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Everyone should have a common interest in protecting drinking water from contamination through cross-connections. Be involved in keeping your water safe. Every home has potential hazards that threaten to contaminate your drinking water. The most common way contaminants enter the drinking water system is through cross connections in our piping systems. Backflow from a cross connection can occur when the pressure in the water main drops below the line pressure in your home causing a "soda straw" effect called back siphonage. This effect can draw water from garden hoses, washbasins, boilers, lawn sprinklers, swimming pools, etc., into your home's water supply. You may not even be aware that the water in your home has been contaminated or that someone has been made ill from drinking the water. Backflow contamination can result in illness or even death. It is easy to protect your water supply from these hazards. Be aware of potential hazards and install appropriate backflow preventers at water outlets.


When water leaves the drinking water supply system and flows into the toilet tank, the water must be prevented from being drawn back into the water supply. The water in the toilet tank is often treated with cleansing chemicals that are not safe to drink.

An anti-siphon ballcock assembly should be installed in the toilet tank. This will protect against backsiphonage. The ball cock can also serve as a thermal expansion relief device, if equipped with an auxiliary relief valve. The relief valve should govern the preset pressure to 80psi or less.

To make the laundry sink safe, a hose bibb vacuum breaker is needed. This is a small, inexpensive device that simply attaches to the threaded end of the faucet as with the outside water faucets (sill cocks). It prevents contaminated water in the sink from being siphoned back into the drinking water supply.

The ordinary garden hose is the most common way to contaminate the water supply. This can happen when one end of the hose is attached to an outdoor faucet (sill cock), and the other end is connected to an aspirator type bottle, insecticides or other chemicals in the aspirator bottle can be siphoned back into the drinking water supply.

You can easily prevent the possibility of this type of contamination by installing a hose bibb vacuum breaker. This is a small, inexpensive device that simply attaches to a threaded water faucet.

Lawn irrigation systems need a vacuum breaker backflow preventer to protect against lawn and pesticide chemicals being drawn in from the lawn and back into the drinking water supply.

A hot water system may be used to heat the home. You can ensure the protection of the safe drinking water system by making sure a dual check with atmospheric vent is installed. This will protect against stagnant or chemically treated water from recirculating back into the water supply.