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WaterOperator.org Blog

Articles in support of small community water and wastewater operators.

Featured Video: How To: Develop a Cross-Connection Control Plan

Featured Video: How To: Develop a Cross-Connection Control Plan

A well-developed cross connection control plan ensures that backflow events are an infrequent occurrence in drinking water distribution systems. Cross connections involve any connection between treated water and untreated water. The connection can allow for backflow and ultimately drinking water contamination.  You can learn about the two types of backflow, backpressure and backsiphonage, as well as how they occur in RCAP’s 2018 blog on Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention – Underutilized Protection for Potable Water. Additionally, WaterOperator.org has featured two backflow videos in a previous blog that will help you learn more about the phenomenon.

To prevent unnecessary contamination in your distribution system this week’s blog post features an RCAP video on how to develop a cross connection control plan. This short video describes the key administrative and technical provisions that should be included in your plan. We’ve also highlighted some useful resources that can help you follow their suggestions. If you'd like to find state or territory specific resources such as a sample ordinance or cross connection control plan template, visit our document library 

 

Now that you know the key provisions to a successful backflow prevention program, check out these additional resources. Remember that many state or tribal territories can have their own rules and specifications that need to be met by your utility. Consults with your system's primacy agency before starting or updating a cross connection control program.

Backflow Prevention – Idaho Rural Water Association
This 2-sided brochure can be used to educate your customers about potential sources of backflow and the impacts of contamination.

Residential Cross-Connection Questionnaire – Alliance of Indiana Rural Water
This 2-page questionnaire can be set to customers to identify potential sources of cross connection.

Selling Cross-Connection Control to Management- University of Florida Center for Training, Research, and Education for Environmental Outcomes
This power point, presented by Ron Chapman, describes how you can encourage your utility to implement a cross connection control program.

Cross-Connection Control Manual – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
This manual has been designed as a tool for health officials, waterworks personnel, and plumbers to understand the basics about backflow prevention, preventer testing, and control programs.

Featured Videos: Backflow Prevention & Cross Connection Control from AWWA

Featured Videos: Backflow Prevention & Cross Connection Control from AWWA
No one wants to experience a backflow incident. Depending on what contaminant was involved and how much of the distribution system was affected, these incidents range from being a lot of work and expense to being a full-blown public health crisis. (See the bottom of this page to browse real backflow incidents that have occurred here in the U.S. as well as Australia and Canada.) Either way, a lot of people will have their water service disrupted and you'll have a lot of extra work on your hands until the situation is resolved.

If you're hoping to prevent a backflow incident in your community, this week's videos, courtesy of AWWA, could help. The first video explains the basics of backflow and backsiphonage and provides a brief overview air gaps and backflow prevention assemblies. The second video covers similar topics but goes more in-depth on backflow prevention assemblies, discussing the most common models, how they work, and where and how they should be installed. The first video is about 5 minutes and the second is about 7-and-a-half. 




If you'd like more training on backflow and cross connection topics, visit our event calendar and select the Backflow category and your state. If you'd like to do more reading on your own, visit our document database and select the Backflow category and the Manuals/Handbooks document type.