Backflow Prevention

Cross-Connection Control & Backflow Prevention

The East Longmeadow Water Department makes every effort to ensure that the water delivered to your home and business is clean, safe and free of contamination. Our staff works very hard to protect the quality of the water delivered to our customers from the time the water is extracted via deep wells from underground aquifers or withdrawal point from a surface water source, throughout the entire treatment and distribution system. But what happens when the water reaches your home or business? Is there still a need to protect the water quality from contamination caused by a cross-connection? If so, how?


A cross-connection occurs whenever the drinking water supply is or could be in contact with potential sources of pollution or contamination. Cross-connections exist in piping arrangements or equipment that allows the drinking water to come in contact with non-potable liquids, solids or gases (hazardous to humans) in event of a backflow.


Backflow is the undesired reverse of the water flow in the drinking water distribution lines. This backward flow of water can occur when the pressure created by an equipment or system such as a boiler or air-conditioning is higher than the water pressure inside the water distribution line (backpressure), or when the pressure in the distribution line drops due to routine occurrences such as water main breaks or heavy water demand causing the water to flow backward inside the water distribution system (backsiphonage). Backflow is a problem that many water consumers are unaware of, a problem that each and every water customer has a responsibility to help prevent.
Back Pressure normal pressure in potable pressure vs high pressure in non-potable system Back Siphonage low pressure in potable system vs normal pressure in non-potable system