Old Gainesboro Road Utility District
Smith Utility District

Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention

Cross-Connection Program

A cross-connection is a potential hazard which threatens to contaminate the drinking water. To ensure our water is safe, SUD continues to work to implement our cross-connection program to prevent problems; but ensuring our water is safe is everyoneís responsibility.

What is a cross-connection?

A cross-connection is a connection between drinking water and other water or fluids of unknown quality. The backflow of water from a customerís plumbing system into community drinking water happens when water is drawn backward due to a pressure loss in the utility main pipe or pushed back by a pressure source. It is important that each cross-connection be identified and evaluated. There are two types of backflow:

  • Backsiphonage: backflow is caused when there is a stoppage of water supply due to nearby fire fighting, hydrant flushing, large system demands or major piping breaks.
  • Backpressure: backflow is caused by an increase in downstream pressure; this can be created by pumps, temperature increase in boilers, or elevated plumbing, etc.

Why be concerned?

Backflow can cause contaminants to enter our drinking water system. Identifying potential hazards associated with cross-connections, and eliminating or protecting against them is a concern of SUD. The best prevention to cross-connection is an air-gap between the drinking water and contaminate, but is sometimes hard to accomplish. A hose bibb vacuum breaker is required if the area is low hazard, but a reduced pressure backflow preventer is required for areas where there is a high hazard. SUD now requires all new taps to have a reduced pressure backflow preventer installed.

Some principal areas of water use that pose a threat due to cross-connections are:
  • Lawn irrigation systems
  • Greenhouses
  • Chemical Sprayers
  • Hard-piped Swimming pools
  • Automatic water trough
  • Commercial/Industrial Buildings
What you can do to prevent contaminations:
  • Do recognize your problems and correct them. Please call our office for assistance.
  • Do keep ends of hoses off the ground and clear off all possible contaminants.
  • Do make sure all faucets and spray hoses are above the flood rim for your sinks and tubs in the bathroom and kitchen.
  • Donít submerge hoses in buckets, pools, tubs, sinks, ponds, etc.
  • Donít use spray attachments (like lawn fertilizers or herbicides/pesticides) without a backflow protection device.
  • Donít use a hose to unplug blocked toilets sewers, etc.
Any questions please call David Thaxton @ 683-9150 or Laura Gibbs @ 735-2793.