Important information on backflow prevention and identifying cross-connections within the public drinking water system

Did you know that your drinking water system is susceptible to contamination through water usage in your own building? This can happen when the drinking water system is connected to uses that make the water no longer potable. This is commonly referred to as a cross-connection.

Pressurized water travels through the distribution system.  Under certain circumstances, this pressure can be diminished, such as during system maintenance, water main breaks or flowing of a fire hydrant, and can cause the flow of water to be reversed.  If a cross-connection has been made to a hazardous substance or non-potable water, this substance or water has the potential to  flow back into the distribution system and create a public health risk.

How can you prevent backflow from occurring?

Examples of common cross connections often found in buildings include, but are not limited to: Fire suppression systems, irrigation systems, pool and hot tubs, boilers, food and beverage process, outside hose bibs and commercial chemical and cleaning dispensers.

Per local building code, Mount Werner Water District Rules and Regulations and The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), it is the responsibility of the customer to control all cross-connections made to the public drinking water system by an approved method or assembly.  Failure to adequately control any cross-connection to the drinking water supply poses a public health risk and will result in termination of water service until appropriate steps to protect the drinking water supply have been implemented.

As a property owner, it is your responsibility to remove or mitigate any cross-connections identified on your property via appropriate method or assembly; if a backflow assembly must be installed, be sure this is done by a licensed installer.  Additionally, if a backflow assembly is identified at your service address, be sure that it is tested annually by a certified technician and those results are sent to Mount Werner Water District in order to avoid any potential for disconnection of service.

For more information on compliance material, please see CDPHE Regulation 11.39, Safe Drinking Water Policy DW0007 and Mount Werner Water Rules and Regulations Article 9.

Need help? Whether you have identified a cross-connection on your property or you don’t know where to start looking for one, we can help.