Cross Connection

What is a cross connection?

A cross connection is a connection between a potable drinking water supply and a possible source of contamination or pollution. Pursuant to the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1971, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established national standards for safe drinking water. Each state is required to enforce the various regulations set forth in the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is the entity responsible for enforcing the Safe Drinking Water Act in Texas, and as part of its enforcement efforts, TCEQ requires that public water suppliers implement and enforce a Cross Connection Control Program in accordance with Texas Administrative Code Title 30, Chapter 290 of the Rules and Regulations for Public Water Suppliers.

What is backflow?

Backflow is the undesirable reversal of flow in a potable water distribution system. Water that is always under pressure can only flow in one direction. Then how can water flow in reverse? Water will always flow towards the point of lowest pressure. If a water main were to break or if the fire department opened several fire hydrants to help fight a fire, the pressure in the water main could drop. The demand upstream could cause a reversal in flow.

Cross connections and the possibility of backflow need to be recognized so they do not occur. A garden hose submerged in a hot tub, swimming pool, car radiator or attached to an insect/fertilizer sprayer could siphon the liquid back into the water main. Water from an irrigation system could be siphoned back into the public water supply.

Backflow prevention devices are designed to protect the public water system from these types of concerns.

Testing of backflow prevention devices

All backflow protection devices must be tested upon installation, repair or relocation. All backflow devices installed in high hazard situations must be tested annually. Because backflow prevention devices are mechanical devices that will degrade over time, all commercial backflow devices must be tested annually to ensure they are in working order.

Woodlands Water has chosen to partner with Vepo, LLC to allow for the online submission of Backflow Prevention Assembly Test and Maintenance Reports. All testing information will be entered directly by the tester into the online password protected system provided by Vepo, LLC. Testers will no longer be able to submit paper test reports directly to Woodlands Water.

Finding or becoming a registered tester

All Backflow Prevention Assembly Testers (BAPTs) are required to register with Vepo, LLC. Upon registration and verification of license, insurance, and gauge calibration, the tester will be added to the approved list of Backflow Prevention Assembly Testers.

Note: Backflow prevention assemblies on fire protection sprinkler systems are required by the State Fire Marshall to be tested and/or repaired by a BPAT who is a full-time employee of a fire protection sprinkler company that is licensed with the State Fire Marshall’s Office.

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