Backwater Device Program

Backwater Device Program


The purpose of the Backwater Prevention Device Rebate Program is to assist Everett property owners in the combined sewer system in reducing the risk of sewer backups and basement flooding during periods of heavy rainfall.


An ordinance (PDF) enacted by the City Council in August 2014 concerns sewage and storm system surcharge and backup prevention claims. The ordinance requires properties where sewer connections are considered 'at risk' for sewer backups to have backwater prevention devices (such as backwater valves) installed to reduce the risk of sewage backup. These properties are identified as "designated connections." The presence or absence of a backwater prevention device at a designated connection will affect how future sewage back-up claims are processed, as specified in the ordinance.

Rebate Program

In 2014, owners of property identified as a "designated connection" received a letter in the mail (PDF) and a postcard (PDF) informing them that they were eligible to use the city's backwater prevention device rebate program to install a backwater prevention device. The rebate covered up to $2,500 of expenses, which typically covered the complete cost of installation. If you have any questions about this program, please feel free to contact us.


The following must be done to qualify for the rebate:

  • Qualifying backwater prevention devices must be installed on a property with a 'designated connection' that has been identified by City of Everett as being at risk for sewer backups. Property owners with designated connections will be notified by mail.
  • Work must be performed by a contractor who has completed City of Everett's Backwater Prevention Device Program contractor training and is licensed to do business in Everett and the State of Washington to be eligible for the rebate. View a list of eligible contractors (PDF), this list will be updated periodically.
  • All backwater prevention device design requirements must be met and inspection protocols followed in accordance with the Backwater Prevention Device Rebate Program forms that are located below under 'Forms'.
  • Rebate applications must be completed and submitted to the City of Everett within 90 days after approval of the installation by a City of Everett plumbing inspector.

NOTE: The IRS has determined that the backwater prevention device rebate is NOT income. If you elect to have the city pay the contractor directly (using the Vendor Payment Option Form) you are no longer required to submit a W-9 as part of your backwater prevention device installation paperwork. If you request the rebate to be issued to you as the property owner, we will still require a W-9 as part of the rebate application. The W-9 will be for our files only and you will not be issued a 1099 form at the end of the year.

Backwater Device Maintenance

For backwater prevention devices located on your property, you are responsible for inspection and maintenance during your period of ownership. Our trained contractors will be able to show you how to maintain your device and additional information is available on this website under 'Inspection and Maintenance'. View our Backwater Valve Maintenance video. For any additional questions please contact Brian or Grant.