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Cross Connections & Backflow Prevention

Cross Connections & Backflow PreventionThis occurs when there is a connection between a drinking (potable) water system and an unapproved (non potable) supply. For example, if you have a pump moving non potable water and you hook into the drinking water system to provide water for the pump shaft seal, a cross connection or a mixing between the two water systems can occur. This mixing may lead to contamination of the drinking water supply.

Backflow is a reverse flow condition created by a difference in water pressures. This difference in water pressure (negative), causes water to flow back into the distribution pipes of a potable water supply and contaminate drinking water. These possible conditions are held in check by the installation of devices called backflow preventers which are required by code.

The Code of the City of Amsterdam and the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code require the installation of a backwater valve on a sewer lateral or drain leading from a structure to a City sanitary sewage line. The backwater valve must be installed at the property owner’s expense to prevent sanitary sewage backing up into a structure if a City sanitary sewer line becomes blocked. The backwater valve must be installed by a licensed plumber and the property owner should keep written proof of the installation.

Also note, in accordance with the Code of the City of Amsterdam, any plumbing fixture or water closet installed in a cellar of any building in the City of Amsterdam shall be at risk of the owner of such a building. One such risk is the escape of raw sewage from a City sanitary sewer line into a cellar.

For Questions about acceptable backwater valves, connections and more, please contact the City Engineer's Office.

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