What Causes Contamination Through Cross-Connections to Occur?

Under intended flow conditions, distribution systems are pressurized to deliver finished water from the treatment plant to the customer. However, two situations can cause the direction of flow to reverse: pressure in the distribution system can drop due to various conditions or an external system connected to the distribution system may operate at a higher pressure than the distribution system. These differences in pressure can cause contaminants to be drawn or forced into the distribution system. Contamination introduced due to backflow into the distribution system may then flow freely into other customer connections. The following conditions must be present for contamination to occur through cross-connections.

small pdf icon April 2019 Newsletter

 

“You’re Going To Have The Water Off How Long?????”

How many times have we heard such a statement when testing or repairing containment backflow prevention assemblies on critical services?

Through the years of enforcing San Antonio Water System’s Backflow Prevention Program and today actually being involved in the testing and repairing of assemblies, we have always had to deal with many critical services not having manifold installations (by-pass arrangements). With manifold installations, one Backflow Prevention Assembly can be turned off at a time for testing and/or repair. If the installation does not have a manifold backflow prevention assembly, the water has to be turned off to the facility. The only exception is if there is an additional belted water service or source to the facility.

small pdf icon February 2019 Newsletter

 

Question: Is it legal for a Backflow Tester to conduct Customer Service Inspections (Cross Connection Surveys) if the Water Purveyor approves?

Water Purveyors occasionally ask a BPAT (Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester) to locate and test all the backflow preventers within a facility because the purveyor does not have records of all assemblies. Soo - the BPAT does what the water purveyor asks and goes through the facility and test all the backflow preventers they see.

The tester misses one! The following year or so a contamination event occurs through the assembly missed by the tester. The tester was told by the purveyor to: ”locate and test all assemblies”! Who do you think will be held responsible and liable in this situation? The purveyor will blame the Tester.

small pdf icon March 2019 Newsletter

 

Slime in the Ice Machine Kym Orange Jr. WW Grainger, Inc.

Seemingly innocuous drinking fountains, ice machines in hospitals, and water hydration systems in other healthcare settings actually have hidden dangers lurking. These everyday hospital water systems are potentially rife with the sources of fatal respiratory diseases. Although all of these systems are embedded with filters that enhance water taste and purity, the standards of these filters are often well below what's necessary to prevent posing a health risk to patients in healthcare today.

small pdf icon January 2019 Newsletter