PREVENTING BACK-FLOW IN WATER SERVICE LINES
What is Water Backflow?
The Village of Fredericktown is responsible for providing safe potable water to more than 3,000 consumers throughout the Fredericktown community on a 24/7/365 basis, and we take that responsibility very seriously. It is our duty to partner with our water customers in educating them and thus, keeping the public water supply safe for consumption throughout the community.
Water backflow, in association with Village water infrastructure, is an undesired reversal of the normal direction of waterflow within a piping system, whereas water flows from the consumer to the public water infrastructure rather than from the public water infrastructure to the consumer. The potential for a backflow condition occurring in a public water system may include through private service lines to residential, commercial/industrial or public buildings. The existence of improper water service line connections may create cross-connections that, under certain conditions, may cause contaminated (non-drinkable) water to flow backwards through a water service connection and thus, flow into the public water system.
The probability of backflow taking place at any given service connection may be minimal under normal circumstances. However, considering the Village has more than one thousand private water users connected to the Village water infrastructure, the possibility of a backflow situation may be significant and the Village is committed to operating in a proactive manner in keeping our potable water safe for all consumers, rather than reacting to a backflow issue after contamination has been detected.
Samples of appropriate backflow devices
What is Cross-Connection?
A cross-connection may include any arrangement of pipes, fittings, fixtures, or plumbing devices that, either intentionally or unintentionally, connect non-potable water to a potable water system. The cross-connection is the point at which a water-using fixture is actually connected to the water user’s potable water system in a manner which may compromise the purity of the public potable water supply. An unprotected cross-connection provides the route through which backflow may occur.
Some examples of where back-flow may occur most often:
- Fire sprinkler systems
- Lawn irrigation systems
- Lines with deduct meters
- Medical facilities, laboratories and mortuaries
- Industrial facilities
- Hair and nail salons
- Automotive repair shops
- Swimming pools
- Multi-residential buildings
- Common garden hoses
- Laundry utility sinks
- Water operated sump devices
- Water softeners
The Village may require backflow devices on water service lines for the containment of potential contamination sources in order to protect the Village’s public water distribution system. A reduced pressure zone backflow assembly is required on some water service lines entering an industrial/commercial building, when deemed necessary by the Village. Any property with in-ground irrigation systems may also require a backflow prevention device. A double check valve assembly is required on each fire line and each fire bypass line.
Backflow prevention devices are required by state law (Ohio Administrative Code 3745-95) to be installed where there is a potential contamination threat within the consumer’s plumbing system, if it is determined “in the judgment of the supplier of water” that there exists a need for such a backflow prevention device. These State Codes are strictly enforced by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA).
In order to ensure back-flow prevention devices are working properly, the affected utility customer is required by State Code to have annual testing done by a state-certified tester. The Village of Fredericktown will make every effort to send out reminder notification letters to affected utility customers at least sixty days prior to the annual backflow test deadline. Reports of this annual testing shall be maintained by the customer and be mailed annually to the Village of Fredericktown, 2 E. Sandusky St., Fredericktown, OH 43019.
Failure to Comply
The Village of Fredericktown maintains a list of properties that are required to implement a backflow prevention device and, according to State Code, testing of the back-flow prevention device must be professionally performed annually. Failure to notify the Village of annual inspection results may result in termination of water service.
If You Have Questions
Questions concerning backflow protection may be directed to your plumbing contractor of choice or to Village of Fredericktown Utilities Superintendent, Michael Hannan, at 740-694-9033, or by email, at email@example.com.
Please see the following links to review state laws, rules and guidelines for backflow prevention:
Ohio Revised Code 6109.13 – Approval of connections to public water system
Ohio Administrative Code 3745-95 – Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control