installation of a backflow assembly may alter the customer system operating pressure, flow, and/or influence other hydraulic functions. Additional plumbing adjustments may be required to prevent thermal expansion damage. Please refer to the Thermal Expansion Brochure (PDF).
  4. Install a backflow assembly. Be sure to install your backflow assembly according to our installation requirements. We recommend hiring a professional installer. Provide the installer with a copy of the letter and accompanying information. SUB is not responsible for plumbing corrections or delays in obtaining or continuing water service due to backflow assembly installations that do not meet Cross-Connection Control Program Full Manual (PDF) standards.
  5. Inspection. Once the backflow assembly is installed, contact SUB Water Division at (541) 726-2396 and the City’s 24-hour building inspection request line at (541) 726-3769 to schedule an inspection.
  6. Test upon installation. Contact a third-party Backflow Tester from our Certified Backflow Tester List (PDF) to test the backflow assembly. The tester will submit the results to us. Also available is the Certified Backflow Assembly Tester Code of Conduct (PDF).
  7. Test prior to each irrigation season. The backflow assembly must be tested annually by a tester from our Certified Backflow Tester List (PDF). We’ll notify you by mail when it’s time for your annual test.

If You Already Have a Backflow Assembly

You are responsible for having it tested prior to each irrigation season by a third-party Backflow Tester from our Certified Backflow Tester List (PDF). We will notify you by mail when it’s time for your backflow assembly test.

Provide a copy of the reminder letter to your Backflow Tester. This will give the Tester the information he needs to submit the results to SUB Water Division. Testers have the forms to be submitted to SUB Water Division.