Oneonta Utilities Board

Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control Policy







A.      Compliance

This Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control Policy as adopted by the Utilities Board of the city of Oneonta as a purvey of potable water in the state of Alabama is consistent with and meets the requirements of the following:


1.      The Federal Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 (and Amendments)-Public Law 93-523.

2.      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)- Cross Connection Control Manual, 2003.

3.      The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), Division 7, Water Supply Program< Code R.335-7-9-Cross Connection Requirements, Effective: May 2009.

4.      Statutory Authority: Code of Alabama1975, Section 22-23-33, 22-23-49, 22-22A-5, and 22-22A-6.

5.      The policies, Rules and Regulations of the Utilities Board of the City of Oneonta, Alabama.


B.   Purpose

       The purpose of this policy is:


1.      To protect the public potable water supply of the Board from possibility of contamination or pollution by isolating within the customer’s internal distribution system(s) or the customer’s private water system(s) such contaminants or pollutants that could backflow into the public water system; and,


2.      To promote the elimination or control of existing cross-connections, actual or potential, between the customer’s potable water system(s) and non-potable water systems, plumbing fixtures, and industrial piping systems: and,


3.      To provide for the maintenance of a continuing program of cross-connection control that will systematically and effectively prevent the contamination or pollution of all potable water systems.



A)     No cross connection of any kind shall be permitted between the water supply from the Board’s mains and the water supply from any other source.


B)     A cross connection is defined as:


1)     Any physical connection whereby the Board’s water supply is in any way connected with any other water system, whether public or private, or


2)     Any arrangement whereby water introduced through a customer’s service to a premises can be back- siphoned or reintroduced into the Board’s mains.


C)     No two or more customer service pipes used for domestic service, fire service or for any other purpose shall be physically connected together in any manner whatsoever, unless specifically approved by the Board, and then only with approved backflow prevention devices on each service pipe.


D)     Customers who obtain water from a well, spring or other sources in addition to their connection to the Board’s water system shall maintain piping for said water which is completely separate from and with no connection to the piping for the water from the Board’s water system.


E)     Fountains, swimming pools, aquariums and all similar facilities shall be so constructed that there shall be a six-inch (6”) gap between the customer’s service pipe which delivers water to them and the overflow of each facility.


F)      All hospitals, mortuaries, nursing homes, autopsy facilities, clinics, chemical and testing laboratories, plating plants, chemical companies, packing houses and rendering plants, car washes, photograph processing plants, commercial laundries, sewage treatment plants, and any other facilities designated by the Board, including premises supplied with industrial or auxiliary water, shall have an acceptable backflow preventer installed in the customer’s service pipe between the meter and the first water outlet on the premises.


G)    A suitable backflow prevention device shall be installed on each service connection where an existing or potential health hazard to the water system exists or when any of the following conditions exists:


1)     Premises having an auxiliary water system, unless such auxiliary system is accepted as an additional source by the Department.


2)     Premises on which any substance is handled in such a manner as to create an actual or potential hazard to a water system.


3)     Premises having internal cross connections that, in the judgement of the supplier of water or the Department, may not be easily correctable.


4)     Premises where, because of security requirements, intricate plumbing, or other restrictions, it is impossible to make a complete cross connection survey.



5)     Premises having a repeated history of cross connections being established or reestablished.


6)     NTNC systems and other facilities having fire protection systems utilizing combinations of sprinklers, fire loops, storage tanks, pumps, antifreeze protection or other chemical additives, or auxiliary water sources.


7)     NTNC systems and other facilities having booster pumps which are connected to the water supply line but are not equipped with a low suction pressure cutoff device to shut off the booster pumps when suction pressure drops to 20 psi.


8)     Other premises specified by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management when cause can be shown that a potential cross connection hazard exists. (Ref. AAC 335-7-9.03)


H)    In order to protect the potable water in the Board’s mains which will be delivered to the general public, the Board reserves the right to require any customer to install and maintain by and at his expense a backflow preventer device, or any other such device approved by that purpose by the health authority which has jurisdiction over the area in which the premises is located.


I)       The Board shall deny or discontinue the water service to a customer if a required backflow prevention device is not installed or properly maintained when required by the Board. Water service shall not be restored to such premises until the deficiencies have been corrected or eliminated to the satisfaction of the Board and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. (Ref. AAC 335-7-9.05)


J)       Backflow preventers, when required, will be installed on the customer’s service pipe as close to the meter setting as possible. Reduced pressure backflow preventers shall be installed above ground, except as otherwise specifically authorized by the Board. Vaults shall be constructed to provide drain outlets to the outside of the vault at grade level. The backflow preventer shall be positioned in the vault so the relief or vent opening is twelve inches (12”) above grade level outside the vault. The drain outlet in the vault shall be a minimum of four (4) times the area of the relief or vent opening on the backflow preventer, or at least for (4) such openings shall be provided, each having an area equal to the area of the relief or vent outlet. Sufficient clearance from the backflow preventer shall be provided on all sides to permit testing and maintenance without removal from the service pipe. All vaults shall have drain openings with positive drainage at ground level a minimum of twelve inches (12”) below the relief or vent opening on the backflow preventer which will prevent the relief or vent opening from being submerged. In the event the piping inside the vault is wrapped or insulated to prevent freezing, care must be exercised to keep the relief or vent opening from being blocked or obstructed in any manner. All backflow preventers which are designed for field testing after installation in the service pipe shall be equipped with gate valves on both the inlet and the outlet side of the backflow preventer, and the gate valve or valves shall be equipped with test cocks when required by the applicable standard under which the backflow preventer is approved.


K)     It is the responsibility of the Board to establish and to operate a cross connection control and backflow prevention program consistent with the extent of the system within the jurisdiction of the utility. This program shall have an inspection program and records of health hazards found and corrective action taken shall be kept for five years and shall be made available to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management when requested. A copy of the Board’s cross connection control policy shall be provided to customers on request. (Ref. AAC 335-7-9.04)