Backflow Testing and Cross Connections
This page is intended to help you understand our cross connection Control Program
In 1996 the Clean Drinking Water Act initiated laws for Cross Connections. The State of Idaho code for Cross Connection requires that all homeowners and businesses have testable backflow devices on sprinkler systems and that all outside hose bibs are anti-siphon. In 2003, EEWA Board of Directors was authorized by the members to manage the annual backflow testing for backflow prevention assemblies connected to the water system. EEWA requires that all homeowners fill out the compliance survey and have their devices tested annually.
How do I comply with the State code?
Backflow Testing will begin on or around May 1st; a satisfactory test must be submitted annually by June 30th. Homeowners will receive their results with their next bill, unless their device fails, at which time they will be notified immediately. Feel free to turn on your irrigation and use it until your test has been completed. The cost for the annual backflow test is $35.00 and your account will be billed.
The EEWA Certified Backflow Tester is: Environmental Systems Operations, LLC 208-691-3428
For details on the backflow testing process please refer to this Backflow Brochure.
Cross Connection and Backflow Devices
Any physical arrangement whereby a public water system is connected, directly or indirectly, with any other non-potable water system, sprinkler, sewer, drain, conduit, pool, storage reservoir, plumbing fixture, or other device which contains, or may contain, contaminated water, sewage, or other waste liquid of unknown or unsafe quality which may be capable of imparting contamination to the public water system as a result of backflow. Bypass arrangements, jumper connections, removable sections, swivel or change-over devices, or other temporary or permanent devices through which, or because of which, backflow may occur are considered to be cross connections. Example Devices
State of Idaho Cross Connection Requirements
IDAHO AMINISTRATIVE CODEIDAPA 58.01.08
Department of Environmental Quality Public Drinking Water systems
A)An inspection once a year of all facilities listed in subsection 900.02 (Table 2) to locate cross connections and determine required suitable protection.
B)Required installation and operation of adequate backflow prevention devices. A list of minimum recommended devices for various facilities is provided in sub section 900.02 (Table 2).
C)Annual inspections by American water Works Association-certified tester, or equal, of all installed backflow prevention devices to insure operability.
D)Discontinuance of service to any facility where suitable backflow protection has not been provided for a cross connection.
E)If double check valves and/or reduced pressure principle backflow prevention devices are used, they must pass a performance test conducted by the University of Southern California Foundation for Cross Connection Control and Hydraulic Research or meet American Water Works Association C-510 or C-511 standard or another equal test approved by the Department.
F)If atmospheric vacuum breakers and pressure vacuum breakers are used, they shall be marked approved by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) or by the American Society of Sanitation Engineers (ASSE).
G)Resilient seated shutoff valves shall be used after the effective date of these rules when double check valves, reduced pressure backflow prevention devices, and pressure vacuum breakers are installed.
Who controls the costs involved in having our backflow devices tested?Unfortunately, the costs involved in having backflow devices tested rests soley on the shoulders of the testers doing it. Hopefully, with all community water systems doing Cross Connection, the prices will stay competitive.
How much does it cost to have backflow devices tested?We've been led to believe that a ball park figure for just having your backflow device tested ranges from $25.00 to $50.00. If you need maintenace done on your backflow device or to get to your backflow device you will have additional labor or possibly parts charges involved.
What if I refuse to comply?The State Administrative Code says this: Discontinuance of water service to any facility where suitable backflow protection has not been provided for a cross connection. Emerald Estates Water Association does not in any way want to have to enforce this. Everyone that refuses to comply is only endangering themselves as well as the other patrons of the district.
Why does this have to be done annually?This has to be done annually because backflow devices just like everything else do fail. The state requires that they be tested annually.
For those who already have backflow devices, will we just simply be required to have them tested?"Yes. You will have your property evaluated and if you already have the proper backflow devices you will just need to have them tested annually.
What is a backflow device?Simply, a backflow device will only allow water to flow in one direction. Once water goes past the backflow device, it can't be sucked back into the public water system.
What if I don't have a sprinkler system?The main compliance will be anti-siphon hose bibs and sprinkler systems. If your house is less than ten years old, chances are you already have anti-siphon hose bibs. If you don't have a sprinkler system, than your next concern will be the hose bibs on your house. If your hose bibs are not anti-siphon, an adapter can be purchased to screw on the end.
Shouldn't the builder of my house or building be responsible for meeting the backflow requirement?No. When your house was built it would have had to pass the state plumbing requirements for that year.