Backflow / Cross Connection
One of the threats to our drinking water supply is known as cross-connection. A cross-connection is the point at which a non-drinking water substance can possibly come in contact with the drinking water system. Connections as seemingly innocent as a sprinkler system, hot tub or ornamental pond can easily enable contaminants to enter potable (drinking) water lines via backflow. Customers install potential cross-connections like these every day, but they are often unaware of the potential danger that lurks in the pipes as a result.
Backflow, which can be caused by back-siphonage or back pressure, is the unwanted reverse flow of non-potable water back into a potable water system. Backflow can allow bacteria, chemicals or physical contaminants to enter the water system if cross-connections are uncontrolled.
Cross Connection Examples Include (but is not limited to)
- Fire sprinkler systems
- Hose bibs
- Irrigation sprinkler systems
- Photo developing equipment
- Swimming pools with automatic fillers
Federal and State regulations require water suppliers to protect their water systems from contamination or pollution. BWA conducts surveys of high-risk facilities throughout the system. Through these surveys, backflow specialists are able to determine the extent of protection that is required to protect the water supply and the public from possible contaminants. BWA also requires annual testing of backflow prevention assemblies.
As of April 17, 2018, testing on residential assemblies is performed by the BWA once every 3 years at no cost. Commercial customers are billed at a cost of $40.00 per inch valve size. Residential and commercial customers who prefer to have the test performed by a private tester must notify the BWA of this choice.
Testers must use this Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Test Report Form (PDF) when testing backflow assemblies in Benbrook. BWA’s information is included on the form.
For more information on the Backflow and Cross Connection Control program, contact Belinda Pattison at 817-443-3116 or BPattison@BenbrookWater.com.
In 2015, the BWA adopted new Landscape Irrigation Rules (PDF) in order to comply with new State of Texas regulations regarding irrigation systems. These rules include requirements related to permits, backflow prevention methods and devices, and irrigation system design and installation.
All irrigation systems, both commercial and residential, must go through a plan review process prior to a permit being issued. Review submittal requirements (PDF). Once plans are reviewed and approved, a permit can be issued for the installation of the irrigation system.