Cross Connection & Backflow Control

As your water supplier, Park City has an obligation to provide the safest drinking water possible. The water is treated, filtered, and monitored before it ever reaches a single tap, and yet the entire system can be compromised by a backflow situation in a single cross connection.

WHAT IS A CROSS CONNECTION?

It is any potential or actual connection between the water system and an outside source, providing a means for contaminants and pollutants to find their way into your drinking water. Examples include:

  • Watering a garden
  • Irrigation systems (both system fed and ditch fed)
  • Outside hose bibs
  • Wash basins
  • Photo developing equipment
  • Boilers
  • Swimming pools
  • Hospital equipment
  • Fire sprinkler systems
  • Car washes

WHAT IS BACKFLOW?

This refers to a condition where the normal flow of water in a system is reversed, thereby introducing unwanted substances from an outside source into your drinking water. Some examples are:

  • Swimming pool water flowing back through a filler hose
  • Car wash chemicals siphoning back into the water system
  • Irrigation fed by ditch water flowing back through an illegal connection to the culinary system

Backflow     WHAT IS A BACKFLOW ASSEMBLY?

This is a testable device that prevents the flow of water and contaminants backwards into the water system. It is required by law to be inspected and tested when first installed and at least once per year thereafter. If your home or residence is less than ten years old, it is likely to have one or more assemblies.

WHY ARE CROSS CONNECTIONS DANGEROUS?

Cross connections can cause unpleasant or harmful substances to be introduced into the drinking water system. Illness, death, and contamination of industrial processes are just a few of the types of incidents that have been documented.

WHAT IS PARK CITY DOING ABOUT IT?

The EPA and Utah Division of Drinking Water require us to protect the water system, thereby protecting you as a consumer. Some of the major points of Park City's Cross Connection Program are:

  • Public education on the subject
  • Cross connection control ordinance
  • Compliance of all city owned property
  • Mandatory annual testing of all backflow assemblies
  • Inspections and prioritizing of suspected high hazard cross connections

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

Educate yourself on the subject. The following links may help you understand further the risks and remedies of cross connection:

American Backflow Prevention Association

Utah Division of Drinking Water

USC Cross Connection Control Research

It would be impossible to cover everything pertaining to cross connection here. Our goal is to make you aware of the possible dangers associated with it, and to help you understand why we are broadening our program. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Colby Anderson, Cross Connection Coordinator at 435-640-5357 or canderson@parkcity.org.