Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention
City of Fair Oaks Ranch Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention Program
What is a Cross Connection?
A cross connection is a connection between a potable drinking water supply and a possible source of contamination or pollution. Under the provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1971, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established national standards for safe drinking water. Each state is required to enforce the various regulations of the Safe Drinking Water Act and how it relates to its state laws.
In order to meet these provisions, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality enacted a state law which requires all public water suppliers to implement and enforce the Cross-Connection Control Program requirements located in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 30, Chapter 290 of the Rules and Regulations for Public Water Suppliers.
What is Backflow?
Backflow is defined as the undesirable reversal of flow of water or mixtures of water and other liquids, gases or other substances into the City’s water system. These situations can introduce pollutants and contaminants into a public or private water supply when a change in pressure is experienced. These pollutants and contaminants can present health hazards to the residents that utilize the potable water supply. Backflow prevention assemblies are designed to protect the public water system from these types of concerns.
Testing of Backflow Prevention Assemblies
All backflow protection assemblies must be tested upon installation, repair, relocation or replacement. Because backflow prevention assemblies are mechanical devices that will degrade over time, all backflow assemblies should be tested periodically to ensure they are in working order.
The City’s recently approved city ordinance will take effect on October 1, 2019. Fair Oaks Ranch Utility customers will have from October 1, 2019 to October 1, 2020 to have their assemblies tested. From that point on, customers will follow a testing frequency based on the type of hazard the assembly protects against. Backflow prevention assemblies which are installed to provide protection against health hazards must be tested annually (this includes assemblies installed on residential irrigation systems that sit on a property with a septic tank/OSSF), while assemblies which are installed to provide protection against non-health hazards must be tested every three (3) years (this includes assemblies installed on residential irrigation systems that sit on a property without a septic tank/OSSF).
*Please note: Newer homes with irrigation systems installed in the two (2) years prior to October 1, 2019 shall follow their appropriate testing frequency from the date the assembly was last tested.
The City of Fair Oaks Ranch has chosen to partner with Vepo, LLC to allow for the online submission of Backflow Prevention Assembly Test and Maintenance Reports. All testing information will be entered directly by the tester into the online password protected system provided by Vepo, LLC. Effective immediately, testers will no longer be able to submit paper test reports directly to the City.
Finding or Becoming a Registered Tester
All Backflow Prevention Assembly Testers (BAPTs) are required to register with Vepo, LLC. Upon registration and verification of license, insurance, and test for accuracy reports, the tester will be added to the approved list of Backflow Prevention Assembly Testers.
Note: Backflow prevention assemblies on fire protection sprinkler systems are required by the State Fire Marshall to be tested and/or repaired by a BPAT who is a full-time employee of a fire protection sprinkler company that is licensed with the State Fire Marshall's Office.