The Washington State Department of Health requires us to survey our customers periodically to assess potential contamination risks to our system. The possibility of contamination of the public drinking water through cross-connection contamination does exist and is a very real threat to us all. Water can reverse its flow when there is a severe drop in pressure. This drop in pressure could be caused by a water main break, several hydrants being opened during a fire or other events. When the direction of flow is reversed, then all of the water in your plumbing system could flow back into the public water system. During such an event, if there is a hose in the horse trough or pool, then that water containing bacteria and chemicals are now part of the public drinking water. If you have a hose in your car radiator while flushing it then the water and the chemicals are now part of the drinking water! If your lawn sprinkler system does not have backflow protection then fertilizer and weed killer are part of the drinking water. Not a pleasant thought.
The contamination caused by backflow can be extremely hazardous to your health and Burton Water is taking precautions to avoid such incidents. But we can’t do it alone. Your help is needed. Burton Water has established a Washington State mandated cross-connection control program. We have spent the last year putting it into effect. Part of our program is education and communication with our rate payers.
We understand! It can be a very disconcerting adventure! Please keep reading, as it is important to us all. Approximately one-quarter of our customers have what are referred to as special plumbing features on their premises. The special features include fire sprinklers, lawn sprinklers, hydronic heating, solar heating, photo labs, other water sources and water softeners. These members are required to have backflow prevention assemblies installed to avert backflow in the event of a loss in pressure.
If you wish to install any of these special plumbing features, please call our office before you install them so that we may discuss the precautions that must be taken. The main requirement will be to install a backflow prevention assembly immediately after the water meter between the meter and your plumbing to isolate the premises. Burton Water Company’s mission is to provide our community with safe drinking water. Your help is needed and appreciated by all!
If you have any questions or concerns regarding backflow prevention, please give us a call and we’d be happy to discuss them. We are also available to come to your home and review your specific situation. Thanks for reading this and for your cooperation in keeping our drinking water safe.
When you fill in and submit the XCC Survey (see below), we will be able to assess your water system and determine whether or not installation of a backflow prevention assembly is necessary.
Burton Water XCC Specialist and Backflow Assembly Tester: Mark Graham – 206.459.3062
If you wish to read the complete legislation that mandates our Cross Connection Control program, please follow this link to WAC 246-290-490.