Limitations for homeowners
Owners of single-family homes and townhomes can only install or replace “non-testable” backflow devices including atmospheric vacuum breakers (std. no. ASSE 1001); hose bibb vacuum breakers (std. nos. ASSE 1011 and 1019); dual check valves (std. no. ASSE1024); and dual check valves with atmospheric vent (std. no. ASSE 1012). Piggyback style townhomes and other forms of multi-unit construction are not included; these type properties contain shared plumbing systems and are commercial in nature, requiring licensed plumbing service firms to perform plumbing work.
Plumbing Service Firms
Besides being the water purveyor for much of Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties, MD, WSSC Water is also the plumbing inspection jurisdictional authority as established under Maryland law (Public Utilities Article). Per MD law, and subsequently, the WSSC Water Plumbing Code, only plumbing firms trading under the license of a registered/insured master plumber may provide plumbing services which include the installation, testing, and replacement of any “testable” backflow assembly.
Under the supervision of the registered master plumber, the firm may employ other licensed master plumbers or journeyman plumbers to perform general plumbing services. These individuals must be further certified to provide cross connection-related services such as testing and repairing/rebuilding “testable” backflow assemblies.
Courtesy List of Plumbing Service Firms
The following link is a list of certified firms who have declared they provide this specialty line of services. WSSC Water has validated their licensing credentials, but does not endorse these firms; you are free to choose any licensed firm.
Courtesy List of Cross-Connection Trainers
The following link is a list of certified instructors who are trained and certified to provide training to the plumbing service providers. Existing Master Plumbers and Journeyman Plumbers or candidates seeking either of these two licenses must obtain their training and certification from an approved trainer.
Initial training for first-time cross-connection technicians shall be a minimum of a 32-hour course and the certification is good for three years. Individuals seeking re-certification must complete an 8-hour course, which is also good for three years.
WSSC Water’s automated backflow tracking system does not permit for any grace period; you must be current with your certification and registered with the WSSC Water licensing department in order to submit test reports. For those who have taken a hiatus from providing services and have allowed their certification to lapse, recertification must be obtained within 12 months of expiration, or you will have to complete the full 32-hour course, in order to re-register.