Cross Connection Control and Backflow Prevention

Cross Connection Control

A cross connection is a piping arrangement that allows a potable water system to be connected to a source of potential pollution or contamination. It is vital to control cross connections in order to prevent a backflow of contaminants into potable water. Ultimately, backflow has the potential to cause the contamination of the entire public water supply, posing a risk for anyone using the water. For examples of cross connections that require control:

  • Boiler systems
  • Cooling systems
  • Fire sprinkler systems
  • Lawn irrigation systems
  • Reclaimed water systems
  • Swimming pools

If there is an incident which results in contamination of public drinking water due to improper or unprotected plumbing connections, the owner or occupant of the property can be held liable for damages.

Backflow Prevention

When backflow occurs, harmful chemicals and bacteria can pass through unprotected cross connections and into public water supply, creating a public health hazard. A backflow prevention device is a mechanical apparatus that allows water to flow in only one direction. If an unprotected or untested backflow prevention device connection wasn't installed or maintained properly and caused a public health hazard, the responsibility party, owners or occupants can be held liable for damages.

Here are some of the ways you can avoid backflow:

  • Isolate your water system from the public through the elimination of unnecessary cross connections.
  • Protect cross connections that cannot be eliminated with an approved backflow prevention device or assembly.
  • Conduct timely annual testing of backflow prevention assemblies on your property.

Backflow Testing Requirements

All back flow preventers shall be tested:

  • Upon installation (please note: the fee for filing a new test report is not included with plumbing permits)
  • Annually
  • When cleaned, repaired or overhauled
  • When relocated
  • As required by the regulatory authority

The City of White Rock has contracted BSI Online to maintain all backflow testing submissions and newly installed or previously unregistered backflow preventors. BSI Online allows for the online submission of test reports. This is to make test submissions easier for the consumer or the tester.

Certified Testers

Testing will have to be completed by an individual who is certified by the British Columbia Water and Waste Association (BCWWA).

Certified testers will need to hold a White Rock Business License and register with the City's new contractor BSI Online to submit test reports online for a fee of $34. For new backflow device testing forms, or a list of certified testers, please contact Engineering and Municipal Operations Department at 604-541-2181.

More Information

For more information on cross connection control and backflow testing see Bylaw 2015. No. 2117 Section 4 Integrity of Waterworks System.