Cross Connections: What They Are and How To Prevent Them

Contrary to popular belief, it’s relatively easy to contaminate a water supply. From something as small as a garden hose to your building’s entire piping system, all water systems have the potential to experience cross-connections. Not only does this increase the risk involved with using that water, but it also leaves you in the dark about what materials you may expose yourself to. Read on to learn what cross-connections are and how to prevent them in your own plumbing lines.

What Is a Cross Connection?

Cross connections are any instance of potential contact between a clean water source and a toxin or pollutant. This could be sticking the end of a hose in a bucket of pesticides or the occurrence of backflow in an industrial irrigation system. Either way, your clean water supply becomes contaminated, putting you and everyone who uses that water at risk for a series of health symptoms. Cross connections are everywhere, and many of them are incredibly subtle. So, it’s important that you take action to keep them from happening.

Tips for Preventing Them in Your Building

Now, as far as how to prevent cross-connections in your own pipelines, there are a few important things to keep in mind. The first is to determine potential contamination sources nearby. In an office building, this may include outputs into the public sewer system or dirty faucets and sinks. Addressing these hot spots and cleaning them is one way to greatly reduce your risk of cross-connection.

Additionally, backflow preventers are a crucial device to prevent any cross-connection control issues. Backflow occurs when wastewater starts flowing back up the pipe rather than through the rest of the system. This deposits those materials on the interior of your pipes and potentially comes into contact with your clean water supply. Fortunately, these specialized products create a strong pressure system in your plumbing and force the water to keep moving as it should.

Choosing a Backflow Prevention Device

It’s important to keep in mind, too, that not just any type of backflow model will accomplish what you need it to. Some work better on irrigation systems, while others specialize in reducing the risk involved with using your building’s fire sprinklers. Take some time to assess where you’ll place this equipment, and reach out to a knowledgeable professional for more advice.

At Backflow Direct, we believe that no one should have to question what’s in their water. This is why we work hard to provide premium backflow prevention assembly services and products for the fire protection market. Our devices prevent cross connections by stopping liquids from flowing back up the pipe. As a result, your water supply is much cleaner and safer to use as a whole.