For Immediate Release

September 17, 2014

Contact: Tammy Sharp

Media Relations




Public Service Announcement: City of Leesville alerts business owners of new state requirement concerning backflow prevention devices 

LEESVILLE, La.-The City of Leesville is beginning a campaign to alert business owners within the City's limits of the need for some to install backflow prevention devices.


Louisiana Administrative Code 51:XIV requires public water suppliers to protect their water systems from cross-connections and prevent backflow situations. Public water suppliers must conduct cross-connection control inspections of their water customers' properties to evaluate cross-connection hazards.


If a customer is found to have a potential or actual cross-connection contamination hazard, the customer will be required to eliminate the hazard and/or install an appropriate backflow prevention device at the service connection and/or at the hazard.


"We're trying to determine which businesses within the City limits will need to install backflow devices," said Leesville Mayor Rick Allen. "Although our investigation isn't complete yet, it appears that less than one-third of the City's 450 businesses will need to install these devices." Businesses that are of particular concern are those that deal in chemicals, including paint stores and paint and body shops.


The cost for installation of the backflow prevention devices will be at the water customer's expense and can be as much as $1,200. In addition, an annual inspection is also required, also at the customer's expense, at a cost of about $150.


"We want to give people plenty of time to make arrangements for this extra expense," said Mayor Allen. "The cost of the backflow prevention can be a pretty big lick for some businesses. While the City's water system is not under deadline yet to have this project completed, other water systems in both Vernon and Beauregard parishes have already required these changes from their customers."


What is backflow and why is it important?


Water systems depend on water pressure to keep water flowing in the proper direction through the pipes. However, anything that causes a drop in water pressure can create a reverse flow from a business's plumbing system back into the public water system. This is called backflow.


For example, if you have a hose submerged to fill a bucket, and the water system suddenly loses pressure, the flow of water can be reversed, sucking any contaminants in that water backwards into the system.


"We want to make sure that everyone has safe drinking water," said Mayor Allen. "At the same time, we understand that the cost for these devices for some business owners can be overwhelming. We'll do everything we can at the City to lessen the burden for business owners."


While the City does not yet have anyone on staff who is certified to inspect backflow prevention devices, Mayor Allen said the City is investigating how to certify current staff so that the City can provide inspections in the future to business owners at a reduced fee than they would find otherwise.


For more information about backflow prevention, view this video.


If you need more guidance on what your business needs to do, please call Martin May at the Department of Public Works at 239-2995.


The City of Leesville, the best hometown in the world, is a historic yet visionary community. As the parish seat of Vernon Parish, where Fort Polk and the Joint Readiness Training Center are located, the City of Leesville is home to military families, retired veterans and a growing and strongly patriotic citizenry that provides the basis of a well-rounded and work-ready workforce.   


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