The Province of Ontario regulations require all water systems to implement a cross-connection control / backflow program. Cross-connections are physical connections between the potable water system and any domestic, industrial or institutional piping system containing used or non-potable water, such as irrigation systems, fire protection systems, and any other potential or actual hazards connected directly to the main water supply. “Backflow” is the reverse flow of unwanted water back into the drinking water piping. Without proper backflow protection, a backflow event could allow contaminants to flow back into the Town’s public potable water supply.
Consequently, it is necessary for the Town of Gananoque to establish and maintain an effective cross-connection control program to ensure all containment devices are protected and tested annually.
To provide the best program possible, the Town of Gananoque has partnered with BSI Online ULC, the nation’s leading backflow data management firm. BSI is solely devoted to helping public water systems with the development, implementation, and maintenance of cross-connection control programs.
In the fall of 2023, BSI Online will be contacting all moderate to severe risk property owners of the Town’s Backflow By-Law requirements. The Town of Gananoque is proud of the water we deliver to you every day. By working together and cooperating in this critical program, we can further protect our water resources.
Cross-Connection / Backflow Program Fall 2023
Cross-Connection Control / Backflow Prevention
General Information & FAQ
What is cross-connection?
A cross-connection is any actual or potential connection between the public or consumer’s potable water system and any non-potable source or substance that present a hazard to the quality of the public or consumer’s potable water system. Therefore, cross-connection control is the management or “control” of these cross-connections to protect public safety by preventing backflow incidents within the public or water consumer’s potable water system.
What is backflow?
Typically, water will flow from the public water supply to the consumer’s plumbing distribution system. Backflow is the undesirable reversal of this flow of water and undesirable substances from the non-potable source to the potable source. Backflow occurs when a loss in water pressure (commonly due to a fire hydrant being opened, a water main break or simply abnormally high-water usage) causes the water in your pipes to flow in the opposite direction. This occurrence could allow contaminated or polluted water to travel back into the drinking water supply, possibly contaminating thousands of people.
What is a backflow prevention assembly?
A backflow prevention assembly is a testable mechanical device which uses valves, in different configurations, to prevent contaminated water or chemicals from flowing back into the public drinking water supply system.
Why do I need one?
Cross-connections can occur at both commercial and residential properties. For commercial customers, cross-connections exist in many forms, from carbonated beverage machines and icemakers to fire sprinkler systems and x-ray machines. It is not uncommon for a commercial property to have multiple cross-connections at their facility.
On the residential side, the most common cross-connections occur with lawn irrigation and fire sprinkler systems. Perhaps the most frequently present cross-connection is the common garden hose, which when submerged in water, creates a dangerous path for contaminates to enter your drinking water.
Does a lawn irrigation system really need a backflow prevention device?
Lawn irrigation systems do require a backflow prevention device. These systems can backflow contaminated water into your drinking supply. All particulates that are in your lawn can seep into the underground pipes and enter the drinking water supply. This can be anything from fertilizers to animal feces. Backflow prevention devices protect this from happening. Lawn irrigation systems are considered a hazardous cross connection.
Why does the backflow prevention assembly need to be tested?
There are many moving parts to a backflow assembly. It is a mechanical device, containing springs, internal seals and moving parts, like an automobile. These parts can wear out or break. An annual backflow test is required by Province and local regulations to ensure that the backflow assembly is working properly to protect the drinking water for you and your neighbors.
Who can test my backflow?
Backflow testing is a specialized field. Specific Province and local licenses are needed to test these devices.
Why do we need a cross-connection control/backflow prevention program?
The standards for backflow prevention are established in the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Manual for the Selection and Installation of Backflow Preventers/Maintenance and Field Testing of Backflow Preventers (CSA B64.10). Backflow prevention is designed to protect the public water supply from contamination from non-drinkable sources. For this reason, the Town of Gananoque created a cross-connection control program with the goal of ensuring the quality of supplied water and protecting water customers.
Administering the Program
BSI Online ULC is North America’s leading cross-connection control/backflow data management and program administration firm. BSI Online has partnered with over 550 water purveyors to develop and manage effective cross-connection control programs to help protect all our water resources. BSI helps water purveyors by sending notifications, assists with customer service inquiries, and manages required data on behalf of the Town of Gananoque.
The Town of Gananoque has contracted with BSI Online to assist the Town with the Province of Ontario required cross-connection/backflow tracking regulations. BSI Online will serve as the primary point of contact for the program and can be contacted below:
Customer Service Information:
BSI Backflow Academy - https://backflow.com/backflow-academy/
Canada Standards Association B64.10-11/B64.10.1-11 – Selection and installation of backflow preventers/Maintenance and field testing of backflow preventers (2011)
Government of Canada - https://inspection.canada.ca/preventive-controls/preventing-water-backf…
University of Southern California Foundation for Cross-Connection Control and Hydraulic Research (USC FCCCHR) - https://fccchr.usc.edu/
American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA) - https://www.abpa.org
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Cross-Connection Control Manual - https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2015-09/documents/epa816r03002_…