When the City Spotlight began its run in the Pioneer a couple of years ago, one of our goals was to use this space to help keep people informed about what’s happening at the City. We’ve found, however, that sometimes an issue is a little bit more layered or complex, and deserves a column of its own for explanation. This week, we would like to take a moment to explain Cross Connection Control and Backflow Protection.
A cross-connection can basically be defined as “anywhere potable water in the drinking water system, can be exposed to unwanted contaminants.” Hopefully, after reading that definition, we can all agree that identifying and controlling cross-connections is important. In fact, maintaining clean and safe drinking water is, and always will be, a top priority at the City of Yuma.
Irrigation systems, boilers, utility sinks, and garden hoses are common examples of cross-connections. When a cross-connection is identified, steps are taken to make sure it is controlled with an appropriate device or method. In some instances, a method can be as simple as an air gap (like the one between your kitchen sink and faucet), and in other cases, a device may be required to prevent backflow (like the PVB on a sprinkler system).
The State of Colorado takes backflow protection very seriously, and at the City of Yuma, we are working diligently to maintain the standards being set. In fact, next month, the State is using Yuma as the host for a Cross Connection class for towns and operators from all over Northeast Colorado.
For several years in Yuma, water operators have been surveying customers in non-single family residences. The goal of these surveys is to identify cross-connections, and then begin working with customers to make sure they are controlled. Once a device is in place, a yearly certification is required (a backflow device that doesn’t work, is like having no device at all!)
As part of our commitment to backflow prevention, the City of Yuma now has an operator on staff who is a certified backflow tester. If you have a device that needs tested, we’re happy to be able to provide that service to customers within city limits.
If you have any questions about this important topic, feel free to contact the City of Yuma Water Department. We appreciate the members of our wonderful community working together to ensure we sustain our clean and safe water!