Cross Connection Control Management, Inc.
10 Most Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What is cross connection control and backflow prevention all about concerning containment and isolation?
A "cross-connection" as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency, is "any actual or potential connection between the public water supply and a source of contamination or pollution". Such cross-connections constitute a hazard to the building occupants and can jeopardize the cleanliness and potability of the public water system, in the event of a backflow or backsiphonage event. A cross connection control program is an organized, legally implemented and structured program to eliminate and contain the hazards to the municipal potable water supply. These programs have been implemented and are typically passed by local ordinance, and enforced by the local water purveyor and the local building department.
2. What is the legal basis
for a local cross connection control program?
The Federal Government requires the enforcement of the Safe Drinking Water Act through OSHA and the EPA.
3. What is my liability as a building Owner, property manager and water purveyor?
Legally, the "purveyor" of the water supply is responsible for the cleanliness and potability of the water supply, and for implementing and maintaining a cross-connection control program in order to prevent the contamination of the public water supply. The water purveyor is the public water department, up to and including the service connection from the public water main. From the outlet of the water meter or service connection including all piping downstream, to the furthest extent of the piping system inside the owners premises, the legal purveyor of the water supply is actually the property Owner.
4. Do I currently have adequate backflow prevention for containment and isolation?
The adequacy of current backflow prevention methods installed at a site are typically determined by a field survey by qualified personnel. Many times, these surveys are performed by the local water purveyor. However, since the municipal water supplier’s liability stops at the meter, surveys for isolations within the building are the responsibilities of the building owner. Having multiple buildings or with multiple water service taps are frequently required to be performed by qualified, licensed, independent cross connection control technicians. If the facility in question is relatively new, chances are that backflow preventers have been installed in accordance with the requirements of the applicable Plumbing Codes in the area. However, in older facilities, in industrial plants and other sites having multiple process water connections, or at facilities with multiple buildings on a single site, only a thorough field survey can determine the adequacy of existing backflow prevention measures.
5. Who is legally qualified to perform maintenance and repair services for containment and isolation problems?
Backflow preventers fall under the definition of a "plumbing appurtenance", as defined and addressed in the local applicable Plumbing Code. As such, these devices can legally be disassembled, maintained and repaired only by a Master Plumber, who is required to be licensed in the state in which the work is to be performed. Additionally, the plumber must complete training and hold current certification by a recognized authority, such as the American Backflow Prevention Association, specifically for the maintenance and repair of these devices.
Not all plumbers hold this certification, and not all certificate holders are Licensed Master Plumbers. Cross Connection Control Management Inc. maintains the necessary certificates and licenses for testing of containment and isolation.
6. Who is legally qualified to perform testing and certification services?
In addition to maintaining a standard business license, persons performing testing and certification for backflow preventers are required to hold current certification for testing such devices by a recognized authority, such as the American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA). These testers are also required to maintain annually calibrated testing equipment. The local water authority typically maintains a list of currently qualified and approved testers.
Cross Connection Control Management Inc. maintains the necessary certificates and licenses for testing in the State of Pennsylvania
Cross Connection Control Management Inc. maintains the necessary certificates and licenses for testing of containment and isolation
7. How often must certifications be performed?
Certification intervals vary, depending upon the type of device, manufacturer, and local regulations. Typically, double check valves and pressure type vacuum breakers are required to be tested at the time of installation, and annually thereafter. Since reduced pressure zone backflow preventers protect more severe hazards (from contaminants), most local ordinances require that reduced pressure zone backflow preventers be tested at the time of installation, and every 6 months thereafter.
8. Will my water service be interrupted for containment and isolation service?
The ASSE standard testing procedures require that the water service be interrupted during the course of the testing process. These service interruptions are scheduled at the Owners convenience, and normally do not unduly disrupt business operations or domestic water usage. Test periods for devices 2" and smaller can usually be performed in under 10 minutes. Test periods for larger devices usually take from 5 to 15 minutes. Repair periods vary with the manufacturer of the device, but can usually be performed in a maximum of 20 minutes for small devices. Larger devices requiring repairs may take from one half hour to 1-1/2 hours.
9. How much does a test and certification cost for containment and isolation?
Testing and certification costs vary with the type and manufacturer of device installed, the existing condition of the device and installation, bearing in mind adequate access and service clearances. Devices installed in underground vaults may require dewatering, the execution of a Confined Space Entry Permit, and additional personnel for safety. Cross Connection Control Management, Inc. offers professional testing and repair services at very competitive rates. Please call for a quotation.
10. Definitions and abbreviationsCross connection
A "cross-connection" as defined by the environmental protection agency, is "any actual or potential connection between the public water supply and a source of contamination or pollution".
Backflow prevention by containment
Backflow prevention by isolation
A "pollutant" is any substance which may affect the color, taste or odor of the potable water, but which does not pose a direct threat to human health through exposure or consumption of the water. Pollutants may impose an objectionable odor or appearance to the water, but do not in themselves pose a health threat, and therefore, are considered to be a lesser hazard, when compared to contaminants.