Cross Connection Control & Backflow

Cross Connection & Backflow

Although related to each other, cross connection and backflow are different concepts in water supply systems. Backflow refers to the reversal of water flow within a system, and cross-connection is the physical link between potable and non-potable water supplies that can lead to backflow and contamination issues. Cross connections are often the cause of backflow problems in plumbing systems.

KPUD operates and maintains a cross connection control program which requires all backflow prevention assemblies to be tested upon installation, repair, or relocation, and annually by a certified Backflow Assembly Tester (BAT). Tests must be completed annually to avoid potential termination of service. In accordance with Washington State Department of Health requirements per Washington Administrative Code (WAC 246-290-490), KPUD has “…the responsibility to protect the public water systems from contamination due to cross connection. Cross connections which can be eliminated shall be eliminated. The Purveyors shall work cooperatively with the local authorities to eliminate or control potential cross connections.”

The Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1986, and regulations of most states, state that the water purveyor has the primary responsibility of preventing water from unapproved sources, or any other substances, from entering the public potable water system. The health agency has the overall responsibility for preventing water from unapproved sources to enter either the potable water system within the water consumer’s premises or the public water supply directly.