Cross-connections are dangerous and are prohibited

Cross-connections are dangerous and are prohibited

The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) defines cross-connection as “any actual or potential connection or structural arrangement between a public water supply and any other source or system through which it is possible to introduce into any part of the potable water system any used water, industrial fluid, gas or substance other than the intended potable water which the system is supplied”.

Every public water supply system in South Carolina is required to have an approved cross-connection program in place that will ensure that customer taps are adequately protected from backflow and back-siphonage conditions to ensure that good water quality is maintained in the system at all times. Click here to review our cross-connection policy. Be sure to mention your request in your email. A cross-connection can occur in many ways and Powdersville Water operators must attend school to become certified inspectors and testers for backflow prevention. Two of the most common ways that a cross-connections can occur in our system are when contractors use fire hydrants for withdrawing bulk water from the system and when customers decide to connect private groundwater wells to a tap that is supplied by our system. In the case of the fire hydrant withdrawal, the danger is usually caused by a hose connected to our hydrant and then submerged in a tank or some type of vessel that may contain a foreign substance that does not need to enter the public water supply. We have a Hydrant Use Policy in place for this reason.

Another common cross-connection is the interconnection of a private well, with piping that is supplied by our water tap. In the case of the private well, water that is pumped from the ground is of differing quality and more importantly, the water is rarely disinfected. Many times, the well pump is operating at a higher pressure than our system, which would allow non-disinfected groundwater to be pumped into our public water supply. This could cause the disinfectant in our water to dissipate, thereby creating a good environment for bacteria to grow. If you have this type of plumbing arrangement on your property, we would like to know about it. You are not in trouble. We want to make sure that our system is adequately protected at the meter and at the same time, we will be glad to answer any questions that you may have about this subject. If we have to install a backflow device at your meter, you will not bear any of the cost to do so. The Cross-Connection Program is all about making sure that we deliver excellent quality water to you every hour of every day. We need your help to make sure that our program remains effective.Thank you in advance for your help!

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