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Cross Connection Testing

Keeps our drinking water clean.
Learn all about Cross Connection and Water Backflow.

What Is it?

Cross Connection Devices

For the City of Calgary, a cross connection is any temporary, permanent or potential water connection between a drinking water system and any source containing non-drinking water or any other potential contamination substance from which backflow may occur. Improper plumbing or cross connections can contaminate the public drinking water supply, making testing an essential check on residential and commercial clients.

Why Test?

1. It keeps our drinking water safe

Calgary’s drinking water supply is safe and clean. Water backflow device valves ( cross connection ) prevent contaminated water to go backward essentially preventing contamination of our drinking water and that is why this test is so important.

2. It’s the law

Water Utility Bylaw section 39.3e: “A test must be performed at the time the system is turned on at the beginning of each irrigation season.

How often?

Cross connection devices need to be tested once per year. For irrigation systems, it is at the beginning of each season

Which devices?

Not only irrigation systems have cross-connection. many other common appliances may have them too.

Check the list

Who can test?

Only City of Calgary certified testers can provide this service.

Book your test

Potential water backflow appliances

Your home is full of appliances that use water. Some might be obvious on how they contaminate water, others not so much. The following fixtures and areas can have cross connection:

  • Toilets
  • infloor heating
  • Laundry sinks connected with hose/s
  • Boiler for in-slab or comfort heating
  • Fire protection systems
  • Hot tubs
  • In-home water treatment system
  • High-pressure washer

Homeowners must ensure no cross-connections exist on their property that could contaminate their water supply.  Click here to learn more about water backflow

Cross Connection Testing Technician

Certified Cross Connection Testing

Your test needs to be done by a certified cross connnection testing technician.  For a device to pass a City of Calgary cross connection test it must meet the following criteria:

  1. The Device Must Be appropriate to the Static Pressure of the line it is installed on
  2. The First Shut Off Must Close
  3. Check Valve 1 must close tight in the direction of flow
  4. Check Valve 2 must close tight in the direction of flow
  5. The second Shut Off Must close

In Addition, the device must also be installed as per AWWA recommendations.  AWWA stands for the American Water Works Association which is recogrnized as North America’s most prominent water inspection association.

An improperly installed device can result in the immediate failure of a device both in terms of operation and testing

Testing is divided into three testing stages

It is important to understand what to expect during testing. A series of 3 tests are administered by the certified technician:

The first test will determine the Static Pressure on the line that the device is installed on. Each Double Check Valve Assembly is rated for a certain pressure range, so we want to verify that the correct device is installed for that pressure range. The technician will use a pressure gauge to determine this reading.

The second test will determine if the First Shut off to the device can fully close off flow through the device and will also determine whether Check Valve 1 can close tight in the direction of flow. By using either Site Tubes or a Differential Pressure Gauge, the technician will simulate 1PSI of pressure against Check Valve 1. Check Valve 1 must close tight against 1PSI of resistance for a minimum of 2 Minutes to pass this portion of the test.

The Third test will determine if the Second Shut off is closed tight and determine whether the Second Check Valve can close tight in the direction of flow. Once again using either Site Tubes or a Differential Pressure Gauge the technician will simulate 1PSI of pressure against Check Valve 2.  Check Valve 2 must close tight against 1PSI of resistance for a minimum of 2 Minutes to pass this portion of the test.

What happens after the testing?

The device must pass all three tests before it can be returned to service. If the device fails, it must be serviced prior to the device being returned to service. Otherwise, it can be subject to fines and the property can even face interruption of water services.

Retesting can be scheduled if the original test failed to certify the backflow prevention valve. It is recommended of course to have the appropiate technician such as a plumber or irrigation technician to repair or modify the connection before this second test is scheduled.

Thank you for protecting our water resources!

water backflow