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Contact Information:


James City Service

Authority (JCSA)

Directions - Directory

119 Tewning Rd.

Williamsburg, VA 23188




Hours of Operation

Engineering & Operations
7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


P: 757-253-6800
F: 757-259-4115

For questions about:


Starting or Stopping Service


Web Self-Service or Kubra



P: 757-229-7421
F: 757-229-2463

7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Water / Sewer Emergencies


P: 757-229-7421
7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m

After Hours

Special Information Hotline


Miss Utility

Dial 811 in Virginia or

Online Applications


Backflow Prevention Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Continued


13. How much will the inspections/maintenance cost? Though the JCSA monitors the installation and maintenance of these assemblies as required by the Virginia Department of Health, we do not have any influence or control over the contractors pricing and it can vary from one testing contractor to another.  Currently the prices we have been quoted are averaging from $35 to $100.  We also understand that group pricing, whether through a neighborhood or homeowners association is an option that may lower your annual testing cost.  Combining the test with other irrigation system maintenance may also net a savings for the homeowner.  The JCSA does not endorse, guarantee, or warrant any work performed by the testing contractors.  All interactions between customers and contractors are private transactions between these two entities.

14. Will there be a list of certified testers available to us? Where can we view this list? Yes, a list of certified testers will be sent along with a letter reminding the homeowner to obtain the test. The list and the test form are also available here.  The list can also be found at the end of our Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Program available for review on the JCSA website. The JCSA advises you should also check the website each year to ensure that your chosen tester is still a properly certified and approved tester as certifications are subject to expiration and revocation.  The JCSA does not endorse, guarantee, or warrant any work performed by the testing contractors.  All interactions between customers and contractors are private transactions between these two entities. 

15. Why is the testing contractor that I used before not on your list now? Backflow Prevention Device Worker certifications are subject to expiration and revocation.  You should inquire of your chosen tester’s appropriate certification and also check the JCSA website each year to ensure that your chosen tester is still a properly certified and approved tester.  If you desire, you may also check for your chosen contractor’s certification at the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation website at

16. Will I receive notification when to perform my test? Yes – The JCSA sent notices to approximately 20% of our residential irrigation system owners in September 2008, and the remaining customers should receive a letter in the Spring of 2009.  Any new irrigation system installations that occur after April 2009 or any existing owner who does not receive a notification letter prior to April 2009 should still contact a certified backflow tester to arrange to have your backflow assembly tested.  We also track the backflow assembly information in our database which will generate a reminder letter to our customers reminding them when their annual test is due.

17. What if I don’t receive a letter?The absence of a reminder letter does not void the requirement of the annual inspection required by the JCSA Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Program. Please note that the JCSA has attempted to mail a letter to all irrigation system owners.  We have also posted information on the County’s website, submitted information in local newspapers, in our waterline and the County’s fyi newsletters, and have included information with your water bill.  Should you not receive a letter, please contact us at 757-259-4138 so that we can properly monitor and send you the annual testing notifications.

18. What do I do with my test report? Your chosen tester should send a copy to the JCSA within 30 days of the test date and provide you a copy for your records.  Please retain your copy in your records in case the contractor fails to send it to the JCSA or it is lost.

19. What happens if my backflow assembly fails the test? If your assembly fails the test you should make arrangements to have the assembly repaired or replaced, as required, and retested within 15 days.

20. What if I do not get my backflow assembly tested or fail to have an improperly working backflow assembly repaired or replaced? The JCSA hopes that you will share our desire to maintain a safe water distribution system.  However, if you choose to not comply with this mandated program, you will risk a potential loss of water service and can be charged with a misdemeanor facing possible fines of up to $1,000 per occurrence, per day. 

21. Are any other backflow devices required for residential homes? Yes – All outdoor faucets and hose bibs that have threaded connections where a garden hose can be attached are required to have backflow prevention protection.  This may be in the form of a frost-proof automatic draining outdoor faucet with built in backflow preventer or by the use of a screw on hose connection vacuum breaker (HVB) that can be purchased at local hardware or home supply stores. 

faucet with built in backflowhose bibb with builtin backflowsill cock with avb
Outdoor faucets with built in backflow protection
hose connectionhose connection Local Backflow Assembly PicsLocal Backflow Assembly Pics
Screw on type Hose Bibb Vacuum Breakers

***Note:       Customers should take necessary actions to ensure that their backflow prevention device or plumbing does not get damaged during freezing temperatures.

22. Why do we need hose connection vacuum breakers (HVB’s) on faucets and hose bibbs? Backflow can occur either by siphoning or back pressure from garden hoses. To prevent this, hose bibbs or faucets that are connected to a municipal water supply must be equipped with hose connection vacuum breakers (HVB's) to prevent water in the hose from moving back into the water supply. The Virginia Plumbing Regulations specify that a atmospheric–type or pressure-type vacuum breaker or permanently attached HVB must be installed on all water outlets threaded for hose attachments except those for automatic clothes washers and water heater drain valves.  

Backflow can occur due to siphoning if the pressure in the water supply suddenly drops to a low level. This can happen if the municipal water pumping system fails, a municipal water line breaks or when fire trucks pump from fire hydrants. In each of these cases, the pressure in the water supply lines may drop below atmospheric pressure as the lines drain, creating a vacuum which can pull water (and any pollutants or contaminants) from a garden hose into the water supply lines.

Backflow can also occur due to back pressure if the pressure in a garden hose exceeds that in the supply pipeline. This can occur if pumps such as chemical injectors are connected to the garden hose. Backflow due to back pressure can also occur even when pumps are not used. For example, if a spray nozzle which can be shut off is used on the end of the garden hose and that spray nozzle is closed but the faucet is left open, the pressure in the hose will equilibrate with the water supply pressure and the hose will expand in response to the supply pressure. However, a sudden large water usage in the house or at another location can cause the supply pressure to drop. This will cause the hose to contract, forcing water from the hose back into the municipal supply. Pressure can also build up in a pressurized hose if air is trapped in the hose and then expands as it heats in the sun. This pressure buildup can force water from the hose backwards into the water supply pipelines. Hose connection vacuum breakers will prevent backflow from occurring from these sources by opening to relieve the pressure build-up as soon as the pressure in the hose becomes greater than the supply pressure.

A HVB is a small valve assembly that protects an individual water outlet (see pictures below). They are simple to install by threading the assembly onto the male hose threads of the faucet or hose bibb. HVB's are normally constructed of brass with hose threaded connectors. They are relatively inexpensive, costing approximately $5 - $10 and are available at most hardware home supply stores. They must be ASSE approved and customers should ensure that the ASSE letters are stamped on the backflow prevention device.

hose connection hose connectionHVB's are easy to install and maintain. They work by venting water to the atmosphere when backflow conditions occur. Because they are simple, spring-operated devices, little maintenance should be required. HVB's should be inspected periodically to ensure that they are working properly. These simple checks for proper operation can readily be made each time the system is used: check for leaks while the system is operating and check for proper operation of the check valve and atmospheric vent whenever the system is shut off. With little maintenance, HVB's should provide several years of reliable service, preventing backflow of water and pollutants from garden hoses back to the water supply.

***Note: An HBV is not a substitute for, nor should it be used for backflow prevention for in-ground irrigation systems.

***Note: Customers should take necessary actions to ensure that their backflow prevention device or plumbing does not get damaged during freezing temperatures.

23. Should a hose connection vacuum breaker (HVB) be used on frost-free hydrants? Yes – but the device must be equipped with means to permit the line to drain after the hydrant is shut-off. Be sure it is equipped to drain the line to prevent freezing during our colder months of the year.  Most manufacturers sell a frost proof model which has a means to allow the homeowner to drain the line to prevent damage during freezing temperatures.

***Note: Only sanitary yard hydrants are allowed to be connected to the public water supply. The homeowner may utilize a normal yard hydrant only if it is protected by an RPZ backflow prevention assembly, and it must also be labeled as “non-potable water”.

***Note: Customers should take necessary actions to ensure that their backflow prevention device or plumbing does not get damaged during freezing temperatures.


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