Protecting Our Water: Cross Connection Surveys & Backflow Tests

Living in a 21st century city, utilities at your home or business is a requirement. When it comes to water, most people open the tap without much thought behind where it comes from, how it is treated, or even how it gets there. People also presume that nothing could happen to it before it gets to them. Occasionally, people end up with water that is a different color than what it should be or worse; they get sick. Most times, the difference is a result of a backflow; an object being pushed or sucked back into the water distribution system. Examples of this can be found at: https://www.backflowcases.com/

Auburn Hills has put in place ordinances to protect our drinking water that go along with recommendations and laws put forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of our federal government and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). As a part of these ordinances, water professionals survey properties to ensure that nothing can be pushed or pulled back into our distribution system. Sometimes we need to recommend a device or assembly to aid in this prevention. If an assembly is required, it is also required to be tested by an certified backflow tester.

The Department of Public Works likes to lead by example. That being said, the city has certified testers to test each and every one of our city-owned devices yearly as our ordinance requires us too. Please be on the lookout for your survey or testing letter. Surveys occur once every ten years and tests are required annually for non-residential and once every three years for residential assemblies.

Jason Hefner, Department of Public Works

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