Backflow Installation Information

If you are a Utilities customer who has been directed to install a backflow prevention device on your water main, we want to make the process as easy as possible for you!

For more information about this State requirement, click here.

For general instructions about the process and contact information for assistance, please click here. 

For important advice about backflow issues if you also want to "go green" and use rain barrels, recycled "gray water" or install solar water heating, click here.

And here is a list of resources you might want to download or access:

  • The Building Department's Online Permit System lets you deal with the process from your home or office.  To get started, click here.
  • Public Works Department Information and Forms link page, click here.
  • Application (pdf) for a Building Permit, click here.
  • Building Department's Backflow Prevention Inspection Guidelines, click here.
  • Building Department Automated Inspection Brochure, click here.
  • Application (pdf) for a Fire Service Permit, click here.

Private well owners - Wells are the jurisdiction of the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD). Well installations and removals must be coordinated through them. You can find a link to the Well-related portion of its web site here

As a courtesy to our customers who are interested in having an existing well removed, we provide links to the SCVWD’s Well Guidelines and Demolition Applications below. Please note that well documents are the property of the Santa Clara Valley Water District and may change without notice.  To be sure you are reading the most up-to-date information, you should contact the SCVWD directly.

The City of Palo Alto does require backflow prevention on all water services to any properties with wells. This will include any properties served or crossed by well service; even if the well is not at that property.

If you have any questions or concerns about whether you fall under the mandatory requirement to install backflow prevention devices, please feel free to call our staff at (650) 496-5926 or email us.

Last Updated: Dec 1, 2016