According to the Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint Water Authority’s rules and regulations, all commercial properties are required to take steps to prevent cross connection and back flow to the public water system. This includes the installation of an approved back flow prevention device and having it tested annually.
Failure to comply can result in termination of water service.
What is cross connection and back flow?
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.
Back flow is the reverse flow of water or other substances through a cross connection into the treated drinking water distribution system. There are two types of back flow back pressure and back-siphonage.
Back pressure – when the pressure of the contaminant source exceeds the positive pressure in the water distribution main. An example 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 back flow preventer. If pressure in the boiler system increases to where it exceeds the pressure in the water distribution system, back flow from the boiler to the drinking water supply system may occur.
Back-siphonage – this is caused by a negative pressure in the water distribution system. This situation is similar in effect to the sipping of water through a straw. Negative pressure in the drinking water distribution system can happen because of a water main break or when a fire hydrant is in use for fighting fires.
How to prevent back flow contamination.
All commercial properties are required to have an approved and functioning back flow preventer installed. Installation and testing of back flow preventers must be completed by someone certified in the installation and testing of back flow preventers. The cost of the device, installation, and testing is the responsibility of the customer. We recommend that customers obtain cost estimates for installation. All devices are required to be tested on an annual basis starting with the first test upon installation.
Implementation of a program.
Title 25 – Environmental Protection, Chapter 109, Safe Drinking Water Act, Section 109.709b, Allegheny County Health Department plumbing codes and the Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint Water Authority back flow prevention cross connection control program.
Types of Back flow Prevention Devices.
The type of devices depends on what the degree of hazard is present at your location. A reduced pressure zone assembly (RPZ) should be installed at high hazard properties; a double check valve assembly or a double detector check valve (DCVA/DDCVA) should be installed in lower hazard properties. To schedule a survey to find out what type of device may be required at your property please contact any of the following people Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm at 412-243-6200:
Ken Bair Ext. 6198
Donna May Ext. 3482
John Baurle Ext. 6180
William Maxwell Ext. 6182
Options to returning completed back flow prevention test form.
Mail to:The Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint Water Authority
2200 Robinson Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA 15129