Cross-Connection Control Program

What is a cross-connection?

IrrigationA cross-connection is a connection between the potable water supply and a contaminant source. Some examples include: a garden hose with one end submerged in a solution, (soapy water, fertilizer, or a pool) a supply line, a toilet, or a lawn irrigation system.

Why should I be concerned?

Cross-connections can allow the backflow of an undesirable toxic substance or contaminant into the MWRD drinking water supply. This can occur when water pressure is lower than normal as the result of maintenance or repairs. Back siphonage can also occur which is cause by negative pressure.

What are some common household cross-connections hazards?

Hose connections are an extension of the water system. The installation of vacuum breakers on each hose connection ensures no harmful materials are drawn back into the water supply.

Boilers build-up pressure from the expansion of water and can result in the boiler water being pushed into the water supply. The installation of a backflow preventers can eliminate this risk.

If not properly installed, lawn irrigation systems can allow contaminants to enter the drinking water system. Protection can be provided by installing backflow prevention devices such as an atmospheric vacuum breaker or a reduced pressure device.

Do I need backflow prevention?

If you have any questions regarding cross-connections, please contact Frank Maccagnano at the Cross Connection Control Department at 615-848-3222.