Backflow & Cross Connection Program
The Town of Windsor requires all business and industries serviced by Town of Windsor Water to have their backflow devices tested by a certified tester and results are sent to them annually. This requirement includes, but is not limited to backflow devices on service mains, fire suppression systems, process lines, and sprinkler supply lines. Homeowner testing of residential sprinkler supply line backflow devices is on a voluntary basis at this time. Mandatory testing of residential sprinkler supply line backflow devices will be required at a later date.
Back flow means water flowing backwards into the water supply system. There are two ways back flow can enter the water supply from a sprinkler system; back siphonage and back pressure. Back siphonage happens when the pressure in the water supply suddenly drops. Pressure drops can happen because of nearby firefighting or repairs of breaks in the Town water main. The pressure drop creates a vacuum, sucking the water backward through the system. The vacuum is much like a person sipping on a straw, which causes liquid to flow in the opposite direction. Back pressure is also reversal of water flow in the water system. However, this type of reversal happens when water pressure increases on the customer's side of the water system. Examples of things that can cause pressure increases in your sprinkler system would be injection fertilizing or blowing out the system in the fall.
Submit backflow reports to Utility Supervisor Charwon Walter.
What is Cross Connection?
The Colorado Cross Connection Law applies to all cross connections. Cross connection is any actual or potential connection between a potable water system, the drinking water supply and any other source or system that can introduce contaminants into the treated water system. Contaminants from your sprinkler system may include fertilizers, pesticides, and weed killers. Any part of the sprinkler system that allows back flow to occur is called a cross connection.
Atmospheric vacuum breakers cannot be used against back pressure conditions. Valves cannot be installed downstream from atmospheric vacuum breakers. Testing is required upon installation of a new back flow prevention device and annually thereafter by a certified tester. The law applies to both new installations and sprinkler systems that are being repaired or modified. No grandfather clause exists.
What are the Responsibilities?
- A state health agency’s primary responsibility is to ensure that the water supplier operates the public potable water system free of actual or potential sanitary hazards.
- Second they must ensure that the water supplier of the public water system meets federal and state drinking water standards.
- Third, the agency must ensure that the water supplier provides an approved water supply at the point of delivery to the consumer’s water system and also require the consumer to install, test, and maintain an approved backflow prevention assembly on the service connection if needed.
- It is local health agencies responsibility to ensure that the consumer’s potable water system is maintained free of sanitary hazards. In general, on site cross-connection control and backflow prevention requirements are addressed in state and local pluming codes and enforced by the local plumbing and building official.
- The water supplier has the responsibility to maintain their public water system in compliance with all federal and state standards.
- These regulations prohibit the water supplier from installing or maintaining a water service connection to a consumers water system within its jurisdiction where a health, system, plumbing, or pollution hazard exist, unless backflow is provided.
- The water supplier’s responsibility begins at the source, then into the public water distribution system, following to the point of delivery to the consumer’s water system. If the supplier determines that a backflow prevention device is required to protect the public system, then the supplier will require the consumer to provide and install an approved backflow device.
- The consumer has the responsibility of preventing pollutants and contaminates from entering the public potable water system. The consumer’s responsibility starts at the point of delivery from the public potable system.
- The consumer must maintain accurate records of tests and repairs for the backflow device. After any repair, overhaul, re-piping, or relocation of an assembly, the consumer must have the backflow preventer tested. A certified backflow prevention assembly tester and/or a repair technician must test, maintain and repair these assemblies. This includes all industrial and commercial businesses.