Cross Connection Control and Backflow Prevention Program

To protect our consumers from any unhealthful contamination that could possibly be introduced into the potable water system, the Hampton Shaler Water Authority (HSWA) is required to implement a cross connection control program.  This program is mandated by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act of 1986, the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Rules and Regulations of this Authority.  HSWA is requiring all water customers whether they are residential, commercial or industrial have an approved backflow prevention device installed on their water lines.

Depending whether you are a residential customer, a commercial business or an independent plumbing contractor you can click on the links below for further information.



What is a cross connection and backflow?

Cross connection is any actual or physical connection between a potable (drinkable) water supply and any source of non-potable liquid, solid or gas that could contaminate drinking water under certain circumstances.

Backflow is the reverse flow of water or other substances into the treated drinking water distribution system.  There are two types of backflow:  backpressure and backsiphonage.

  • Backpressure happens when the pressure of the contaminant source exceeds the positive pressure in the water distribution main.  An example of this would be when a drinking water supply main has a connection to a hot water boiler system that is not protected by an approved and functioning backflow preventer.  If the pressure in the boiler system increases to where it exceeds the pressure in the water distribution system, backflow from the boiler into the drinking water supply system may occur.
  • Backsiphonage means the backflow of water or mixture of water and other liquids, gases or other substances from a plumbing fixture or other customer source, into a public water supply system main due to a temporary negative or sub-atmospheric pressure within the public water supply system.  Negative pressure in the drinking water distribution system can happen because of a water main break or when a hydrant is used for fire fighting.

Why backflow prevention is important.

All water users benefit from an active, on-going cross connection control program that includes the installation of backflow preventer whether residential, commercial or industrial.  Drinking water normally flows through different pipes and connections than non-potable water, but a faulty backflow preventer can draw dangerous water sources back into the drinking water system.  Contaminated drinking water sources can cause widespread illness, and therefore annual backflow preventer inspections are required by law.