Backflow Prevention

Residential Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Information Sheet

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Residential Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection

Canby Utility, your water supplier, is committed to providing all our water customers with safe drinking water. It is our responsibility for cross connection control that begins at the water supply source and ends at the point of delivery to the water user’s premise, but we need your help to prevent contamination through back flow from the customer side to keep our water safe throughout the system.

Residential customers who have potential cross connections are responsible for preventing contaminants from entering the public water system from their individual plumbing systems by installing and maintaining approved back flow prevention assemblies.

What is a Cross Connection?
A cross connection is a point in the plumbing system where the public potable water supply  is connected or has the potential of being connected directly to a source of non-potable substances.  Under certain hydraulic conditions, pollutants or contaminates can enter the public potable water system (back flow) through these unprotected connections.  Cross connections are installed each day because people are unaware of the problems they can create.

Why is Back flow Prevention so important?
Clean drinking water is not something you should take for granted. We all need to do our part to ensure that our homes and businesses have clean water every day.

What are some examples of a Residential Cross Connection?
Examples include residential fire system, lawn irrigation system, swimming pool, hot tub, pond, water feature, or even a wash bucket and outside faucet.

What can you do to Help?
Fortunately, you can help prevent contamination of the public water system due to backflow. If your irrigation system does not have a backflow prevention assembly, you need to install an approved assembly or device as required by your specific situation.

If your system does have a backflow device, ensure that it is in good working order by having it tested annually and the test results forwarded to the Canby Utility
Water Department.

If a water hose is used to fill a pool, hot tub, pond, water feature, even a wash bucket make sure it is protected with a hose bibb vacuum breaker installed on the faucet.

Does water ever flow backwards?
Drinking water normally flows in one direction, public side to customer side, however under certain circumstances it can flow in the opposite direction. This is known as “backflow”. A significant drop in public side water pressure possibly caused by a water main break or extreme high usage on the water system, or due to a pump or thermal expansion on the property side are backflow conditions. Under these conditions, a connection not protected could allow pollutants to be siphoned back into the public water system.