Backflow Prevention

Cross-Connection Control

What is a cross-connection?

A cross connection is any connection between a potable (drinkable) water system and an unapproved source of water. With a cross connection, our drinking water can become contaminated when water flows backward through the water supply system. This event is called a Backflow or Backsiphonage.

Backflow: May be created when a source of pressure (such as a boiler) creates a pressure greater than the pressure supplied from the public water system. This may cause contaminated water to be pushed into the plumbing system through an unprotected cross-connection.

Backsiphonage: A negative pressure in the pipes. May occur due to a loss of pressure in the municipal water system during a fire fighting emergency, a water main break or system repair. This creates a siphon in the plumbing system which can draw water out of a sink or bucket back into the water supply system.

Backpressure: A pressure higher than the supply pressure, caused by a pump, elevated tank, boiler or any other means that may cause backflow.

Cross-Connection and Backflow Prevention

How can you prevent a Cross-Connection or Backflow incident?

When you turn on the faucet, you expect the water to be as safe as it was when it left the water treatment plant. However, when a Backflow incident occurs, our safe drinking water is threatened. Fortunately, keeping our precious water resource safe from contaminates such as fertilizers or household cleaners is easy. Read below for information on taking all necessary precautions to help keep our drinking water safe.

Benefits of a Backflow Prevention Device

A Backflow Prevention Device has a set of springs and diaphragms designed to close when pressure from one side exceeds or drops relative to the other. There are several types of Backflow Prevention Devices specially designed for specific jobs. The City of Fayetteville requires these devices on residential establishments having in-ground irrigation systems, fire suppression systems, and/or pools and on industrial and commercial developments and buildings, relative to the degree of potential hazard to the public.

For More Information

More information about Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention can be found at the Arkansas Department of Health website or

If you need assistance or have any questions, you may contact the City of Fayetteville Cross Connection Control Program at 479-575-8382 or