City of Northville Department of Public Works (DPW) officials plan to begin the Cross Connection Control Program for residents this fall using HydroCorp. The program includes conducting residential inspections of exterior water connections to ensure safe drinking water in the community. HydroCorp has been the Northville contractor for commercial and industrial inspections of cross-connections since 2004, officials said.
A cross-connection is an actual or potential connection between the safe drinking water (potable) supply and a source of contamination or pollution, according to a city report. Water normally flows in one direction, from the public water system through the customer's water plumbing system to a faucet or other plumbing fixtures. Under certain conditions, water can flow in the reverse direction. This is known as backflow and could cause non-potable water to backflow into the residential drinking water, creating a health hazard.
Residential inspections conducted by HydroCorp will examine connections for in-ground irrigation systems, swimming pools, hose bibs, and any other outdoor water connections. The inspection seeks to detect actual and potential cross-connections. A record will be made of each inspection, existing backflow devices/assemblies and corrective action if necessary. Residential inspections are a state requirement, officials explained.
Inspection notices will be mailed to water customers before the scheduled inspection date. There is no fee for the inspection and the homeowner does not have to be present during the inspection. The homeowner, however, will be responsible for the cost of making any needed repairs and follow-up inspection of those repairs, which must be done by a state-approved licensed contractor, according to a city spokesman.
Some examples of where cross connection may exist inside homes are toilet fill valves, extendable shower wands used with a bathtub, water operated sump pumps and water softeners. No inspections will be conducted inside the home but homeowners are encouraged to look at these connections for potential backflow issues.
About 500 initial inspections will be conducted annually.