The Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control program administered by College Station Utilities is an important part of keeping our water supply safe. The City of College Station is required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to eliminate cross-connections and maintain a Cross-Connection Control Program for the drinking water system in College Station. This program includes the installation and testing of backflow prevention assemblies where deemed appropriate by a certified inspector.
Backflow Ordinance (Ch. 40, Article II, Division 6 of the Code of Ordinances)
Lawn Irrigation Permits: All lawn irrigation systems must have an installation permit and an approved backflow prevention device. Permits are issued by City of College Station Planning & Development Services. The backflow prevention device must be tested on installation by a certified Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester (BPAT) and the test results must be provided to City of College Station Water Services. Click here for a list of testers registered with the City of College Station.
Registered Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester: All installation, inspection, and testing of backflow prevention devices must be performed by an individual certified by the TCEQ as a Backflow Assembly Tester (BPAT). The tester must also be registered with the City of College Station Water Services Department. To register with the City, a tester must provide:
A copy of each tester’s TCEQ BPAT License.
A current copy of their gauge calibration certificate.
Company mailing address, phone number, and email address
$50.00 annual registration fee made payable to the City of College Station (cash or check; covers all testers within company)
Testers must also supply the original test report to the Water Services Department within 30 days of testing a backflow device per City Ordinance. Mail report to: Water Services Dept, Attn: Environmental Services PO Box 9960 College Station, TX 77842. Reports may also be delivered in person to: 1601 Graham Road College Station, TX 77845.
Why should you care about backflow and cross-connections? Water distribution systems are designed so that water normally flows in only one direction: from the treatment plant to the customer. When water flows in the opposite direction from normal flow, backward through the water supply system, this is a condition known as backflow.
A cross-connection is any unprotected physical arrangement where a potable water supply is connected directly or indirectly to any other apparatus that could cause any substance other than the City's drinking water to enter the drinking water system.
The most common cross-connection occurs when a hose is connected to a harmful substance. If the pressure in a water main drops while your hose is submerged in polluted or contaminated water, then the water (and whatever is in it) could be sucked back into your pipes and your drinking water supply. The following tips may help to reduce the potential for cross-connections:
- DON'T submerge hoses in buckets, pools, tubs, or sinks.
- DO keep the end of the hose clear of possible contaminants.
- DON'T use spray attachments without a backflow prevention device. The chemicals used on your lawn can be fatal if ingested.
- DO buy and install inexpensive backflow prevention devices for all threaded faucets around your home.