Published onMarch 30th, 2023
RPZ Testing in NYC: What You Need to Know to Maintain Clean Water
If you own or manage a property in New York City, you may have heard about RPZ testing. If you’re not sure what RPZ testing in NYC entails, read on to learn why your building must undergo this annual check and what you can do to increase your chances of passing immediately.
What Is RPZ Testing?
Checking your building’s backflow prevention device
RPZ stands for reduced pressure zone. RPZ testing is performed annually and is mandated for many property types in New York City (see more, below). This type of evaluation checks the function of your backflow prevention device, which is essential for clean water for building occupants.
What Types of Properties Must Undergo RPZ Testing in NYC?
Large residential buildings and more…
Most apartment, condo, and co-op buildings in New York City are required to have an RPZ test once per year. If you have a commercial boiler or treated boiler water, you must have an RPZ test. Other factors that indicate your building needs this test include:
- – Having a rooftop water tank
- – Using multiple city water lines
- – Having a swimming pool
- – Being one of many kinds of commercial properties that use sizable amounts of water (hospitals, greenhouses, commercial kitchens, and manufacturing facilities, for example)
What Is the Function of a Backflow Prevention Device?
Keeping your water clean
As mentioned above, an RPZ test checks your backflow prevention device. This is a component of your water system that prevents the backflow of contaminated water into your clean water supply in the event of a drop in pressure. Pressure loss is common in New York City, and there are a couple of types you should be aware of:
- – Back-siphonage occurs when a water main breaks or has to be abruptly shut off during construction.
- – Back-pressure is typically an internal problem. The pressure from your water distribution system is lower than that of the building system pressure. Back-pressure often happens in buildings with commercial boilers, rooftop water tanks, pressure booster pumps, and distributor pumps.
Without a backflow prevention device, you could wind up with dirt, sediment, rust, or chemicals in your drinking and washing water.
Where Is Your Backflow Prevention Device Located?
Three ways to find it
If you’re not sure if your property has a backflow prevention device or where it’s located, there are three ways to get an answer. Usually, these devices are located near the main shutoff valve where the city water supply enters the building. A backflow prevention device is made of metal and has two valves, one on each end of it.
Still can’t find your backflow prevention device? Try these methods of locating it:
- – Reach out to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to see if your building has a history of an RPZ installation or inspection.
- – Contact Sanitary Plumbing. We’ll come out and look around your building to see if we can find your device.
How Does RPZ Testing in NYC Work?
It is your responsibility to schedule the annual test with a certified tester like Sanitary Plumbing, who will check the integrity of your backflow prevention device.
Within 30 days of the test, a report must be submitted on the status of your RPZ test. The city can cite and fine you for failure to complete your RPZ test on time. If you go too long without completing the test, you could even have your property’s water shut off by the city.
Call Sanitary Plumbing for Your Building’s RPZ Test
A century of plumbing experience
If you are ready for your property’s RPZ test, or if you need to fix something to make certain your building passes, reach out to Sanitary Plumbing today by calling 212-734-5000. It’s much less expensive to get your RPZ test done in a timely manner than to pay the city’s fines for a late test. And of course, maintaining safe, clean water for your building’s occupants should be a high priority, and this is one way to ensure you can check off this box. Don’t wait until the last minute to contact us, as we book up quickly. Get in touch today!