City Urges Residents to Prevent Water Contamination

Articles Water 07-21-14

As summer heats up, City of Arlington Water Utilities is urging residents to keep their water clean by preventing cross connections and backflow.

A cross connection is a connection between the drinking water supply and substances which could contaminate the drinking water supply. Backflow is when a contaminant is sucked or pushed back into the drinking water supply due to changes in water pressure.

“The most common cross connection is a garden hose dropped into a swimming pool or bucket of chemicals,” says Chad McGowan, Utilities Environmental Analyst with Arlington Water Utilities, “Sprayers which mix pesticides or soap with water and attach to the end of the garden hose are also a cross connection, and they can introduce those substances into the drinking water supply.  One of our goals is to raise awareness among our residents and businesses about the importance of backflow prevention.”

The danger comes when a pipe or a hose is connected to a non-potable source like buckets containing pesticides, water wells, or sewage collection systems.  If water pressure on the supply side drops or if a pump or sprayer is used to dispense water, contaminants can be sucked back into the drinking water supply. City of Arlington Water Utilities recommends taking these steps to prevent backflow:

–          Install an inexpensive hose bibb vacuum breaker to all of your outdoor faucets. These devices cost around $10 at hardware stores and prevent contaminants from being siphoned backwards into the drinking water supply.

–          Never submerge hoses in buckets, pools, tubs, or sinks.

–          Never position a hose or pipe into a sewer cleanout, drain, or wastewater tank on a vehicle.

–          Do not use spray attachments for applying soap or pesticides without installing a backflow preventer.

–          Make sure that any equipment connected to the water supply has appropriate backflow prevention in place. If you have any questions, contact Water Resource Services at 817-459-5902 for help.

“We work hard to provide safe, high quality drinking water to all of our residents and businesses, and we need your help to make sure the water stays safe from contamination by eliminating cross connections and backflow,” explained Buzz Pishkur, Director of Water Utilities.

Arlington Water Utilities maintains one of the nation’s most robust water quality monitoring programs and routinely performs sampling throughout the City to ensure all relevant State and federal standards are met. They also help educate the public about backflow prevention and guide the installation of backflow prevention assemblies to protect the drinking water supply.