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How to Remove a NYC DEP Backflow Violation - Failed to Install Backflow Device Summons New York City

Updated: Oct 4, 2023


The NYC DEP (Dept of Environmental Protection) typically issues ECB violations or a "Failed to install backflow prevention device(s)" summons from NYC BWSO when a proper backflow device is not installed on an incoming building water service.

The NYC DEP requires certain businesses and residential properties install an approved backflow prevention device. The backflow prevention device is required to prevent contamination of the city drinking-water supply.

To determine whether or not your property requires a backflow prevention device and to work on DEP Violations and/or ECB Violation Removal, hire a Licensed Professional Engineer (PE) such as:

Built Engineers

call 646.481.1861

There are some some properties that are typically required to install a backflow prevention device:

  • Properties with in-ground irrigation sprinklers

  • Properties with swimming pools

  • Premises with multiple water service lines

  • Metal plating, cleaning, processing or fabricating facilities

  • Photo-processing facilities

  • Laundries and dry cleaners

  • Commercial car washes

  • Greenhouses

  • Hospitals, Clinics and Laboratories (including veterinary hospitals)

  • Medical and Dental Offices

  • Funeral Parlors

  • Food processing plants and meat/fish packers

  • Dye Plants

  • Paper processors

  • Auto Repair Shops

  • Breweries

  • Tanneries

  • Exterminators

  • Large residential dwellings with water boilers that use rust-inhibitors or other water treatment chemicals, (“treated water boilers”)

  • Sewage treatment plants or handling facilities

  • Premises with roof tanks and elevated storage lines

  • Canneries

  • Slaughterhouse/Live Poultry Processing Facilities

  • Ice Manufacturing Facilities

  • Printing Facilities

  • Supermarkets

  • Premises with large boilers or chemically treated boilers

  • Warehouses (with toxic chemical storage)

  • Premises with Commercial or Public Kitchens

  • Premises with water cooled equipment or chillers

  • Premises with Groundwater Wells

  • Premises that Reuse or Recycle Water

  • Shipyards and Marinas

  • Schools and Colleges

  • Food Preparation Facilities

  • Nursing Homes

  • Barber Shops and Beauty Salons

Building owners that are required to have a backflow device on an existing incoming service will eventually receive a NYC DEP violation order. Typically, once proof is shown to the NYC DEP that a Professional Engineer or Registered Architect has been hired to rectify the issue, an extension is granted. If progress is not made and documented, an ECB violation will be issued by the Environmental Control Board with a civil penalty of up to $1,000. If the violation is not addressed, it may result in shutoff of the building water supply.

NYC DEP Backflow Prevention Device Handbook
Download PDF • 9.06MB

Built Engineers can assist in clearing your NYC DEP and ECB violations. We can help determine the correct device as well as the most cost-effective design based on the unique conditions in your building. Built Engineers will help you legalize your existing services and ensure no future fines.

Built Engineers

call 646.481.1861

*Please note that backflow-prevention devices may reduce the pressure in the building water service and trigger the need for a domestic-water booster pump or fire-pump.*

**A suitable drain location will need to be provided if a backflow prevention device is required**

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