Cross-Connection (Backflow Prevention)

What is Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention all about?

Water is ordinarily distributed in one direction: from the water supplier to the consumer. However, it is possible, and not all that uncommon for this to be changed by various hydraulic conditions. The flow of water may be effectively reversed, flowing from the consumer to the water supplier. This is called Backflow . The water supplier is then faced with the problem of having water introduced into the potable water distribution system from a source it cannot control: the consumer. If this consumer happens to have non-potable substances (those not suitable for human consumption) on the premises, these substances could find their way into the customer's water pipes when backflow occurs. These substances could, in turn, get in to the water distribution system. This causes contamination or pollution of the water distribution system.

The physical connections between drinking water pipes and substances which are not meant for consumption are called cross-connections. To control these cross-connections and prevent backflow, a Backflow Preventer must be installed at the point of the cross-connection. These backflow preventers must be tested or inspected upon installation to assure they are operating properly. Additionally, they must be tested or inspected annually to determine their continued capability to prevent backflow.