Cross-Connection and Backflow Prevention
Plumbing cross-connections, which are defined as actual or potential connections between a potable and non-potable water supply, constitute a serious public health hazard. There are numerous, well-documented cases where cross-connections have been responsible for contamination of drinking water, and have resulted in the spread of disease. The problem is a dynamic one, because piping systems are continually being installed, altered, or extended. Control of cross-connections is possible, but only through thorough knowledge and vigilance. Education is essential, for even those who are experienced in piping installations fail to recognize cross-connection possibilities and dangers. All municipalities with public water supply systems should have cross-connection control programs. Those responsible for institutional or private water supplies should also be familiar with the dangers of cross-connections and should exercise careful surveillance of their systems.