Cross connection test is an informative site designed to answer questions on backflow devices installed to protect the City of Calgary's water system. Explanation of the different backflow devices such as a testable cross connection control device is provided and also re-direction to certified testing company within the city.
Why do I need to have a cross connection control device test?
A cross connection control device is a mechanical device that stops contamination from flowing backwards into your drinking water. This device has been installed to protect against a very high hazard of a potential contamination that could occur to your drinking water. As with all mechanical devices, they are subject to fail. The City of Calgary monitors any of these devices and requires an annual cross connection control test to be done. This test ensures that the device is operating properly and is in fact protecting your drinking water and also the City of Calgary's drinking water.
What is a Cross Connection Control Device? What is a backflow preventer?
A backflow preventer is a device that stops the flow of water or any liquid from flowing backwards. A cross connection control device is a backflow preventer that can also be tested installed on your drinking water. These terms are the exact same thing as they both refer to a device that stops the backwards flow of liquid. One term is used by the City of Calgary to homeowners and business owners and the other term is used by certified installers. There are many different types of backflow preventers or cross connection control devices. Some are testable devices and some are not. Testable devices are installed when a severe hazard of cross connection could occur. Testable devices require a Cross Connection Control Device Test completed on an annual basis within the City of Calgary. This is to ensure the safety of your drinking water, your family's drinking water and your neighbour's drinking water.
Outside of Calgary City Limits:
Outside of the city of Calgary, regular annual testing of testable backflow devices or cross connection control devices are not monitored. Does this mean that you shouldn't have them tested? NO. YOU SHOULD TEST YOUR CROSS CONNECTION CONTROL DEVICE ANNUALLY. Why? To protect your drinking water and your family's drinking water if you are on a separate well system. If you are on a CO-OP water system, it will protect your neighbour's drinking water also. As rural backflow devices are only monitored to be installed and not tested, it is the responsibility of the homeowner or business owner to have this service done.
"Calgary Cross Connection Control Program"
The CalgaryCross Connection Control Program is a joint effort by a variety of groups and professionals to reduce water contamination risks in water infrastructure where a link between our drinking water system and non-potable water is located.
The program oversees guidelines for controlling cross connections and ensuring compliance so that Calgary's drinking water supply is protected from contaminated water. This is done by preventing water that has been used for washing, heating, cooling, etc., within a facility or home from flowing into the drinking water system.
Responsibilities for homeowners
Homeowners must ensure no cross-connections exist on their property that could contaminate their water supply. Cross connection locations include the following:
Outdoor cross connections:
- Outside hose connections (i.e., garden hose attached to an outside tap or hose bib with the end of the hose connected to a pesticide sprayer; or left submerged in an ornamental pool, above-ground lawn watering). These backflow devices do not require regular testing.
- In-ground lawn watering (irrigation) systems. This is a testable backflow device and requires a cross connection test.
Indoor cross connections
- Toilets. These backflow devices do not require regular testing and are installed within the integral components of the tank.
- Laundry sink connected with hose(s). These backflow devices do not require regular testing.
- Handheld shower heads left immersed in water. These backflow devices do not require regular testing.
Other cross connections
- Boiler for in-slab or comfort heating. This is a testable backflow device and requires a cross connection test.
- Fire protection system. This is a testable backflow device and requires a cross connection test.
- Hot tub or spa. This is a testable backflow device and requires a cross connection test.
- In-home water treatment (softener) system. These backflow devices do not require regular testing.
- High-pressure washer. These backflow devices do not require regular testing.
This is what a typical cross connection installed on an irrigation system. It is called a DCVA cross connection control device or dual check valve assembly.
This is what a typical cross connection control device that is usually installed on a boiler system. It is called an RP back flow device or reduced pressure back flow device.
Calgary Cross Connection Control Device Testing:
Dependent on the type of danger of contaminating your drinking water decides the type of cross connection control device you require. Locations such as in ground irrigation water systems are a very high danger as it enables whatever treatment you put on your lawn to enter the City of Calgary drinking water. In this circumstance, the cross connection control device installed is a testable device. This testable backflow device or cross connection control device installed is usually a DCVA or Dual Check Valve Assembly. Other locations such as boiler water feed lines also pose a very high danger as it enables the boiler water into the City of Calgary drinking water. In this case, the testable cross connection control device installed is usually an RP or Reduced Pressure backflow preventer. Both of these examples represent a very high danger as the substances used in these two applications can actually cause severe illness and possible"death" to people if contamination occurs to our city's drinking water.
If you have one of these devices, you need a cross connection test done on a yearly basis. This is to protect you, your family, your neighbours and all residents in the City of Calgary. Contact a certified installer at Calgary Cross Connection Control Device Testing to perform your cross connection test today.