A cross-connection is any actual or potential physical connection between a public water system and a source of non-potable liquid, solid or gas that could contaminate the potable water supply with backflow.
For most residential Group B systems, home agriculture practices such as irrigation, “chemigation,” and raising farm animals pose the likeliest risks of contamination from cross-connections.
Group B systems that serve commercial or industrial customers have much more to consider. Toxic, pathogenic, or hazardous compounds could be present in a commercial or industrial facility. Improper plumbing or operational practices may pose a health risk if backflow were to occur.
If your Group B system serves only one building, then the state plumbing code establishes backflow prevention requirements for plumbing fixtures and equipment.
If your Group B serves more than one building or more than one service connection, the following recommendations apply:
- Establish the legal authority, policies, and corrective measures needed to implement effective cross-connection control.
- A cross-connection control specialist (CCS) should be consulted to conduct initial and periodic inspections of all buildings served by the water system.
- Install approved backflow preventers where required. Your CCS will have a list of approved assemblies.
- A certified backflow assembly tester (BAT) must be used to conduct testing of any backflow device. Backflow assemblies should be tested at least annually.
- Develop procedures for responding to a backflow incident (such as an immediate public notice (Word) to all your customers).
- Maintain all backflow assembly testing inspection records produced by the CCS and BAT.
- The cross-connection control (CCC) program for your Group B water systems involves initial and ongoing tasks. You can separate these tasks into three categories.
- CCC program development
a. Consult with a CCS and develop a program plan.
b. Describe your program and establish legal authority to implement it.
c. Develop your response plan for a backflow incident.
- CCC program initial implementation
a. Develop your record keeping and reporting system.
b. Conduct an initial hazard evaluation with your CCS.
c. Ensure the correct assemblies are installed wherever needed.
- CCC program ongoing implementation
a. Ensure annual assembly testing by a BAT.
b. Practice proper record-keeping of all test results and correspondences.
c. Periodically re-evaluate service connections.
For more information
Detailed guidance to develop a CCC program for small systems is available on our web.
Specific guidance documents on developing a CCC program for your small water system include: