The program adds another tier to the multi-barrier approach, which safeguards the municipal drinking water supply

Oxford County is seeking feedback on its proposed Backflow Prevention Program (BPP). Under normal operating conditions, water flows from the municipal drinking water system into homes and businesses through private service connections. Backflow events can occur when a change in pressure causes water to reverse this direction of flow (backflow) and travel from a private service back into the municipal drinking water system. The BPP is intended to further protect the municipal drinking water system from potential contamination due to such backflow events.

All types of properties and buildings carry some degree of hazard to the municipal drinking water system. Like most municipalities, Oxford County has proposed using the Canadian Standards Association - B64 series standard - to determine which properties and businesses pose a moderate to severe risk to the municipal drinking water system, including various industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-residential properties. Once identified, service connections to these properties will require the installation of a private side mechanical backflow prevention device to prevent the potential reversal of water flow (backflow event) into the water distribution system.

While the Ontario Building Code (OBC) requires installation of backflow prevention devices for many higher-risk properties, some premises which pose a risk to the municipal drinking water system may be excluded. The OBC also has limited requirements related to the inspection, maintenance, and testing of backflow prevention devices once installed, and this is a key deliverable of the BPP.

Oxford County hopes to join the growing list of municipalities that have introduced a formal by-law to address these limitations and strengthen the multi-barrier approach that safeguards our municipal drinking water system. The proposed Backflow Prevention By-law will guide the selection, testing and inspection frequency of acceptable backflow prevention devices, standardize the requirements for qualified backflow prevention device inspectors and introduce infractions for non-compliance. This will ensure implementation of best management practices for enhanced protection of the County’s municipal drinking water system.

Interested municipal water customers can review the proposed by-law and learn more about backflow prevention at Oxford County will also host Public Consultation Centres (PCCs) in each municipality to introduce the by-law and give customers a chance to ask questions and have input. A list of dates and locations for the PCCs is also available at


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About Oxford County

Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario at the crossroads of Highways 401 and 403, Oxford County has a population of approximately 125,000 people across eight area municipalities that are “growing stronger together.” As a partnership-oriented, two-tier municipal government, Oxford County is emerging as a leader in sustainable growth through the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan and County Council’s commitment to achieving 100% renewable energy, becoming a zero waste community and working towards zero poverty. Situated in one of Ontario’s richest areas for farmland, agriculture is a key industry that is driving innovation in sustainable industries and diversifying the local economy. Oxford County offers a thriving local arts, culture and culinary community, as well as conservation parks, natural areas and more than 100 kilometres of scenic trails. The Oxford County Administration Building is located in Woodstock, Ontario. Visit or follow our social media sites at Oxford County’s Strategic Plan is at