As your drinking water provider, the City of Titusville Water Resources Department’s primary concern is to ensure the safety and quality of the drinking water that it provides to its consumers. An important part of ensuring that safety is backflow prevention and cross connection control.
After your water leaves the treatment facility and arrives at your home or business, ensuring its safety becomes not only the responsibility of the Water Resources Department, but also you, the property owner.
As the property owner, you play an important role in ensuring that none of the actions or activities taking place on the property end up adversely affecting the safety or quality of your drinking water. You need to be aware of and prevent cross connections and backflow events.
A cross connection is a connection between the drinking water system and any other system or source (such as a customer connecting their well to their city water).
Normally, your drinking water flows from Titusville’s Mourning Dove Water Production Plant to your home or business. When the flow is reversed so that it comes from your home or business into the water system, backflow is created.
Backflow is the undesirable reversal flow of a substance through a cross-connection and into the piping of the City’s water system.
If backflow is created and a contaminant enters the drinking water distribution system through a cross-connection, not only can the quality of water at that specific residence or business be affected, but also the water of all the consumers on the distribution system. To prevent contamination from backflow, all single-family residential meters are installed with a residential dual check valve assembly. Commercial and multi-family properties have commercial grade backflow prevention assemblies.
If you have ever used a garden hose with a hose-end sprayer connected to apply fertilizer or other chemicals, you have created a situation that has the potential for those chemicals to back flow into your home and even the water system.
An example of how this flow could occur would be siphoning. If the water system pressure suddenly drops, as can happen when there is a nearby main break or a fire hydrant is used, the vacuum created can pull the water from the hose along with any of the contaminants or chemicals you have connected to the hose into your home and into the water system.
Backflow can also be caused by back pressure. If the spray nozzle on the hose is turned off, but the faucet is left open, the pressure in the hose will equal the water supply pressure. If a large volume of water is used in the house, the pressure drops and the hose will contract, forcing water from the hose along with any contaminants into the house.