The Macon Water Authority

790 Second Street • Macon, GA 31202-0108 • (478) 464-5600

Backflow Prevention

The water that runs through the pipes of the Macon Water Authority’s (MWA) distribution system is meant to run in one direction.  When water attempts to run in the opposite direction in the system, it is call backflow.  Backflow can be one of the greatest threats to the safety and integrity of local water systems.  For that reason, the MWA has implemented a Backflow Prevention Program (BPP) to ensure the prevention of potentially hazardous cross-connections (any actual or potential connection between the public water supply and a source of contamination or pollution) to the public water system.

Backflow issues can be caused by construction damage to existing water mains, sudden interruptions in the operation of water production facilities, natural disasters, or other emergencies.  Backflow from commercial, industrial, and institutional customers can contaminate the local water supply.

Currently, the MWA requires all new commercial and industrial facilities and all irrigation systems to have an approved backflow prevention device installed on the customer side of the meter, with the goal of preventing a cross-connection to the public water system.  The goal of the BPP is to retrofit the meters of commercial, industrial, and institutional customers of the MWA.

The MWA backflow prevention program is modeled after the Georgia Rules for Safe Drinking Water, which requires suppliers of public water, such as the MWA, to implement a BPP that will ensure the prevention of potentially hazardous material contaminating the public water system through cross-connections.

The MWA program began in earnest after a September 2003 industry audit revealed that only 3% of local businesses had adequate backflow protection.  Since the backflow program’s inception at the MWA, that number has risen to 93%.  Following the audit, the MWA also created a Backflow Prevention Manual, which was approved by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) in March of 2004.

As part of that program, all new businesses must install backflow prevention devices as part of their new construction.  The Macon Planning and Zoning Department also requires all existing structures to obtain approval from the MWA prior to the issuance of any permits.  This approval ensures that all existing structures have an operable Backflow Prevention Device installed behind the existing water meter.  Older businesses that do not have the devices must have them installed to meet current and future code requirements.

 All businesses that have existing backflow prevention devices already installed also are required to have them tested annually by a “Certified Backflow Prevention Tester.”

State Certified Backflow Testers

Customers can read the MWA Backflow Prevention Manual for more details, and view a list of Certified Backflow Testers (links below) in Macon-Bibb County and the surrounding areas for assistance.

For more information on the MWA’s Backflow Prevention Program, please contact Adrienne Onibe, Backflow Prevention Coordinator, at 478-464-5643, or via email at

Macon Water Authority Backflow Prevention Manual

GA State Certified Backflow Testers List



Macon Water Authority
790 Second St.
P.O. Box 108
Macon, GA 31202-0108
(478) 464-5600
(478) 741-9146

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