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Backwater Valve Information and Rebate Program Application


Updated February 03, 2014

Backwater valves, also known as backflow prevention devices, are installed on a sewer lateral that connects the building to the public sewer in the street. A properly working backwater valve allows flow to go in only one direction (out), preventing wastewater from entering your building during surcharges of the public sewer system or back-ups caused by storms.

DC Water is expanding its backwater valve rebate program in the Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park neighborhoods to now reimburse eligible residents up to $6,000 for the purchase and installation of a backwater valve. More specifically, the expanded program offers the following:

  1. For those property owners who have not yet taken part in the program, and had a documented sewer back-up in 2012, the reimbursement rate is now 100 percent, up to $6,000.
  2. For those who have not experienced a sewer back-up, but have been identified as living in an affected neighborhood, DC Water offers a rebate of 90 percent of the cost associated with installing a backwater valve, up to $6,000 per property.
  3. Property owners who were already reimbursed under the old program could be eligible for an additional rebate which will be mailed to them.

Letters explaining DC Water's expanded program and application forms have been sent to all eligible property owners based on address and engineering criteria. If you have not received a letter in the mail, and wish to determine the eligibility of your property, please contact Emanuel Briggs at (202) 787-2003.

If you are eligible and you have installed a backwater valve, you must submit the following in order for DC Water to process your rebate:

  1. Rebate application form and waiver.
  2. Approved permit for installation of your backwater valve.
  3. DC Water itemized plumber's receipt, located below under "Additional Resources".

The expanded program will still be retroactive to July 1, 2012, but is now accepting applications through 2022.

Please note that DC Plumbing Code requires a permit for this work, which must be obtained by a DC-licensed Master Plumber (This applies to the installation of the valve itself, not to the preparation or any floor work.) If you had a backwater valve installed by a non-DC licensed plumber since July 1, 2012 but before DC Water announced this program, you must do the following to qualify for the rebate:

  1. Be eligible based on DC Water's address and engineering criteria.
  2. Get a DC-licensed Master Plumber to pull a permit for the work that was already performed.
  3. Submit the work for a DCRA inspection as part of the permit process.
  4. Present us with the rest of the rebate paperwork.

Additional Resources

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