Cross Connection Control & Backflow Prevention
Jackson Energy Authority works to deliver the safest, highest-quality drinking water to your home. However, your home piping system could have cross connections and cause backflow without your knowledge. Help protect yourself, your family and your community by understanding cross connections and what causes backflow.
What is a Cross Connection?
A cross connection is simply a connection between a potable (drinking water) water supply and a non-potable source. The most common form of a cross connection is ironically the garden hose. It can be easily connected to the potable water supply and used for a variety of potentially unsafe applications. Service sinks, irrigation sprinkler systems, boilers or secondary water supplies are also potential cross connections.
What is Backflow?
Once water is distributed to your home, it is possible for the flow of the water to be reversed. This reversed flow, referred to as Backflow, causes the water to flow from your piping back into the public water distribution system. If there is a cross-connection when backflow occurs, the water supply could become contaminated causing serious health risks.
Backflow occurs for one of two reasons: back siphonage or back pressure.
- Back siphonage - the reversal of normal flow in a system caused by a vacuum or partial vacuum within the water supply piping. For instance, attaching a garden hose to the faucet and leaving it submerged in a swimming pool.
- Back pressure - the reversal of normal flow in a system due to pressure higher than the supply pressure. For instance, sudden drops in pressure due to a water main break or the use of water for fire fighting.
Help Protect Our Water Supply
The potential hazards to our drinking water system stress the importance for customers to prevent backflow from occurring. Every JEA commercial customer and any residential customer with a swimming pool and/or lawn irrigation system connected directly to the water system must install and maintain a backflow prevention device. This mechanical plumbing device, installed on the main water supply line between the water meter and first service connection or tap, prevents water from flowing backward and re-entering the main water supply.
Maintaining Your Device
As your water supplier, Jackson Energy Authority is required by the Tennessee Division of Water Supply to operate a Cross-Connection Control Policy that protects the public water supply from cross-connections and monitors all the required information. The State of Tennessee requires that all backflow prevention devices be properly installed, tested annually and kept in proper working condition. All devices will be tested once per calendar year by Jackson Energy Authority and any needed repairs will be the responsibility of the device owner.
For backflow assistance, please contact our Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention Coordinator at 731-616-8876.