Cross-Connection Control Program

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What is a cross-connection?

  • Any temporary or permanent connection between a public water system or consumer's potable (i.e., drinking) water system and a source or system containing non-potable water or other substances. An example is the piping between a public water system or consumer's potable water system and an auxiliary water system, cooling system or irrigation system.

What is backflow?

  • The reversal of flow of water or other substances through a cross-connection into the public water system or consumer's potable water system.
  • Backflow into a public water system can pollute or contaminate the water in that system making it unsafe to drink.

What is backpressure backflow?

  • Backflow caused by a downstream pressure that is greater than the upstream or supply pressure in a public water system or consumer's potable water system.
  • Backpressure can result from an increase in downstream pressure, a reduction in the potable water supply pressure, or a combination of both.

What is back-siphonage?

  • Backflow caused by a negative pressure (i.e., a vacuum or partial vacuum) in a Public water system or consumer's potable water system.
  • Back-siphonage can occur when there is a stoppage of water supply due to a nearby fire fighting, a break in a water main, etc.

Why does Sacramento Suburban Water District need to control cross-connections and protect its public water system against backflow?

  • Because backflows can contaminate the drinking water in the public water system, California Code of Regulation, Title 17, requires each Water Supplier to protect the public water supply from contamination by implementing a State approved cross-connection control program.

How does Sacramento Suburban Water District implement the Cross-Connection Control Program?

  • The Program requires all new service connections and certain existing service connections to install an approved backflow prevention device.

What is a backflow prevention device?

  • A means or device which prevents pollutants and contaminants from backflowing into the public water system.

Why do backflow preventers have to be tested annually?

  • To ensure the proper operation of a backflow prevention device, it must be tested and certified upon installation and annually thereafter as required by state code.
  • Laboratory tests on all approved backflow prevention devices indicate that some components may fail in time, and periodic testing is the only method to ensure that the backflow prevention device is functioning properly and protecting the public water system.

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