Cross-connections are physically connections between potable and a non-potable water supplies. This obviously creates a huge public health hazard. A cross-connection can occur anyplace community water supplies are in proximity to irrigation systems, drainage systems, water-using equipment, or other non-potable water supplies. A cross-contamination can also occur when a potable water supply fails.
A contaminated potable water system is a cause for concern and creates considerable public concern. Citizens are extremely critical of public officials when they have to issue “do not drink” or “boil water” notices. As a result, municipalities now require properly installed, maintained, and tested backflow prevention devices.
Use of backflow prevention devices has even been extended to water users within buildings that have the potential to contaminate the potable water system, like restrooms, dentist offices, or industrial cooling and washing systems. But the most common source of cross-connections is the common hose bib. This is why it’s important to put backflow prevention devices on each hose bib.