Cross Connection Testing in Calgary

Protect your potable water supply from backflow contamination. Get tested annually by an American Water Works Association-certified professional.

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Watch: Cross Connection Testing

What is a Cross Connection?

A cross connection is any point where an external system is connected to a potable water supply.

Such connections usually require a “cross-connection device” that prevents water from flowing back to its source. For sprinkler systems, cross-connection devices are necessary to protect your municipality’s drinking water supply from contaminants such as fertilizers or pesticides.

Why Does it Need Testing?

We need to be sure that cross-connection devices work correctly, or a minor source of contamination can become a significant issue over time.

Backflow can be caused by a drop in pressure at the potable water source (siphonage) or an increase in pressure in an external system (backpressure). In either case, backflow usually goes unnoticed. By testing your device each year, you can rest assured that it protects your water supply.

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Backflow prevention device

Certified Testing Procedure

An improperly installed device will fail, both in terms of operation and testing.

Before activating your underground sprinkler system this spring, you must have your cross-connection device tested by a certified tester registered with the City of Calgary or your local municipality.

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Cross Connection Test Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few frequently asked questions about this process:

What is cross connection testing?

It is the testing of the device used to protect your municipality’s potable water supply from backflow contamination.  In Calgary, it is required by the water purveyor for these devices to be tested every year.  A cross connection on an irrigation system must be tested yearly and before the irrigation system is turned on.

Are cross connection tests required in Calgary?

They are required annually wherever there is a cross connection that could potentially contaminate the water supply.  Underground sprinkler systems are a prime example, as dirt and chemicals such as herbicides or fertilizers can enter the system unnoticed over time without causing other issues. The City of Calgary requires you to have your sprinkler system’s cross-connection tested before the system is activated each year.

These tests are mandated by section 39.3e of the City of Calgary’s Water Utility Bylaw. This reflects a similar mandate in the National Plumbing Code of Canada, as do identical bylaws in countless other municipalities.

What is a sprinkler cross connection?

A sprinkler cross-connection is where the sprinkler system hooks up to the potable water supply. A sprinkler cross-connection is where the sprinkler system hooks up to the potable water supply. That’s why a backflow prevention device (typically a Double Check Valve Assembly) is needed at that location. As per the National Plumbing Code of Canada, DCVAs is recommended for most modern residential irrigation systems.

What is the most common cross connection?

The most common cross connection is a hose attached to a garden tap.  If this garden tap is hooked up to an irrigation mainline, a cross-connection device should be installed where the irrigation water line hooks up to the potable water supply.  It should have a hose bib vacuum breaker if it is a regular garden tap.