What is backflow?

Backflow, within the context of the drinking water industry, means the reversal of water flow from its normal or intended direction of flow. Whenever a water utility connects a customer to its water distribution system, the intention is for the water to flow from the distribution system to the customer. However, it is possible, and quite common, for the flow to be reversed and the flow from the customer’s plumbing system can back up into the public water distribution system. If cross-connections exist within the user’s plumbing system when backflow occurs, then it is possible to contaminate the public water system.

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1. What is a cross-connection?
2. What is backflow?
3. What causes backflow?
4. Can cross-connections be hazardous?
5. What can be done to prevent contamination of our public water systems due to cross-connections?
6. How does the water distribution system become contaminated?
7. Where can I find information on the Cross Connection Control Program?