Backflow Prevention and Cross-connection Control

What is a cross-connection?

A cross-connection is a point in a plumbing system where a possible source of contamination can come into contact with any drinking water supply. Examples would include connections from swimming pools, hot tubs, lawn irrigation systems, boilers & ground water wells.

What is backflow?

It is the flow through a cross-connection from a possible source of contamination back into the drinking water system. It occurs when a cross­ connection is created and a pressure reversal, either as backsiphonage or backpressure, occurs in the water supply piping.

Why be concerned?

  • ALL cross-connections pose a potential health risk
  • Backflow can be a health hazard for your family or other consumers if contaminated water enters your water supply plumbing system and is used for drinking, cooking or bathing. Chemical burns, fires, explosions, poisonings, illness and death have all been caused by backflow through cross­ connections.
  • Backflow occurs more often than you think
  • You as a consumer play a major role in the safety of our water supply by eliminating backflow that may contaminate drinking water, either your own or someone else's. This includes complying with the plumbing code and not creating cross-connections.

What is the law?

Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3745-95 requires the public water supplier to protect the public water system from cross-connections and prevent backflow situations. The public water supplier must conduct cross-connection control inspections of their water customers' property to evaluate hazards. 

View the EPA Backflow brochure.

Take the cross-connection survey.

Device Installation

The Utilities Superintendent may order the installation of an approved backflow prevention assembly at the service connection at the owner's expense. Failure, refusal or inability to install said assembly shall constitute a justification for discontinuing water service to the premises until such assembly has been installed and approved.

Completing the Process

Once installed, an inspection must be made by the Utilities Department. Contact the department at 330-633-0851 Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. to schedule the inspection at a convenient time. Upon approval and a completed test a Backflow Form (PDF) can be faxed to the department at 330-633-5260, dropped off to the Utilities Department at: 210 Osceola Ave or submit through the contact form.

A test must be performed annually by a licensed backflow technician and the completed Backflow Form (PDF) returned to the Utilities Department.