Backflow testers help prevent the backflow of waste infecting the public water supply. It's imperative that every water supplier within each state employ backflow testers who are well-trained and knowledgeable on the prevention devices that protect a community's running water.
To become a backflow tester, you must obtain training, resulting in a valid certificate issued from your state.
- Locate an approved backflow prevention certification program in your area. Contact your local public water supply company or health department to inquire about obtaining a certificate in backflow prevention. Some states, however, may not offer local certified programs. In this case, you could benefit from an American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA) certificate, which may be recognized in your state. You will need to inquire with the water and health departments to confirm. The ABPA is a North American organization governing the rules as it pertains to backflow prevention throughout the entire county.
- Fill out the application for the certificate program. You will find an application either at the water or health department, or online. When returning the application, a fee is required. Application fees vary from state to state. The ABPA requests a fee of $60 when submitting an application to its certification program.
- Train to become a certified tester. The training combines classroom and field study in the theory and design of backflow prevention assemblies. Your local certification program or the ABPA will provide information and instructions on your training.
- Take the test. Broken up into two parts, the test comprises a written exam and a performance exam designed to test your theoretical knowledge and hands-on ability.
- Receive your certificate after successfully completing the program and passing the exams. The certificate will include the date of completion as well as your certification number. An ABPA tester certificate is valid for three years. You will need to recertify and take another test after this time.
If you have at least two years of experience as a backflow prevention tester, you can take the test for certification at any local testing site.