Protecting You and Your Drinking Water System from Potential Contamination
State regulations require that public water systems develop a Cross Connection Control Program to help protect your drinking water from unprotected connections that may exist in your plumbing system. Our Cross Connection Control Program has four main elements:
- Survey of each Customers Property. This survey asks the customer to look at the plumbing for their water pipes and determine if a cross connection exists. This survey is required at a minimum of every five years.
- Installation of Protective Backflow Prevention Devices. This is the requirement for having a backflow prevention device installed where known unprotected cross connections exist.
- Testing of Backflow Prevention Devices. Owners of testable backflow devices connected to the public water supply are to have a certified backflow operator perform the required testing. Double check valves and reduced pressure zone devices are to be tested annually while pressure vacuum breakers are to be tested once every five years. A copy of this test result is to be provided to the Town of Dove Creek.
- Public Education Program. Educating our water customers is a critical element to eliminating all cross connections.
What is Cross Connection?
Did you know that your drinking water system is susceptible to contamination through water usage in your own building? This can happen when the drinking water system is connected to uses that make the water no longer potable. This is commonly referred to as a cross connection.
Common Cross Connections Found in a Building
Fire Sprinkler Lines, Irrigation Sprinkler Lines, Boilers, Automatic Soap Injectors, Hoses in Sinks, Hose Bibs, Alternate Water Supplies, Swimming Pools, and Display Fountains.
What is Backflow?
Under certain conditions the unintended reverse flow of fluids can pass through a cross connection and could potentially contaminate the drinking water distribution system presenting an immediate health risk to you and potentially to your neighbors.
Cross connections within buildings cannot always be avoided but they can be controlled. Local jurisdictions require that private buildings be protected from contamination from cross connections in accordance with the local plumbing code. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment requires that public water systems control cross connections at all applicable service connections through various assemblies and methods. Cross connections are typically controlled via the use of air gaps, check valves and backflow prevention assemblies.
Under certain circumstances, a private residence may have a cross connection that is not covered under the local plumbing code. The Colorado Primary Drinking Water regulation 11 requires that your water provider ensure that an adequate backflow prevention assembly is installed at the service connection or at the point where the cross connection is created. The attached questionnaire is intended to provide you with the opportunity to evaluate your building for potential cross connections and ensure that your drinking water system is being protected adequately from potential contamination. It is also intended to allow the water purveyor to identify any cross connections that are not covered under the local plumbing code.
Please note that the Colorado Revised Statutes 25-1-114 (1) (h) do not allow anyone to install, maintain or permit an uncontrolled cross connection that is connected to a drinking water system that supplies water to the public. Your building is connected to a water system that supplies water to the public.
The Town of Dove Creek has been compelled to adopt regulations and programs by ordinance to identify potential cross connections and require any potential cross connection be controlled with an acceptable device. This questionnaire will enable the Town of Dove Creek to identify potential cross connections and begin the process of protecting the public water system from potential contamination.
The consequence of this ordinance to the property owner will be the cost of installing testable backflow preventers and the following annual testing reports required to remain in compliance as required by the State of Colorado.
If you have any questions about the State regulations please go to https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/drinking-water-cross-connection-control-program to review the program.