What Are Plumbing Cross Connections?
A cross connection is defined as an actual or potential connection between a public water supply and a source of possible contamination or pollution. All homes have potential cross connections.
The water pipes and plumbing fixtures that make up cross connections can be the link for contamination to get into the drinking water supply. This can be a serious health hazard within your home and can be harmful to the public water supply if a backflow condition occurs. Backflow happens when the flow of water into your home is reversed by a sudden drop in pressure or a pump causing backpressure. The result of cross connection contamination is that chemicals, poisons and bacteria might find their way into the water you drink.
What Goes Wrong?
Water pressure can suddenly drop because of heavy usage, a fire in the area or a broken water main. When that happens, contaminated water could be siphoned back into your plumbing system from unprotected cross connections within your home. Even though Brighton has a very reliable water distribution system, these pressure drops do occur somewhere in the city almost every day.
What are the City's requirements?
Cross-connections can cause even the highest quality potable water to become contaminated. In order to keep your drinking water safe, the City is committed to install and replace (as resources allow) residential water meter yokes, for meter yokes provided with dual check valves. Single-family utility accounts must also comply with applicable backflow requirements imposed by the Plumbing Code and Building Department at time of construction. Single-family residential utility accounts represent a lower hazard and are not required to comply with the Annual Backflow Testing Program, nor Retrofitting Backflow Program (at this time). Be aware that farm or estate lots may be required to comply with backflow requirements if deemed necessary by Utilities Department.
What can you do?
Be water-wise about plumbing cross connections. Help yourself, your family and your community by eliminating unprotected cross connections. Help the City of Brighton’s Water System and your neighbors by filling out a Residential Plumbing Cross Connection Survey and returning it to Brighton’s Utilities Department. Residents are also encouraged to voluntarily test irrigation backflow prevention devices annually to help us ensure the assemblies are operating properly.