Backflow - Cross Connection Information

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City of Wood Dale Backflow Device Pamphlet

A cross-connection is any connection or potential connection between a potable (drinking) water supply system and any source of non-potable or non-drinkable liquid, solid, or gas.  What appears to be a harmless garden hose connection creates a dangerous cross connection between potable and non-potable water. This program is designed to protect our public water supply from potential contamination sources.

There are two types of backflow:

  • Back-pressure is when the water supply is connected to a device that creates pressure, such as a boiler, pressure washer, etc.  The pressure created can be greater than the water supply, thereby creating backflow.
  • Back-siphonage is when there is a loss of pressure in the water supply.  This will cause the water in your facility to flow backwards back into the water supply and/or into other plumbing connections within your facility.  This situation can occur when a fire hydrant is opened, when there is a water main break, etc.

Under certain circumstances of unequal pressure, a non-drinkable substance could either be pulled or pushed into a drinking water supply.  This is called backflow.

Backflow can reverse the flow of water or other substances into the public or private water system, resulting in chemicals or contaminants getting into the drinking water.  In other words, due to changes in pressure, the water can flow in the opposite direction from what is intended.  This is why the installation, inspection, and proper maintenance of Cross-Connection Control Devices are imperative to the safety of your drinking water.

Backflow preventers are required to be tested annually, at a minimum.  This assures that the assemblies are maintained and are in working order.  If regular testing is not performed, your water system will be at risk. 

The City of Wood Dale is currently developing a new tracking mechanism for Backflow Preventers within the City. 

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