Cross Connection Control Program
The purpose of this backflow prevention and cross-connection control program is to protect the
City’s water system from contaminants or pollutants that could enter the distribution system by
backflow from a customer’s water supply system through the service connection. As a supplier of
public drinking water, the City of Aspen has the authority to survey all service connections within
the City’s water distribution system to determine whether any connection is a cross-connection; to
control all service connections within the distribution system that are cross-connections; to charge a
fee for the administration of the cross-connection control program; to maintain records of surveys
and the installation, testing and repair of all backflow prevention assemblies permitted or required
under this program; and to administer, implement and enforce the provisions of this cross-connection
- Prevention Devices
- What is a Cross Connection?
- Containment or Isolation?
- There are 2 Types of Backflow
- There are 5 Types of Backflow Devices
- Backflow in a Nutshell
The type of backflow prevention device or assembly needed on your system is determined by the level of hazard posed by your water use.
In general, the City requires the following devices:
Main Water Service: Reduced Pressure Principal Device
Fire Systems: Double Check Backflow Preventer
Irrigation Systems: Vacuum Breaker
WHAT IS A CROSS-CONNECTION?
A cross-connection is an unprotected actual connection or a potential connection between a potable water system used to supply water for drinking purposes and any source or system containing unapproved water or a substance that is not or cannot be approved as safe, wholesome and potable. By-pass arrangements, jumper connections, removable sections, swivel or changeover devices or other devices through which backflow could occur shall be considered to be a cross connection.
CONTAINMENT OR ISOLATION?
A backflow device on the incoming line or service is containment. The device is after the water meter, but before any branches or connections to the service line. Containment devices have been installed on service lines of multi-family and commercial accounts since 1984. The State of Colorado regulations require containment devices be tested at least annually.
A backflow device installed on a residential lawn sprinkler system is an example of an isolation device. This device prevents lawn sprinkler water from getting back into the home.
THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF BACKFLOW
1. Backsiphonage. A negative pressure that can be caused by water main breaks, fire hydrant flushing or firefighting. Backsiphonage can draw all the water from a private water system. If this water is used for boiler's, sprinkler systems etc. it could contain contaminated water.
2. Backpressure. This is caused by the pressure in the private water system exceeding the city's water system usually caused by a privately owned pump used to increase pressure inside a single structure. This causes water to be forced back into the city's system.
THERE ARE FIVE TYPES OF BACKFLOW DEVICES
1. Air Gap -Used mainly on tanks and faucets, it is a gap between the pipe and the container. Requirements: The gap needs to be a minimum 2 times the supply pipe diameter.
2. Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker - Used mainly on lawn irrigation systems. It has an air inlet valve that will drop to draw in air thus preventing sprinkler system water from entering the City's water mains.
- Not under continuous pressure for more than 12 hours
- No downstream valves
- No backpressure
- 6" above high point of use
3. Pressure Vacuum Breaker - Used mainly on lawn irrigation systems. It has a one way check and a spring loaded air inlet valve that closes when City water main pressure drops.
- No backpressure
- 12" above high point of use
- Protect from freezing
4. Double Check Assembly - Operates similar to a Pressure Vacuum Breaker. Used on low hazard applications and on fire lines.
5. Reduced Pressure Principle Assembly - Used on high hazard applications and is a combination of check valves and an air inlet allowing water from the private system to vent when City pressure drops.
*****By installing backflow devices, the possibility of contaminated water returning to the distribution line is prevented.*****
BACKFLOW PREVENTION IN A NUTSHELL
If you do not have a backflow device:
- Call a plumber licensed to do work in the City of Aspen and schedule the installation.
- Obtain a building permit.
Now that the device is installed:
- Contact a company qualified to perform backflow testing and repair. These companies are listed at the Backflow Prevention and Education Council of Colorado web site (http://bpecc.org/geo_listing.htm).
- Ask the backflow tester to email a copy of the test report to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to: the City of Aspen Water Department, 130 South Galena Street, Aspen CO 81611.
The device must be retested. Prior to the anniversary of your test date, you will receive a reminder notice from the City of Aspen. Contact a qualified backflow tester and return the test results to the City of Aspen Water Department.
Thank you! You’re doing your part to keep our water clean. For more information about the program, please email email@example.com or call at 970.920.5110.