Cross Connection Links
The Village of Mount Prospect Cross Connection Control Program is designed to reduce the likelihood of drinking water contamination caused by cross connections and backflow. This program was developed in order to comply with Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB) rules that require all public water supplies in Illinois to implement a cross connection control program.
Cross connections can be defined as:
...any type of plumbing arrangement, whether permanent or temporary, that permits an unprotected actual or potential connection between water intended for human consumption and any other fluid or gas.
These types of connections can range from permanent structures such as the supply piping for a steam boiler in building to a temporary arrangement such as a garden hose laying in a bucket of soap suds while the car is being readied for its weekend bath.
Typically, the Village-owned water distribution system operates at sufficient pressure to keep water flowing in the proper, intended direction. However, if low pressure zones are created, such as during a large fire when many hydrants may be in use, or during a water main leak, it is possible to reverse the intended flow of water and cause it to backflow into the drinking water supply.
In order to minimize the likelihood of these types of occurrences, and comply with requirements specified by the IPCB and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), the Village has enacted an ordinance which prohibits unprotected cross connections.
This ordinance details a multi-step implementation process. In the first step of this process, water customers tributary to the Village-owned water distribution system are surveyed by representatives from the Public Works Department to determine whether or not cross connections, or the potential for cross connections, exist within their private plumbing systems.
These surveys are then analyzed by the Village Plumbing Inspector and Water/Sewer Superintendent. If cross connections are found, or the potential for cross connections is identified, the water customer will be required to install and maintain an approved backflow prevention device that will protect the drinking water supply from contamination caused by backflow (compliance).
The surveys are then repeated once every 2 years to make certain that the way water is used has not changed or the potential for contamination from cross connections has not increased.
Finally, state law mandates that all backflow prevention devices must be tested and recertified on an annual basis. These tests must be performed by a specialized plumber with a specific license to test and repair backflow prevention devices (a cross connection control device inspector (CCCDI)). Copies of these test/certification reports must be submitted to the Public Works Department each year along with a $10 per device cross connection control program administration fee.
The program will concentrate on water customers that present backflow contamination risk to the public water supply. Generally, this group will be comprised of commercial and industrial customers that use water in some type of processing or manufacturing capacity. However, property owners should be aware that underground lawn sprinklers, fire sprinklers, and hot water boilers can also present significant backflow risks and protection may be required at properties with these types of facilities.
All water customers in Mount Prospect, including those served by Illinois American Water Company, may be affected by cross-connection control efforts. However, each water supply is responsible for its own program. Consequently, Illinois American customers should contact Illinois American directly for answers to questions about backflow prevention. Customers served by Mount Prospect water can contact the Public Works Department for more information.