Backflow Prevention/Cross-Connection Control (CCC) Program
What is a cross-connection?
A cross-connection is a link
between a potable (drinking)
water system and a
non-potable water system.
Contamination can occur when
a water supply line to a
customer is connected to
equipment containing a
substance not fit for drinking,
creating back-flow (reversal of
normal flow of a liquid solid or
gas). Installation and maintenance
of appropriate backflow prevention
assemblies or devices prevents contamination of supply lines from cross-connections.
Please click on the red navigation buttons on the right hand side of this page to view diagrams of backflow preventer assemblies and the proper ways in which they should be connected to the public water supply system.
The following image depicts one way in which backflow can occur due to a drop in pressure in a public water supply water main.
It is always important to remember that simply misconnecting a hose to a hose bib can potentially create a hazardous scenario. Remember to connect an "anti-syphon" coupler to your hose bib(s) before connecting your hose.
What does the City’s Cross-connection Control Program Do?
CCC programs are required by the State and Federal government to protect water systems from potential contamination or pollution. Staff in the CCC program implements the City’s ordinance which requires all industrial, commercial, and irrigation customers to obtain a backflow permit and install backflow prevention assemblies. These assemblies must be installed on the customer's property before any branching of the private system.
Both new and existing customers of the City's water supply are evaluated by Cross-Connection Control staff to determine which hazards, if any, exist and the type of backflow preventers required. If a backflow preventer assembly is required at a facility, a licensed plumbing contractor must complete, sign, and return the Backflow Preventer Permit Application. There is a $50 Cross-Connection Control Permit Fee for any new or replacement installation of a backflow preventer.
Annual Testing Requirements
After an approved backflow prevention (BFP) assembly has been installed and tested, it must be re-tested annually by individuals who have been certified by an approved testing school. The CCC office establishes the annual testing schedule and mails notification to the homeowner or business. The City also maintains a list of qualified testers that who are approved to conduct testing of devices in Durham. The owner of the backflow prevention assembly has 15 days* to repair or replace the failed assembly if the BFP fails the requirements of the annual test. Contact the Cross Connection Control office at (919) 560-4194 prior to any repair or replacement. In addition, a backflow permit must be submitted with all replacement or new backflow prevention assemblies.
Tester Certification Training
Periodically, Cross-Connection Control staff conducts a state-recognized school for tester certification and re-certification. First, a 40 hour, five day backflow tester certification course is offered to individuals who are interested in testing backflows. A 16 hour, two day recertification course is offered to certified testers in order to keep testers skills and regulatory knowledge current. Individuals who are interested in becoming certified testers should review the course packet and application.
City of Durham Backflow Preventer Permit applications can be completed online using the Land Development Office (LDO). This system will allow you to check on current status of applications and permits. As part of the LDO process, Cross Connection Control (CCC) sign-off is now required for issuance of Certificate of Occupancy.
* The 15 day requirement to repair a failed unit is subject to change only upon contact with the City’s Cross Connection Control office to determine replacement/repair due date. For information, call (919) 560-4194.
Cross Connection Control Ordinance