A cross-connection is when the public water system's line come in contact with the customer's lines in such a way that could allow contaminates from the customer to flow backwards, or be back-siphoned into the public water system. A good example of how this can happen is if someone is using an attachment on their garden hose to apply chemicals to their lawn. While doing so, their main water line breaks or heavy use from a nearby fire hydrant could create a negative water pressure or vacuum effect at that residence. This could cause a back flow or back siphoning of the lawn chemicals into the residence's plumbing, and even back into the public water supply.
Another cross-connection situation that can happen is when someone uses their garden hose to help unstop a clogged drain or sewer line by submerging the hose into the line while trying to use the water pressure to unstop the line. If a back flow situation developed while this was happening, there is the potential for sewage to be back siphoned into our drinking water supply.
We don't want to alarm anyone. The chances of these situations happening are very small. But when considering the possible consequences, the County's goal is to have a zero chance.The best way you can prevent back flow from your water spigot is to install what is called a vacuum breaker. This device threads on between the water spigot and garden hose. If you lose water pressure it would prevent any back flow by breaking the vacuum effect of a negative water pressure and eliminate any possible back siphoning or flow reversal. Vacuum breakers are not expensive, and can be found at the hardware stores. For your own protection, as well as others, the County recommends that all customers install a vacuum breaker on all outside water spigots. Vacuum breakers may prevent some water spigots and yard hydrants from draining. Please read manufactures recommendations for winter draining or purchase the frost-proof type that self-drains.
Another area of concern regarding cross-connections is anyone that is hooked up to County water and sewer, and is also hooked up to a private well. The situation of having our public water supply hooked directly to an untested water source may not be safe. To ensure that safety of everyone's drinking water, the County has no choice but to require anyone that is connected to the County's water and sewer system have their plumbing physically disconnected from any private well or have an approved back flow prevention device installed to prevent the well from flowing into the County's water system.
Enclosed is a yearly questionnaire to follow the progress of our program. While not required, we would appreciate it, if you would complete and return the survey as soon as possible. Your cooperation’s is needed for us to have an effective program to eliminate cross-connections in our water system. By working together we can all help keep our drinking water safer.