More information on Cross-Connection control can be found here.
Backflow Assembly Testing
What is a Backflow Assembly?
A backflow prevention assembly is used to protect potable water supplies from contamination or pollution due to back-flow.
All backflow assemblies are testable pieces of equipment. They can be tested, with the use of a special gauge, to ensure that they are functioning properly. All backflow assemblies must be tested at least once a year by a certified tester. Any newly installed backflow assembly or recently repaired backflow assembly must also be tested after installation or repairs have been made.
Furthermore, all equipment used in the testing process must be calibrated once a year by a certified calibration company.
Often, a company or organization will schedule to have all of their backflow assemblies tested at the same time.
What is a Cross-Connection?
Cross-connections are actual and potential unprotected connections between a potable water system and any source or system containing unapproved water or a substance which is not safe.
An example of this could be a garden hose stuck into a sewer or drain line. Another example could be a direct connection between a water system's drinking water and irrigation or process water, which is non-potable.
A Cross-Connection Survey provides a water system with an overview of any area where they are at risk for having a potential connection between their potable water and any non-potable source, including water or chemicals. The purpose of a Cross-Connection Survey is for a trained specialist to identify all actual or potential cross connections, and make recommendations as to how to protect your potable water. All public water systems are required to have a cross-connection control program, and may be required to have a cross-connection survey performed every several years.
In most cases this is taken care of by a backflow assembly. This is a special piece of equipment which only allows water to flow in one direction, protecting anything upstream of the assembly from contamination or cross-connection by anything downstream of the assembly. Backflow assemblies are a testable piece of equipment, and are required to have testing done by a certified tester once a year.