WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The time to act is now, or you could get your water shut off.

With more than 2,200 City of Wichita water customers not in compliance, the City is ready to start turning off customers next week.

Megan Lovey with the City says they started sending out notices after the first of the year that a deadline was approaching to get water backflow valves checked by an approved contractor.

“Some more drastic action and that is really just to protect our water supply,” said Lovely. “For about 2,200 customers in Wichita who have city water sprinklers who are not in compliance, and they just have to call a certified company and have those appointments scheduled.”

Lovely says the issue with backflow valves is for customers who have a sprinkler system attached to city water. If the backflow malfunctions and is not working, then contaminated water could flow back into the clean water supply.

While the city has continued to send out letters to customers who have not had their backflow valves checked by an approved contractor, action could be taken starting Tuesday, Sept. 12.

Contractors who do the work say it could cost you about $50-100 to have the backflow checked by a professional, depending on who you hire.

“You don’t want to have your water shut off,” says Chris Miller, owner of Amazing Green Landscape. “I can tell you the City of Wichita does work with people, and they send out multiple, you know, reminders.”

Miller says getting your water shut off for not having compliance is a hassle. But he says a bad backflow valve could cost you a lot more than water being shut off.

“And we get calls at the last minute,” says Miller. “People need to have the valves checked. But in some cases, we have seen people with a water bill for (one month) $1,500 because water may have been leaking for a long time, and they just never knew it.”

Miller says it can take as little as 20 minutes for a city-certified technician to check your backflow valve. The technician can check to make sure used water does not back up into clean city water. A contractor on the city-approved list will let the city know you are in compliance.

Getting the backflow valve checked is not required for sprinkler systems that are not hooked up to city water. The City says it will not disconnect on first notice. Or second notice. But with so many people not complying with a deadline that was mandated earlier in the year, there is concern that a bad backflow valve could contaminate a lot of clean water for many customers.

If you got a letter to comply with backflow valves, the City says you have until Tuesday the 12th to at least get the ball rolling and have a technician scheduled to come check your backflow valve.

The City has a list of approved backflow valve technicians on its website.

Click here to learn more about the City’s backflow requirements. Or call 316-219-8916 for information on how to achieve compliance.