Preventing Cross Contamination

What You Can Do

Without the proper protection, something as simple as a garden hose has the potential to contaminate or pollute the drinking water lines in your house. In fact, over half of the country’s cross-connection incidents involve unprotected garden hoses. There are very simple steps that you as a drinking water user can take to prevent such hazards, they are:
  • Never submerge a hose in soapy water buckets, pet watering containers, pool, tubs, sinks, drains or chemicals.
  • Never attached a hose to a garden sprayer without the proper backflow preventer.
  • Buy and install a hose bibb vacuum breaker in any threaded water fixture. The installation can be as easy as attaching a garden hose to a spigot. This inexpensive device is available at most hardware stores and home-improvement centers.
  • Identify and be aware of potential cross-connections to your water line.
  • Buy appliances and equipment with a backflow preventer
  • Buy and install backflow prevention devices or assemblies for all high and moderate hazard connections.

Non-Residential Properties

If you are the owner or manager of a property that is being used as a commercial, industrial or institutional facility you must have your property’s plumbing system surveyed for cross-connection by your water purveyor. If your property has not been surveyed for cross-connection, contact your water department to schedule a cross-connection survey.

Public Water Systems

The Massachusetts Drinking Water Regulations, 310 CMR 22.00, requires all public water systems to have an approved and fully implemented Cross-connection Control Program (CCCP). The East Longmeadow Water Department is working diligently to protect the public health of its drinking water customers from the hazardous caused by unprotected cross-connections through the implementation of its cross-connection survey program, elimination or properly protection of all identified cross-connections, the registration of all cross-connections protected by a reduced pressure backflow preventers (RPBPs) or a double check valve assemblies (DCVAs), and the implementation of a testing program for all RPBPs and DCVAs.

If you have any questions, please contact your licensed back flow inspector, Nick Gioiosi at (413) 525-5400, ext. 1255.