Use Water Wisely
Get to Know Your H2O
Useful information for maintaining a safe water supply
Clark County Public Utilities is committed to providing our customers with the safest, highest quality water possible. But like many things, the preservation of our drinking water takes the efforts of the entire community. Here is some useful information to help you understand your water supply system, and ensure that the water in your home is safe for the whole family.
What is a Cross Connection?
A cross connection is any connection between a drinking water system and any other non-potable substance—be it liquid, solid, or gas. Although cross connections are potentially hazardous, they are also quite common, especially in homes with irrigation systems, swimming pools or spas, darkrooms, water wells, or fire-extinguishing systems. Cross connection control programs help protect the water we drink from contamination, and you can help protect against any risks by installing, maintaining, and annually testing an approved backflow prevention assembly.
What is Backflow?
Backflow is water flowing in the opposite of its intended direction, which typically occurs when drinking water is at a lower pressure than the contaminated water, and it can be very dangerous when it results in one of those non-potable substances contaminating a potable water supply.
What is a Backflow Prevention Assembly?
Backflow assemblies are mechanical devices installed on water service lines with cross connections to prevent backflow. Backflow assemblies must be state approved, properly installed and maintained, and must be tested annually by a certified Backflow Tester.
Oregon and Washington state laws require that all new or existing irrigation systems be equipped with an approved backflow prevention assembly. And local water suppliers are responsible for maintaining backflow assembly records and notifying property owners when they are due for testing. So it’s most likely that your home is already outfitted with the necessary equipment, and up to date. But, if you’re planning to make any additions or modifications to your home’s water system, or if you’re unsure if your water system contains cross connections and/or backflow assemblies, contact your local water supplier for specific information.
For a list of certified backflow testers in Oregon, visit public.health.oregon.gov.