DPH: Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control

Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control

{Backflow Device} A cross-connection is any actual or potential physical connection between a public water system, and any source of non-potable liquid, solid or gas that could contaminate the potable water supply by backflow.

Backflow is the reversal of flow of water or other substances into the public water system or consumer’s potable water system. Under backflow conditions, unprotected cross-connections can introduce biological, chemical and/or physical contaminants into the drinking water.   

Backflow prevention devices or backflow preventers are installed to prevent backflow of contaminants into drinking water through cross-connections.


Cross Connection Control Surveys

Water systems must submit an annual cross connection survey report by March 1 for the preceding calendar year.  Only tests and inspections performed in the calendar year (Jan. 1, through Dec. 31) of the cross connection survey report should be summarized on the annual cross connection survey report. 

If a water system does not serve water to any of the premises that require inspections (Categories of Concern), they must notify the department of this by March 1, 2002, and every five years thereafter. The following form is used as notification:


Course Information

In Connecticut, regulations require that certain backflow prevention devices be tested by a person who has completed and passed a course on the testing of backflow preventers administered or approved by the Department of Public Health (DPH).  Once a person has completed and passed such a course the Application for Certification must be completed and returned to the DPH within one year after the date of the most recent exam results.

The following table lists upcoming training courses offered by the New England Water Works Association (NEWWA) that have been approved by the Department of Public Health for the testing of backflow prevention devices.

Training and Certification of Backflow Prevention Device Testers:

  • June 13-17, 2016  - Hartford, CT
  • August 8-12, 2016  - Groton, CT
  • October 17-21, 2016 – Hamden, CT
Individuals must register for courses with the NEWWA.  Click here to register for upcoming NEWWA courses.

Individuals, who have successfully completed the NEWWA training course outside of Connecticut and want to apply for a Connecticut Certificate as a Backflow Prevention Device Tester, must attend the presentation on Connecticut regulations given during an approved course given in Connecticut.  In order to attend this presentation, individuals must register with the NEWWA.

In Connecticut, regulations require that buildings be inspected for cross connections by a person who has completed and passed a course on cross connection inspections administered or approved by the DPH.  Currently, the NEWWA has an approved course on cross connection inspections and interested individuals should visit the www.newwa.org web page for more information.  In lieu of a course on cross connection inspections, a person may complete and pass a course on the testing of backflow preventers administered or approved by DPH and receive training from a Cross Connection Inspector who has met the requirements of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies 25-32-11(h).  Once a person has completed the field training and met the above requirements the Verification of Field Training (pdf) application must be completed and returned to the DPH within one year after the date of the most recent exam results or field training.


Contract Work: Certified Backflow Prevention Device Testers and Certified Cross Connection Survey Inspectors Available for Contract Work

The DWS  maintains a list of Certified Backflow Prevention Device Testers and Certified Cross Connection Survey Inspectors that have requested to be listed as being available to hire for contract work. This list does not constitute an endorsement and those listed are not the only backflow personnel in the state.  

  • https://www.elicense.ct.gov/ (click on “Generate Roster(s)” then click on “Drinking Water System Operators”   check the box “Contractor List - Drinking Water Systems (No Fee Required)” scroll down and click no “Continue”, then follow prompts to download the list.


Certificate and Contact Information

To check or verify any certification issued by the CT DPH, Drinking Water Section, please visit the State of Connecticut e-Licensing Website: https://www.elicense.ct.gov/ (click on “Lookup a License”, enter operator’s name or certification number, click “Search”)


Use of Antifreeze in Fire Hydrants

Public Water Systems should be aware that the addition of antifreeze to fire hydrants does not comply with Section 19-13-B80 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. In the past Public Water Systems or local fire department personnel may have added chemicals to fire hydrants in an effort to prohibit freezing of water in the hydrants during the winter season. While freezing of fire hydrants is a concern, adding chemicals creates a risk of water quality contamination and also has security implications, involving a port of entry into the distribution system. Public Water Systems should minimize freezing of water in fire hydrants, by such methods as repairing or replacing hydrants, and should involve the local fire department in this matter. More information on this topic, such as the New England Water Works Association's video "Being Prepared: Procedures for Fire Hydrant Maintenance" and the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Manual "Installation, Field Testing, and Maintenance of Fire Hydrants (M17)", can be obtained from the AWWA web site.





Content Last Modified on 5/19/2016 1:21:51 PM