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Backflow Municipal Code


13.12.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this section is to protect the health of water consumers of the City by the control of actual and/or potential cross-connections. (Ord. C-240, 1991)

13.12.020 Scope.

The City may implement reasonable procedures to eliminate cross-connections within the public water system under its control. The City shall not be deemed to assume responsibility for improper connections not within its actual knowledge. (Ord. C-240, 1991)

13.12.030 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

A. “Backflow” means the flow other than the intended direction of flow of any foreign liquids, gases or substances into the distribution system of the public drinking water.

B. “Contamination” means the entry into or the presence in the public drinking water system of any substance or matter when present in drinking water above an acceptable level that may adversely affect the health of the consumer and/or the aesthetic qualities of the water consumed.

C. “Cross-connection” means any physical arrangement whereby a public drinking water system is connected, directly or indirectly, with any other nonpotable or water system, sewer, drain conduit, pool, storage reservoir, plumbing fixture, or other device which contains or may contain contaminated water, sewage, or other waste or liquid of unknown or unsafe quality which may be capable of imparting contamination to the public water system as a result of backflow.

D. “Department” means the Washington State Department of Health or the Health Officer in accordance with WAC 246-290-100 or 246-290-410.

E. “Public drinking water system” means any water system or supply intended or used for human consumption or other domestic uses; including source, treatment, storage, transmission, and distribution facilities where water is furnished to any community, collection or number of individuals; however, excluding a system serving one single-family residence.

F. “Purveyor” means the City of Airway Heights, or its authorized agent.

G. “Service” means a physical connection between the public drinking water system and the customer’s system.

H. “Customer” means any person(s), firm or corporation that is furnished drinking water through a legal service connection to the drinking water system.

I. “Illegal user” means any person(s), firm or corporation that is not authorized to use a customer’s service.

J. Cross-Connection Terms.

1. “Air gap separation” means the unobstructed vertical distance through the free atmosphere between the lowest opening from any tank or faucet supplying water to a tank, plumbing fixture, or other device and the flood level rim of the receptacle, and shall be at least double the diameter of the supply pipe measured vertically above the flood level rim of the vessel; in no case shall the gap be less than one inch.

2. “Auxiliary supply” means any water source or system, other than the public water system, that may be available in the building or premises.

3. “Back pressure” means backflow caused by a pump, elevated tank, boiler, or other means that could create pressure within the system greater than the supply pressure.

4. “Back siphonage” means a form of backflow due to a negative or subatmospheric pressure within a water system.

5. “Backflow prevention device” means a device to counteract back pressures or prevent back siphonage.

a. “Double check valve assembly” means an assembly composed of two single, independently acting check valves, including tightly closing shut-off valves located at each end of the assembly and suitable connections for testing the watertightness of each check valve.

b. “Reduced pressure principle backflow prevention device” means a device incorporating two or more check valves and an automatically operated differential relief valve located between the two checks, two shut-off valves, and equipped with necessary appurtenance for testing. (Ord. C-240, 1991)

13.12.040 Cross-connection prohibited.

Except as provided in WAC 246-290-490, all cross-connections as defined in WAC 246-290-490(2)(a), whether or not such cross-connections are controlled by automatic devices, such as check valves, or by hand-operated mechanisms, such as gate valves or stop cocks, are hereby prohibited.

A. Failure on the part of persons, firms or corporations to discontinue the use of any and all cross-connections and to physically separate such cross-connections will be sufficient cause for the discontinuance of the public water service to the premises on which the cross-connection exists.

B. The purveyor may, in cooperation with the Health Officer or the local plumbing inspection authority, make periodic inspections of premises serviced by the water system to check for presence of cross-connections. Any cross-connections found in such inspection shall be ordered removed immediately by the responsible agency. If an immediate hazard to health is caused by the cross-connection, water service to the premises shall be discontinued until it is verified that the cross-connection has been removed. (Ord. C-240, 1991)

13.12.050 Use of backflow prevention devices.

Backflow prevention devices shall be installed at the service connection or within any premises where, in the judgment of the purveyor or the Department, the nature and extent of activities on the premises, or the materials stored on the premises, would present an immediate and dangerous hazard to health should a cross-connection occur, even though such cross-connection does not exist at the time the backflow prevention device is required to be installed. This shall include but not be limited to the following situations:

A. Premises having an auxiliary water supply, unless the quality of the auxiliary supply is in compliance with WAC 246-290-490 and is acceptable to the purveyor.

B. Premises having internal cross-connections that are not correctable, or intricate plumbing arrangements which make it impracticable to ascertain whether or not cross-connections exist.

C. Premises where entry is restricted so that inspections for cross-connections cannot be made with sufficient frequency or at sufficient short notice to assure that cross-connections do not exist.

D. Premises having a repeated history of cross-connections being established or reestablished.

E. Premises on which any substance is handled under pressure so as to permit entry into the public water system, or where a cross-connection could reasonably be expected to occur. This shall include the handling of process waters and cooling waters.

F. Premises where materials of a toxic or hazardous nature are handled such that if back siphonage should occur, a serious health hazard may result.

G. The following types of facilities will fall into one of the above categories where a backflow prevention device is required to protect the public water system. A backflow prevention device shall be installed at these facilities as set forth in WAC 248-54-850(3) unless the City and the Health Department determine no hazard exists:

1. Hospitals, mortuaries, clinics;

2. Laboratories;

3. Piers and docks;

4. Sewage treatment plants;

5. Food or beverage processing plants;

6. Chemical plants using a water process;

7. Metal plating industries;

8. Petroleum processing or storage plants;

9. Radioactive material processing plants or nuclear reactors;

10. Car washes.

H. The type of protective device required in WAC 248-54-850(1) shall depend on the degree of hazard which exists as follows:

1. An air-gap separation or a reduced pressure principle backflow prevention device shall be installed where the water supply may be contaminated with sewage, industrial waste of a toxic nature or other contaminant which would cause a health or system hazard;

2. In the case of a substance which may be objectionable but not hazardous to health, a double check valve assembly, air-gap separation or a reduced pressure principle backflow prevention device shall be installed.

I. Backflow prevention devices required in this section shall be installed, at the owner’s expense, either at the meter, at the property line of the premises, or at a location designated by the Director of Public Works. The device shall be located so as to be readily accessible for maintenance and testing, and where no part of the device will be submerged.

J. Backflow prevention devices required in this section shall be installed under the supervision of, and with the approval of, the Director of Public Works.

K. Any protective device required in this section shall be a model approved by the Director of Public Works. A double check valve assembly or a reduced pressure principle backflow prevention device will be approved if it has successfully passed performance tests of the University of Southern California, Foundation for Cross-Connection Control and Hydraulic Research or other testing laboratories satisfactory to the Director of Public Works, or meet other standards acceptable to the Director of Public Works.

L. Backflow prevention devices installed under this section shall be inspected and tested annually or more often where successive inspections indicate repeated failure. The devices shall be repaired, overhauled, or replaced by the owner(s) of the premises whenever they are found to be defective. Inspections, tests and repairs shall be made under the supervision of the Director of Public Works or his/her authorized representative, at the customer’s expense, and records thereof kept as required by the Director of Public Works.

M. Failure of the customer to cooperate in the installation, maintenance, testing or inspection of backflow prevention devices required by these regulations shall be grounds for the termination of water service to the premises or the requirements for an air-gap separation. (Ord. C-240, 1991)

13.12.060 Inspection fees.

The expense of annual and other inspections shall be the responsibility of the owner. The required inspections will be accomplished by an inspector certified by Washington State or, when properly authorized, may be accomplished by public works employees certified by Washington State. When inspected by the public works personnel, the inspection fees shall be as established by resolution passed by the City Council. (Ord. C-240, 1991)

13.12.070 Permits.

A permit for installation of any backflow prevention device shall be required by the City. (Ord. C-240, 1991)

13.12.080 Implementation.

A continuing and aggressive program of cross-connection investigation, surveillance and control shall be implemented according to good cross-connection control practice such as “Accepted Procedure and Practice in Cross-Connection Control Manual, Pacific Northwest Section, American Waterworks Association, Fifth Edition,” or any superseding edition, RCW 70.54.020, WAC 246-290-490, or other criteria acceptable to the Director of Public Works.

A. These regulations are to be reasonably interpreted. It is their intent to recognize the varying degrees of hazard and to apply the principle that the degree of protection shall be commensurate with the degree of hazard. These regulations are not to be construed as prohibiting local authorities or water purveyors from establishing more stringent requirements. (Ord. C-240, 1991)

13.12.090 Penalty.

Service to any premises receiving its water from the City public drinking water system shall be contingent upon compliance with all rules and regulations of the City. Service shall be discontinued to any premises for failure to comply with rules and regulations of the City. (Ord. C-240, 1991)