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Cross Connection

Cross-Connection Control Program

What is Cross-Connection?

A cross-connection is any temporary or permanent connection between a public water system or consumer's potable water system and a source or system containing non-potable water or other substances. One example is the piping between a public water system or consumer's potable water system and an auxiliary water system, cooling system, or irrigation system.

What is a backflow?

Backflow is the reversal of flow of water or other substances through a cross-connection into the public water system or consumer's potable (i.e. drinking) water system. Backflow into a public water system can pollute or contaminate the water in that system making it unsafe to drink. There are two types of backflow...backpressure backflow and back-siphonage.

Why do backflow preventers have to be tested annually?

In order to ensure the proper operation of a backflow prevention device, it must be tested and certified upon installation and annually thereafter as required by state code. Laboratory tests on all approved backflow prevention devices indicate that some components may fail in time, and periodic testing is the only method to ensure that the backflow prevention device is functioning properly and protecting the water system.

Why does Atascadero Mutual Water Company (AMWC) need to control cross-connections and protect its water system against backflow?

Because backflows can contaminate the drinking water in the public water system, California Code of Regulation, Title 17 requires each water supplier to protect the public water supply from contamination by implementing a State-approved cross-connection control program. To protect the public health of all of our drinking water customers and to ensure the drinking water quality in our system is safe, AMWC has a vigorous Cross-Connection Control Program, which is administered by the San Luis Obispo County Environmental Health agency.

How does AMWC implement the Cross-Connection Control Program?

AMWC adopted Board Policy 1.2.22, Cross-Connection Control, on November 8, 1995 (amended on March 10, 2010), which identifies the requirements for AMWC’s Cross-Connection Control Program. The Program requires water connections with specific criteria to install an approved backflow prevention device. Examples of some of the service connection types are listed below, and a full list of requirements is listed in Board Policy 1.2.22, Cross Connection Control.

  • Properties with an auxiliary water supply, such as a private well

  • Properties with dedicated fire line services

  • Commercial properties with irrigation systems, swimming pools, spas or hazardous chemicals

What are double-check valve assemblies (DC) and reverse pressure principal devices (RP)?

Double-check valve assemblies and reverse pressure principle devices protect the water in our system from substances that may contaminate it. For instance, fire protection systems are often required to be protected by these devices.

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