Healthy Water Series: Cross Connection Control & Backflow
UNDERSTANDING HOW LAKE JACKSON MAINTAINS THE WATER YOU USE AND DRINK
Healthy Water: The Community Response Campaign seeks to help residents and business owners learn their role in keeping the city water supply healthy and safe.
This site is part of an ongoing educational series that discusses simple ways residents can stop cross-contamination in the municipal water supply. The city will update it with more information as content becomes available.
WHY USE VACUUM BREAKERS
Vacuum breakers are simple devices that can help keep a water supply clean and safe.
They stop water from being siphoned backward into a water system’s pressure drop. They can stop cross-connections.
Cross-connections refer to physical connections between clean water and a liquid or gas that could contaminate the water. When cross-connections occur, a public water supply can become unsafe to drink.
When vacuum breakers are placed on garden hoses they help the community have safe drinking water because water can only flow out of the hose. They stop backflow, which happens when contaminated water flows back into the city water supply.
The most common source of cross-connection lies in many Lake Jackson backyards.
It is the regular garden hose.
Cross-contamination can occur when a person: forces a garden hose into a clogged gutter, downspout, or sewer pipe to flush out a clog; connects the hose directly to a hose-end sprayer for pesticide or fertilizer treatments; connects the hose to a soap-and-brush attachment to wash a car or lets the end of the hose lie in a puddle or pool of water on the ground.
Connecting a vacuum breaker on every outdoor faucet is a simple action every resident can take to help the city keep Lake Jackson water safe for everyone.
WATCH: LAKE JACKSON'S HEALTHY WATER: CROSS CONNECTION CONTROL VIDEO SERIES
**NOTICE** Changes to the City of Lake Jackson’s Cross Connection Control Program.
WHAT IS A CROSS CONNECTION?
A cross connection is a connection between a potable drinking water supply and a possible source of contamination or pollution. Under the provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1971, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established national standards for safe drinking water. Each state is required to enforce the various regulations of the Safe Drinking Water Act and how it relates to its state laws.
To meet these provisions, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on January 1, 1996, enacted a state law which requires the public water suppliers to implement and enforce the Cross Connection Control Program requirements located in the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 30, Chapter 290 of the Rules and Regulations for Public Water Suppliers.
WHAT IS BACKFLOW?
Backflow is the undesirable reversal of flow in a potable water distribution system. Water that is always under pressure can only flow in one direction. Then how can water flow in reverse? Water will always flow towards the point of lowest pressure. If a water main were to break or if the fire department opened several fire hydrants to help fight a fire, the pressure in the water main could drop. The demand upstream could cause a reversal in flow.
Cross connections and the possibility of backflow need to be recognized so they do not occur. A garden hose submerged in a hot tub, swimming pool, car radiator or attached to an insect/fertilizer sprayer could siphon the liquid back into the water main. Water from an irrigation system could be siphoned back into the public water supply.
Backflow prevention assemblies are designed to protect the public water system from these types of concerns.
TESTING OF BACKFLOW PREVENTION ASSEMBLIES
All backflow protection assemblies must be tested upon installation, replacement, repair or relocation. Because backflow prevention assemblies are mechanical devices that will degrade over time, all backflow assemblies should be tested annually to ensure they are in working order.
The City of Lake Jackson has chosen to partner with Vepo, LLC to allow for the online submission of Backflow Prevention Assembly Test and Maintenance Reports. All testing information will be entered directly by the tester into the online password protected Envirotrax® system provided by Vepo, LLC. Testers will no longer be able to submit paper test reports directly to the city.
FINDING OR BECOMING A REGISTERED TESTER
All Backflow Prevention Assembly Testers (BPATs) are required to register with Vepo, LLC. Upon registration and verification of license, insurance, and test gauge accuracy, the tester will be added to the approved list of Backflow Prevention Assembly Testers.
Note: Backflow prevention assemblies on fire protection sprinkler systems are required by the State Fire Marshal to be tested and/or repaired by a BPAT who is a full‐time employee of a fire protection sprinkler company that is licensed with the State Fire Marshal's Office.