A cross connection is any temporary or permanent connection between the public water supply and a potentially hazardous water supply on the consumer’s end. Through these types of connections, contaminants can flow from the consumer’s water supply back into the public water supply. Two of the most common ways this can happen are through underground lawn irrigation systems and fertilizer spray applicators attached to residential hoses.
Avoiding Cross Connections
Backflow prevention devices can be used to help protect our water supply. Through the City’s Code of Ordinances, the Water Department requires that these protection devices be tested on an annual basis. The exception to this is pressure-type vacuum breaks that protect lawn irrigation only; these are to be tested every three years, per new State law that changed the requirement from five years to three, effective January 1, 2011.
Effective testing of protection devices can detect failures in them.
Backflow Prevention Device Performance
In 2004, there were 868 tests on residential backflow protection devices used by City of Midland water customers. Of these, 103 devices failed. Also, 436 tests were conducted on commercial backflow prevention devices. Of these, 49 devices failed. Combined, the failure rate for commercial and residential devices was 11.7 percent.
These numbers show the importance of maintaining a diligent cross connection program. The help of every residential and commercial water customer is needed to maintain a safe water supply.
If you receive a letter notifying you of the need to have your device tested, please have it tested as soon as possible and send the results to the City Water Department at PO Box 1647 Midland, MI 48641-1647 or via fax to 989-835-2717.
Backflow Device Test Report
The Backflow Device Test Form allows authorized backflow device testers to submit test results directly to the City's Water Distribution Department. Those filling out the form must be authorized testers with a certification number provided by the State of Michigan. Please contact the City's Water Distribution Department if you have questions at 989-837-6950.