Cross Connection Compliance
A cross-connection is a point in plumbing systems where drinking water has the possibility to come into contact with a hazardous substance, such as chemicals or bacteria. Compliance with the FGUA’s cross connection policy is important and a matter of public safety. In order to ensure that our water sources are not contaminated due to unauthorized connections to the FGUA distribution system, it’s important that customers take certain measures.
Customers who have an unauthorized or hazardous connection that has been identified will be notified by FGUA staff and given instructions on what steps need to be taken in order to immediately rectify the issue. However, it’s also important that customers are being proactive about cross connections in order to ensure the quality of their drinking water and the safety of others. As a matter of public safety, non-compliance with FGUA cross connection policies can result in termination of water service, until the issue is rectified at the owner’s expense.
An example of a cross connection issue could be as simple as where you leave your hose. If you leave a hose in a non-potable (non-drinking) water source, such as a soapy bucket or in the pool, you could contaminate your drinking water. This can occur if the pressure in the water main drops while your hose is submerged. If this occurs, suction can pull dirty water back into your pipes and possibly back into the FGUA distribution system. The Safe Drinking Water Act requires that backflow protection devices be installed on all non-potable water services.
Other examples are often related to irrigation systems or private wells. Irrigation systems and private wells that are being used to supplement your potable water without a backflow prevention device are considered hazardous since the FGUA has no way of monitoring and controlling hazardous substances, which could present a risk for other customers. One of the most important measures that can be taken in these instances is the installation of a reduced pressure zone (RPZ) valve on irrigation systems or dwellings that have a private well. RPZ valves assist by only allowing water to travel in one direction through water lines.
What Can You Do To Help
1) Install Backflow Prevention Devices
- Install backflow prevention devices on threaded faucets in the home and on outdoor hose bibs. Inexpensive backflow devices can be found at many local hardware or plumbing stores.
2) Maintain Your Hose
- Keep the ends of hoses clear of contaminants and avoid sub-merging the hose in a water source. Never leave a hose in a sink, tub, drain, or pool.
3) Avoid Chemical Attachments
- Don’t use hose attachments that contain chemicals, such as weed killers, without a backflow prevention device. The chemicals could be sucked back into the same pipes that provide you with drinking water.
4) Don’t Connect Systems
- Never connect a private well or irrigation system to your potable water system. These systems may not be properly treated to be potable and shouldn’t be mixed with your drinking water.
5) Never Submerge Your Kitchen Sprayer
- Leaving your kitchen sprayer underwater has the potential to suck dirty dish water back into your pipes.
6) Report Issues
- Report any signs of cross connection activity to the FGUA.