Cross Connection Control

State law requires that all public water systems develop a Cross Connection Control Program (Backflow) to help protect our drinking water from unprotected plumbing connections to the public water supply. 

What are Cross Connections?
A plumbing cross connection is when a direct link exists between drinking water and an actual or potential cause of contamination.  Common household cross connections are hose end chemical/fertilizer sprayers, sewer cleaning devices, boilers and water softener drain lines.  Water pipes and plumbing fixtures that make up cross connections can be the link for contamination getting into the water supply.  The result of cross connection contamination is that bacteria, chemicals or poisons may find their way into the water you drink.

What is Backflow?Hydrant Flushing
There are two types of backflow.  Back-siphoning backflow begins when normal flow is reversed due to a vacuum or partial vacuum.  Drinking water through a straw is a good example of back-siphoning.  Back-pressure backflow is created when the pressure downstream becomes greater than and overwhelms the supply pressure.
For unprotected plumbing connections, if water pressure suddenly drops, it can create a vacuum (siphoning) situation that can pull contaminated water or sewage back into the water supply lines.
A drop in water pressure can be caused by in home plumbing repairs, fire fighting activity, system flushing or water main breaks.

The City's Program and Regulations for protecting our water supply can be found in Chapter 23 of the City's Municipal Code.  In summary, there are four main elements to the program:

  1)    Survey of each Customer's Property.  
City Municipal Code 23-4-6.  Surveys and investigations; responsibility of consumer.
(1) It shall be the responsibility of the consumer to conduct or cause to be conducted, period surveys of water use practices on his or her premises as necessary to determine whether there are actual or potential cross-connections in the consumer's water supply system.
  2)   Identification of Unprotected Cross Connections through the Surveys, and Requirements to Install a Protective Backflow Prevention Device where needed.
  3)   Testing of Testable Backflow Prevention Devices
  4)   Public Education

 

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