What is backflow prevention? (Cross Connection Control Program)
Quite simply, backflow prevention is the process of minimizing the possibility of reverse flow from a source that has the potential to contaminate (a hazardous cross connection) the main source or public water supply system. For instance, in the municipal water distribution environment, water under pressure is delivered to customers through a complex network of pipes, pumps and storage tanks. As long as these pipes always remain under pressure, there is no problem. However, if a sizeable leak develops somewhere in the distribution system, the water delivery devices at your business may reverse from a pressure state to a vacuum state. That means that any direct connection to things like fire sprinkler systems, hoses connected to sinks, direct tubing connections, lawn irrigation systems, etc. will actually be “sucking” or pulling this potentially contaminated water from your location into the public water supply.
A backflow prevention device prevents this from occurring. With all the different types of businesses using many different chemicals in today’s society, we hope you can appreciate the importance of this program.
How does it affect me as a PAWSD commercial customer?
PAWSD is required to implement this State and Federally mandated Cross Connection Control Program. This means that as the area’s water purveyor, we are given the task of managing a program to protect all customers from potentially contaminated water. To do this, we must require any residential, commercial, and industrial accounts that are considered a risk to install the proper device that provides this protection. Further, this device is required to pass annual inspections to prove that it is still working properly and protecting the water supply. This program will affect all commercial customers in that you are responsible for the proper installation, maintenance, and annual testing of these devices. The actual costs you will incur can vary widely on installation depending on the size and location of the device you need. Your local licensed plumber will be able to answer those questions for you. Some licensed plumbers may not be certified to actually test these devices after installation. By law, only state certified backflow prevention technicians are able to perform this function, so be sure to check and see if your licensed plumber has this certification. We will be happy to provide you with the names and numbers of technicians certified in this area.
Why is it important?
We certainly realize that the costs to our customers for this mandatory program may be significant. For the reasons mentioned above, however, you can’t put a price on a safe public water supply. PAWSD staff is more than willing to assist you with resources and information. Please call 970-731-2691 for any assistance.
What do you need to do?
Depending on the risk or hazard classification that has been determined, PAWSD will be personally contacting you. Higher classification accounts will be contacted first.You may want to advise your plumber ahead of time or visit these other websites for more information.