Don’t Drink the Grass Water!

Cross Connections 101.

The roses are red, the flowers are blue, and do you have the stomach flu?  Nope, maybe you have been contaminated by your lawn.  It’s that time of the year here in Michigan where we start to care for our lawns, to keep that grass nice and lush.  How refreshing the grass feels under our feet as we play in the yard with the kids, dogs, or at a BBQ for the summer holidays.

We put a lot of effort into keeping the lawn healthy and handsome.  Some lawns get additional fertilization to help keep it vibrant and thick with a hardy root system. Some may get a pesticide treatment to protect the plant from any unwanted bugs that may harm it or even kill it.  Other lawns will receive an herbicide treatment to eliminate any unwanted weeds from competing for space and nutrients in our yards. If your yard is lucky you may also select a fungicide treatment to protect the grass from any fungus that would like to feed on the grass plants.  Fake owls and foxes set out to keep the geese and deer off the lawns so there are no droppings left on the lawn.

The one key part of a beautiful and healthy lawn is the one element that could make you sick.  Water, a healthy lawn needs a lot of water and so do you.  Your lawn is most likely getting its drinking water from the same source you are drinking from. Don’t panic though, if you have a properly installed backflow prevention assembly on your irrigation system, you and your home are protected from any of these contaminates being syphoned back into the home and reaching you. 

The pressure vacuum breaker assembly shown to the left, is the most common backflow prevention assembly used on an irrigation system.  This pressure vacuum breaker assembly will break the vacuum in the water system that could, under the right conditions, syphon contaminants off the lawn back into the house, which you could consume in your drinking water. 

The City of Auburn Hills Department of Public Works has a backflow prevention program that continues to work towards eliminating all hazards in the water system to insure you and your lawn have quality water to consume. 

If you have any question, please contact us at the DPW – 248.391.3777 or Tom Innes, tinnes@auburnhills.org.

Tom Innes, Department of Public Works

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