Cross Connection Control and Backflow Prevention Program

The City of Brighton Utilities Department’s Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention Program protects the public drinking water system from the reverse flow of potentially contaminated water. The Utilities Department protects the water entering the drinking water system, and takes pride in providing residents with high quality water. Users must be aware of cross connections and potential hazards, and cooperation with the Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention Program will keep a treated water distribution system free from impurities.

What is a cross connection?

A cross connection is defined as an actual or potential connection between a public water supply and a source of possible contamination or pollution. The water pipes and plumbing fixtures that make up cross connections can be the link for contamination to get into the drinking water supply.

What is backflow?

Backflow occurs when the flow in a customer's plumbing system reverses direction back to the water distribution system.

 Two types of backflow:

  1. Backpressure: Backflow that occurs when the pressure in an unprotected downstream piping system exceeds the pressure in the supply piping.
  2. Backsiphonage:Resulting from negative pressures in the distributing pipes of a potable water supply.

Typical causes are main breaks or pumps on private property creating higher pressure than the pressure in the water main. To protect against this happening, a backflow prevention assembly or device may be required to prevent pollution or contamination of the potable water supply.

Commercial Properties

Brighton’s Cross Connection Control and Backflow Prevention Program requires ALL Non-Single Family Residential properties to have a backflow prevention assembly on all services to contain any potential hazard from reaching the water main if a backflow event occurs. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) requires that all assemblies on private property need to be tested by a certified tester annually. Site surveys may also be necessary to assess the potential hazards on your property.

Omission to Regulations 
Due to the potential threat to public health and safety, violations involving cross connections are subject to citation and fine. Any person violating the City's Cross Connection Control Ordinance (Chapter 15, Article 36 of the Municipal Code) is subject to enforcement: fines ($300) and/or imprisonment. Grounds for discontinuance of water service include: failure to eliminate or protect cross connections, failure to allow inspections by City of Brighton Utilities, and failure to comply with order and notice to install backflow prevention devices.

Residential Properties

Irrigation systems and secondary wells are potential hazards and require protection. Irrigation systems should be isolated from the rest of the household plumbing or containment from the main if it has a separate service line. Existing secondary wells that are connected to the household plumbing system also pose a threat to the treated water in the public system, and require a containment assembly to stop any water from returning to the main. All containment assemblies must be tested annually and reports sent to the city.

Testing Companies

Many backflow testing companies serve the Brighton area. Proof of the tester’s certification and test gauge calibration must be submitted with the test reports. The City of Brighton does not recommend any testing companies over the other. Please contact us for further information regarding the testing process or requirements.