A cross connection is a connection between a potable drinking water supply and a possible source of contamination or pollution. Under the provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1971, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established national standards for safe drinking water. Each state is required to enforce the various regulations of the Safe Drinking Water Act and how it relates to its state laws.
To meet these new provisions, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on January 1, 1996, enacted a new state law which requires the public water suppliers to implement and enforce the Cross Connection Control Program requirements located in the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 30, Chapter 290 of the Rules and Regulations for Public Water Suppliers.
On June 16, 1998, the City of Carrollton adopted a new Title V, Chapter 55 Cross Connection Control and Prevention Ordinance. The Public Works Department began conducting water use system surveys (inspections) as required by this ordinance. These surveys assist in determining if any connections or uses of the potable water supply are inadvertently creating a health hazard to the public.
Backflow is the undesirable reversal of flow in a potable water distribution system. Water that is always under pressure can only flow in one direction. Then how can water flow in reverse? Water will always flow towards the point of lowest pressure. If a water main were to break or if the fire department opened several fire hydrants to help fight a fire, the pressure in the water main could drop. The demand upstream could cause a reversal in flow.
Cross connections and the possibility of backflow need to be recognized so they do not occur. A garden hose submerged in a hot tub, swimming pool, car radiator or attached to an insect/fertilizer sprayer could siphon the liquid back into the water main.
Backflow prevention devices are designed to protect the public water system from these types of concerns.
Summary of Procedures Prior to Installation of Backflow Preventer
- All backflow prevention assemblies and approved testers shall be registered with Public Works and BSI Online. All backflow prevention assemblies shall be nationally recognized and certified as an approved testable device.
- All backflow prevention assembly installations require compliance with the City's Building Inspection Office (a permit is required).
- All testing shall be by a TCEQ approved licensed tester who is registered with Public Works (see below for list of registered testers).
- All backflow prevention assemblies shall be tested according to TCEQ regulations prior to the permanent activation of the plumbing system and thereafter annually.
- All backflow prevention assemblies shall have plastic or brass caps placed upon all test cocks (NO GALVANIZED PLUGS).
- All backflow prevention assemblies are required to be registered with all fees paid through the tester. The annual registration fee for each separate backflow device is $35 and is separate from other fees chargeable by the City.
- All backflow prevention assemblies shall be installed by licensed plumbers, irrigators or fire sprinkler technicians who meet the requirements of the City's current plumbing code. All backflow prevention assemblies must be tested after installation by an approved City registered tester and BSI Online.
- All testers must register with Public Works. An annual non-refundable registration fee of $75 payable by check, money order or credit card (MasterCard or Visa) is required. (See below for requirements/documentation necessary to become a backflow tester).
- All test reporting will be entered through BSI Online. If testers would like to purchase test booklets for their files they can be purchased at the Public Works Department located at 2711 Nimitz Drive. (Bound booklets of 30 test forms can be purchased by credit card, check or money order for $25.00 at the Public Works Department.) Duplication of the city’s test form is prohibited. No cash will be accepted.
How to Become a Registered Tester
The City of Carrollton Code of Ordinance requires licensed and City registered cross connection testers to test backflow prevention devices in Carrollton. Test results from non-City registered testers will not be accepted. To register as a backflow prevention assembly tester with the City of Carrollton a registration form must be completed and submitted with the following documentation:
- Certificate/License # if you are a licensed plumber
- Certificate/License # if you are a licensed fire sprinkler contractor (If you are a licensed fire sprinkler contractor, a current copy of your company's Fire Sprinkler Certificate of Registration from the Texas Department of Insurance, State Fire Marshall's Office.)
- Certificate/License # if you are a licensed lawn sprinkler contractor
- Certificate/License # if you are a licensed cross connection backflow prevention tester
- Testing gauge calibration report within the last year
- Confined Space Training Certificate
- Tester Registration Form
Registrations must be completed in person at Public Works at 2711 Nimitz Lane. An annual non-refundable registration fee of $75 payable by check, money order or credit card (VISA or MasterCard) is required. City of Carrollton backflow prevention assembly test reports are available for purchase (bound booklets of 30 test forms for $25).
Upon submission and approval of the registration form, the tester will be added to the approved Cross Connection Tester List which is furnished to all establishments requiring testing of their backflow devices.
Backflow prevention assemblies on fire protection sprinkler systems are required by the State Fire Marshall to be tested and repaired by a full-time employee of a fire protection sprinkler company that is registered with the State Fire Marshall's Office. Installations, repairs and replacement of backflow assemblies installed on plumbing or lawn sprinkler systems must be conducted by personnel possessing the appropriate plumbing or irrigation license as issued by the State of Texas.
The City of Carrollton has chosen to partner with Backflow Solutions (BSI) as administrator of the Cross Connection Program. If you have any questions or would like more information about the City of Carrollton's Cross Connection Control and Prevention Program, please contact BSI at 800-414-4990.