Cross Connection Control Program
Under the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act, the EGLE institutes rules to protect drinking water and to prevent cross connections that may contaminate public drinking water systems. All communities are required to implement a program for removal of ALL existing cross connections and the prevention of all future cross connections.
Pittsfield Charter Township requires cross connection testing on commercial and industrial facilities due to their perceived greater risk of contaminants. While testing of these facilities will continue, Pittsfield Charter Township is now required to address the residential sector.
With the increase in properties requiring inspection, Pittsfield Charter Township has contracted with HydroCorp to inspect and maintain the Cross Connection Control Program.
You will be notified by mail when your property is required to be tested. Please direct questions to HydroCorp at 844/493-7641.
What is a Cross Connection?
One of the most serious public health threats to a drinking water supply system is something called a cross connection. A cross connection is an arrangement of piping that could allow undesirable water, sewage, or chemical solutions to enter your drinking (potable) water system as a result of back flow. Cross connections with potable piping systems have resulted in numerous cases of illness and even death. Due to a State mandate – as part of compliance with Public Act 399, Part 14A – a residential cross connection control program has been implemented by Canton Township.
What is Backflow & How can it Occur?
Back flow is the reversal of normal flow in a system due to back siphonage or back pressure. Back siphonage occurs when a vacuum is induced on a piping system, similar to drinking from a glass with a straw. A garden hose or a hose connected to a laundry tub can act as a “straw” allowing undesirable liquids to be drawn through it by back siphonage.
Some Typical Situations that Cause Back Siphonage Action Include:
- High water flow rates exerted on a water main due to firefighting, hydrant flushing, large system demands or major pipe breaks.
- Booster pumps taking direct suction from potable water supply piping.
- Undersized piping.
Whenever the drinking water supply system is directly connected to another piping system or process that operates at a higher system pressure, backpressure backflow can occur.
In-Ground Irrigation and Lawn Sprinkler Systems
Automatic irrigation systems pose a significant threat to the drinking water system. By their nature, sprinkler heads may reside in a pool of yard/animal waste, pesticides and/or fertilizers. And because the supply lines are under constant pressure and flow, and controlled by underground control valves, a typical vacuum breaker is not an appropriate form of protections. These items require backflow prevention assemblies.
Hose Bibb and General Hose Usage:
Because of their portability and universal ease of connection, general purpose/garden hoses pose one of the greatest risk for backflow occurrences. In addition, there is a general complacency (underestimation of hazard level) with what hoses are connected to or with what they are left submerged in.
In residential applications, the normal way to protect the drinking water system for the hose, and its uses, is to outfit the hose bibb (spigot/valve) with a vacuum breaker. Every hose bibb, regardless of age or usage, must be outfitted with a vacuum breaker. Vacuum breakers are considered non-testable and may be installed or replaced by a homeowner.
What is the Law?
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) requires water utilities to have comprehensive cross control programs for the elimination and prevention of all cross connections.
This is defined in Part 14 of the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act. See page 203.
EGLE has also published a Cross Connection Rules Manual.