Backflow Prevention

 


One of the requirements State Health Regulations impose on all water purveyors, is that they have a program for identifying and eliminating cross connections to the potable water system. Our goal is to assure all our residents safe drinking water and we believe that our program to identify and eliminate any possible cross connections is a vital link towards this goal. We want to assure our customers that the very last user on our water line has water that is just as safe as the very first user and that nothing has entered the system in between.

The term “Cross Connection” is defined as any actual or potential connection between a potable water system and any other source or system through which it is possible to introduce into the potable system any used water, industrial fluid, gas or other substance other than the intended potable water with which the system is supplied.

Contamination may occur under two backflow conditions; back-siphonage and/or back-pressure whereby contaminants are siphoned or forced respectively back into the potable water supply.

Back-siphonage of contaminants may occur when there is a pressure drop creating a suction or partial vacuum in the water system. This condition may occur during a line brake or high usage in fire fighting situations.

Back-pressure may occur when there are pumps or boilers on the water system, which produce pressures higher than the water system pressure.

Some likely household cross connections are:

  • A garden hose with its outlet submerged.

  • Kitchen sink spray hose with its spray head submerged.

  • Hand-held shower massager with its head submerged.

  • Garden hose used as an aspirator to spray soap or garden chemicals.

  • Hot-tub or swimming pool connected to the home plumbing system .

  • Well, spring, or cistern connected to the home plumbing system.

     

To help prevent cross connections please take the following precautions:

  • Never submerge the outlet of a garden or spray hose in any substance.

  • If you have an alternate source of water such as a well or spring it must be physically separated from the public water supply. The Virginia Department of Health regulations prohibit the connection of an unapproved water source to the public water system. Failure to comply with these regulations will result it termination of water service.

  • Install an atmospheric vacuum breaker on all hose bibs (water faucet). A hose bib vacuum breaker simply screws onto the hose bib and a garden hose or other device attaches to the vacuum breaker. A hose bib atmospheric vacuum breaker can be purchased at your local hardware store for less than ten dollars.

As mentioned above, customers having an existing source of water must have a physical separation between the source and the public water supply. You may, however, use the existing water source for such things as watering lawns or washing cars, provided the physical separation exists.

Your cooperation in helping protect the health and well being of the community is greatly appreciated.

Feel free to email David Hawks or Benny McGhee with any questions you may have concerning backflow prevention.