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SAWS Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention Program
The goals of SAWS Cross-Connection Control Backflow Prevention Program are to safeguard public drinking water and protect the health of our customers by maintaining a high level of backflow prevention and cross-connection control.
|Download Program Manual|
Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention Program
|History of Backflow
Congress enacted the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 1974 to protect human health from contaminants in drinking water and to prevent contamination of existing groundwater supplies. The law was amended in 1986 and 1996, advocating more safety standards to ensure the quality of our drinking water and its sources including rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and groundwater wells.
One requirement of the Safe Drinking Water Act includes the installation and maintenance of an approved backflow prevention assembly at a water service connection that may present a potential for contamination. Without proper protection devices, cross connections to the public water system can occur.
To protect the water system, backflow prevention assemblies (devices that prevent the backflow of water) are required for all connections that may present a potential source of contamination of the public water system. There are two kinds of assemblies installed:
- External backflow assemblies are used to protect the public water system from possible contamination resulting from the customer's premises.
- Internal backflow assemblies are used to protect the customers from potentially hazardous cross connections within their own drinking water system.
Backflow Prevention Assemblies used to protect the public water system
To keep the drinking water safe, SAWS reviews and stamps the utility plans of each new customer for compliance with cross-connection control/backflow prevention requirements. SAWS inspects the installation, repair or replacement of external backflow prevention assemblies, and monitors and enforces the annual testing requirements for those assemblies.
Backflow Prevention Assemblies used to protect the customer's drinking water system
SAWS will monitor and enforce the annual testing requirements for backflow prevention assemblies.
Permitting and inspection for backflow assemblies, including new installations, repairs and replacements, are administered through the City of San Antonio Development Services Department, 1901 S. Alamo, 210-207-1111.