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Florida requires backflow preventers on any water pipes where the risk of cross-connection is real or possible. Backflow preventers keep water from flowing backward through a pipe and mixing contaminated water with drinking water. Some of the hazards that plumbing backflow can cause include contamination from chemicals, biohazardous waste and sewage. Since 2003, all public drinking water systems in Florida must have backflow preventers. The state requires that certified backflow prevention testers test backflow prevention systems to ensure the safety of a facility or home's drinking water supply.
Check with your local water district to determine the prerequisites for tester certification. Requirements vary but some districts require that testers have plumbing contractor licensing, plumber licensing and/or repair technician certification.
Select a University of Florida Center for Training, Research and Education for Environmental Occupations (UF TREEO). The university has 14 centers around the state that provide backflow prevention assembly tester training and certification classes.
Register for the course. Centers provide courses on various dates throughout the year. Some of the offered courses consist of two weekends of classes, and some are five days straight. As of the date of publication, the cost for the course is $595.
Attend the course on the date(s) you selected. At the end, you will be able to explain how a backflow condition occurs, explain what the prevention assemblies are and how they work, and demonstrate proper testing technique.
Request an individual evaluation from the instructor to receive your certification.
You must recertify every two years.
Waiting more than 12 months after your certification expires requires you to retake the training course.