Water Cross Connections and Backflow Devices

The Water Department of the City of Sheridan provides safe, clean drinking water to the City. The system is designed to acquire water from the City's sources, treat the water, and provide it, via distribution lines, to the consumer. Sometimes the water system does not work as designed and water can flow from the consumer's lines back into the City's transmission lines. This can cause serious health problems. The City has a blackflow prevention program to ensure this does not happen.

What is Backflow?

Water distribution systems are designed with the intention of the water flowing in a certain direction-- from the distribution system to the consumer. However, hydraulic conditions within the system may deviate from the "normal" conditions, causing water to flow in the opposite direction. Therefore, it is possible (and common) for the water to flow in the opposite direction in unprotected systems. This is called backflow.

What is a Cross-Connection?

A cross-connection is an unprotected actual or potential connection between a potable water system used to supply water for drinking purposes and any source or system containing unapproved water or a substance that is not or cannot be approved as safe, wholesome, and potable. By-pass arrangements, jumper connections, removable sections, swivel or changeover devices, or other devices through which backflow could occur, shall be considered to be cross-connections.

What is Back Siphonage?

Back-siphonage is caused by mainline piping failures or drafting due to high demands. An example of this condition that can occur is when the drinking water system pressure drops below that of the fire protection system, drawing the fire protection system water back into the drinking water system.

Field Testing

We understand that any and all mechanical devices are subject to failure due to age, wear, damage, corrosive water, and manufacturing flaws. The City requires regular field testing and maintenance of backflow prevention assemblies to ensure their proper operation, to protect the public water supply and the financial investment of our rate-payers by extending the life of the assembly. The actual frequency of field testing of each assembly is done after initial installation, after repairs of any kind are made to the assembly and at least once annually. This is also consistent with the prevailing Building and Plumbing Codes.

City Code

A copy of the section of the City Code pertaining to Cross Connections and Backflow Prevention is attached.