Cross Connection Control Program
The Town of Plainville makes every effort to ensure that the water delivered to your home and business is clean, safe, and free of contamination. Our staff works very hard to protect the quality of the water delivered to our customers from the time the water is withdrawn from our water sources, throughout the entire treatment and distribution system.
- What is a cross connection?
A cross-connection is a point in a plumbing system where it is possible for a non-potable substance to come into contact with the potable drinking water supply. Common examples of cross-connections include a garden hose submerged in a pesticide mixture, a piped connection providing potable feed water to an industrial process, such as a cooling tower, or a submerged outlet of an irrigation system. Connections to firefighting equipment are other very common cross-connections. Most cross connections occur beyond the customer service connection, within residential, commercial, institutional or industrial plumbing systems. Identifying cross-connections can be challenging because many distribution systems are expanding to serve new customers and changing to accommodate customer needs. Further, temporary and permanent cross connections can be created in existing facilities without the knowledge of the water system managers and operators.
- What is backflow?
Backflow is any unwanted flow of used or non-potable water, or other substances from any domestic, industrial, or institutional piping system back into the potable water distribution system. The direction of flow under these conditions is opposite to that of normal flow and is caused by either backsiphonage or backpressure. Backsiphonage is backflow caused by a negative pressure (vacuum or partial vacuum) in the supply piping. Backsiphonage occurs when system pressure is reduced below atmospheric pressure. The effect is similar to sipping water through a straw. Backpressure is backflow caused by pressure in the customer's plumbing being greater than the pressure in the water supply piping. The higher pressure in the customer's plumbing may be from a booster pump, heating boiler, etc. Outside water taps and garden hoses tend to be the most common sources of cross connection contamination at home. The garden hose creates a hazard when submerged in a swimming pool or when attached to a chemical sprayer for weed control. Garden hoses that are left lying on the ground may be contaminated by fertilizers, cesspools, or garden chemicals.
The Plainville Department of Public Works is continuously jeopardized by cross connections unless appropriate valves, known as backflow prevention devices, are installed and maintained. We continually survey all industrial, commercial, and institutional facilities in Plainville to make sure all potential cross connections have been identified and eliminated or properly protected by a backflow prevention device. We also inspect and test each backflow preventer to make sure that it is providing maximum protection. Please call the Water and Sewer Operations Supervisor at 508-695-6871, ext. 202 with any questions you may have regarding cross connections and backflows.
If you are the owner or manager of a property that is being used as a commercial, industrial or institutional facility you must have your property's plumbing system surveyed for cross-connection by Certified Water and Sewer personnel. If your property has NOT been surveyed for cross-connection please contact the Water and Sewer Operations Center at 508-695-6871 for a survey. The Massachusetts Drinking Water Regulations, 310 CMR 22, requires all public water systems to have an approved and fully implemented Cross-connection Control Program (CCCP). The Plainville Department of Public Works is working diligently to protect the public health of its drinking water customers from the hazardous caused by unprotected cross connections through the implementation of its cross-connection survey program, elimination or proper protection of all identified cross-connections, the registration of all cross-connections protected by a reduced pressure backflow preventers (RPBPs) or a double check valve assemblies (DCVAs), and the implementation of a testing program for all RPBPs and DCVAs.