Backflow and Cross-Connection Prevention
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was originally passed by congress in 1974 to protect the public’s health by regulating the nation’s public drinking water supplies. The 1986 and 1996 amendments (Public Law 104-182) greatly enhanced the existing law by recognizing source water protection, operator training, and funding for water system improvements and public information as important components of a safe drinking water program. Western Heights Water Company enthusiastically enforces Title 17, Sections 7583-7605 of the California Code of Regulations for Backflow and Cross-Connection Prevention Policies. Our mandate is to protect the public potable water supply from the possibility of contamination or pollution by isolating within the consumer’s internal distribution system or the consumer’s private water system such contaminants or pollutants (which could backflow into public water systems) and promote the elimination or control of existing cross-connections, (actual or potential), between the consumer’s in-plant potable water system and non-potable water system, plumbing fixtures, and industrial piping systems.
What is Backflow?
The undesirable reversal flow of water or mixtures of water and other liquids, gases, or other substances into the distribution pipes of the potable supply of water from any source.
What is Cross-Connection?
Any actual or potential connection or structural arrangement between a public or a consumer’s potable water system and any other source or system through which it is possible to introduce into any part of the potable system any used water, industrial fluid, gas, or substance other the intended potable water with which the system is supplied. Bypass arrangements, jumper connections, removable sections, swivel or change-over devices, and other temporary or permanent devices through which or because of which backflow can occur are considered to be cross-connections.
• A direct cross-connection is a cross-connection which is subject to both backsiphonage and backpressure.
• An indirect cross-connection is a cross-connection which is subject to backsiphonage only.
Backsiphonage is a form of backflow due to a reduction in system pressure, which causes a sub-atmospheric pressure to exist in the water system. Backpressure is any elevation of pressure in the downstream piping system (by pump, elevation of piping, steam pressure, air pressure, etc.) above the supply pressure at the point of consideration, which would cause or tend to cause a reversal of the normal direction of flow.
Various examples of cross-connection are:
• Hose bibs
• Hose attachments to apply hazardous or harmful substances
• Lawn irrigation systems
• Fire sprinkler systems
• Wash basins and service sinks
• Ornamental fountains and pond
Western Heights Water Company currently has 230 backflow prevention assemblies installed in our local service area. All devices are required to be tested on an annual basis. Each year, in October, customers receive a notice to have their device tested. A $15.00 administration fee will be added to each backflow customer’s water account. Upon request, Western Heights Water Company will send customers a list of certified testers. Failure to have your backflow device tested could result in termination of service.
Western Heights Water Company sincerely, hopes this information provides a clear understanding of the importance for Backflow and Cross-Connection prevention efforts.