Backflow Prevention Program
The City of Wadsworth began an active backflow prevention program in June of 1995. The focus of this program is to ensure proper safeguards are in place to protect the city's water supply from potential contamination imposed through cross-connections.
What is a Cross-Connection?
A cross-connection is any arrangement of piping that would allow any non-potable water into the city's potable water supply. All cross-connections pose a potential health risk. Backflow can be a health hazard for your family or other consumers if contaminated water enters your water supply plumbing system and is used for drinking, cooking, or bathing. Chemical burns, fires, explosions, poisonings, illness, and death have all been caused by backflow through cross-connections. Examples of this would include but are not limited to:
- Hose connections to chemical solution aspirators to feed lawn and tree herbicides.
- Lawn irrigation systems.
- Chemically treated heating systems/boilers.
- Hose connections to a water outlet or laundry basin.
- Swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas.
- Private and/or non-potable water supply sources are located on the property.
- Water-operated sump pump drain devices.
- Feedlots/livestock holding areas or barnyards fed through pipes or hoses from your water supply plumbing.
What can I do?
- Complete the "Cross-Connection Control Survey" (Click HERE to complete the survey.)
- Be aware of and eliminate cross-connections.
- Maintain air gaps. Do not submerge hoses or place them where they could become submerged.
- Use hose bib vacuum breakers on fixtures (hose connections in the basement, laundry room, and outside).
- Install approved, testable backflow prevention devices on lawn irrigation systems.
- Do not create a connection between an auxiliary water system (well, cistern, the body of water) and the water supply plumbing.
- If you have a device it must be tested every 12 months to ensure compliance.
Backflow Prevention Equipment
Some residential cross connections can be eliminated by installing a hose bib vacuum breaker (ASSE 1011, 1052). These easily thread onto your existing sillcock.
If you have a newer sillcock with an integral vacuum breaker built in, this is not necessary. This is obvious by the round cap on the top.
Backflow can occur when either a "back siphonage" or "back pressure" condition exists. Back siphonage occurs when a vacuum is introduced into the piping system; just like drinking through a straw in a glass. A hose in a car radiator could be like that straw drawing anti-freeze from the radiator during the right conditions such as:
- Water main breaks
- Hydrant use during fire fighting
Backpressure may occur when a water user has a greater water pressure than the public water supply. This would be created by boilers, chillers, or an attached pressurized container holding soaps, degreasers, anti-freeze or other non-potable materials. Each situation requires the appropriate device.
Questions concerning cross connection control and backflow protection may be directed to your local plumbing contractor or the Backflow Division of the city Utility Department at 330-335-2831.