SUB sign with MO in background

Backflow FAQ Cross Connection Control Program

Why does the SUB Water Division have a Cross Connection Control Program?

The purpose of this program is to protect the health and welfare of the citizens of Springfield by ensuring that SUB’s drinking water supply is protected from harmful substances. As your public water supplier, we are required by the Oregon Health Authority under Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 333-061-0070 to maintain and enforce a cross-connection control program.

What are the Cross Connection Control Program requirements?

Both the SUB Board Policy and the Oregon Health Authority (OAR 333-061-0070) require that backflow assemblies be installed and tested annually by a state-certified backflow tester. SUB Water Division sends letters notifying customers of their duty to test their assemblies. If no action is taken, then SUB may shut off the water service until a backflow test can be scheduled, passed and verified by the SUB Water Division.

What types of water service lines require backflow assemblies? Who must comply?

Residential homes that have irrigation sprinkler systems, booster pumps, boilers, geothermal heating systems, or medical equipment connected to the SUB’s water system are required to have backflow assemblies on those systems.

In addition, SUB Water Division Cross-Connection Control Program requires commercial, industrial, public, and multifamily (more than 4 units) users to comply. Because these properties have larger service lines (and therefore pose a greater public safety hazard) and have tenants turn around, they are required to have backflow assemblies installed. In general, all new domestic, fire, and dedicated irrigation lines must have backflow assemblies installed to comply with the SUB Water Division Cross-Connection Control Program Full Manual (PDF).

What is the Utility doing to prevent cross-connections?

Because the protection of the water supply is critical to the health of our families, Board Policies give SUB the authority to inspect all residences and require the removal of cross-connections found. Non-compliance can result in the disconnection of water service to the user. This includes the largest industrial plant to the smallest individual home.

I received a letter saying I need to install a backflow assembly. How do I do that?

We recommend contacting a licensed plumber. You can install it yourself, but it must be installed according to our installation requirements, and we will inspect it after installation. If you hire someone to install it, provide them with a copy of the letter and installation guidelines enclosed in the letter. Once it’s installed, you or the installer should contact us to request an inspection. If it passes inspection, the final step is to have it tested by a tester from our Certified Backflow Tester List (PDF).