Cross Connection Control Information

The Water Utility is committed to providing quality, cost efficient service in the production, treatment, testing and delivery of safe drinking water to all users.  In order to do this, the Utility has adopted a Cross Connection Control Program.  This program represents another one of our continuing efforts to provide safe and reliable drinking water as required under Wisconsin law. 

Below are frequently asked questions relating to cross connections:

What is a Cross Connection?   It is an unwanted connection that allows non-potable water to infiltrate a potable (drinkable) water supply.  Unwanted connections occur when a loss in water pressure allows water to flow back into the distribution system.  For example: hoses in laundry tubs, underground sprinkler systems, power washers with detergent, hand-held fertilizer bottles on garden hoses or hoses left in swimming pools.

What can go wrong?    Pollutants/contaminants can enter the drinking water system through uncontrolled cross connections when backflow occurs.  Pressure in a building's plumbing can drop for several reasons.  If the shower, clothes washer, dishwasher, or other appliances use water at the same time, pressure can drop.  If there is high water use in the neighborhood (firefighting or water main break), pressure can drop and when that happens, contaminated water can be siphoned back from your system into the Village's distribution system through unprotected cross connections.

How does Residential Cross Connection Control affect me?   Our Water Utility must implement a Cross Connection Control Program to address potential problems associated with residential properties that could adversely impact the public water supply.  The program for non-residential properties is in place.  Their purpose is to ensure the safety and quality of the water supply for those we serve.  Water Utility crewmembers will be performing cross connection inspections in conjunction with residential water meter replacements.  Crewmembers will have proper identification and will be driving clearly marked vehicles.

PROGRAM FEATURES:  Based on changes in Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regulations, features of such a program affecting residential properties will include property inspections to identify potential cross connections that will be coordinated to match the normal schedule for meter replacement.  Based on current meter technology, that replacement schedule could be as long as twenty years.  Currently, there is no fee for the inspection; however, most required corrective actions are the responsibility of the property owners.  Properties failing to correct non-compliant water connections will be subject to enforcement under Village ordinance, up to and including disconnection of water service.  The new regulation allows utilities to provide public educational materials. The attachment below is the Village of East Troy's informational literature concerning cross connections which will be provided to each property owner during the time of inspection. 

Some common cross connection control issues for residential properties are illustrated below:

** Discharges from recharge lines serving water softening systems require a one-inch minimum air break above the discharge point.

** Residential heating systems with boilers (domestic hot water heaters are excluded).

** Lawn irrigation systems.

** All hose-connections, both inside and outside, without an approved vacuum breaker.