Cross Connection Control Program (CCC)
The Municipality protects, treats and delivers safe drinking water, but our responsibility does not end there. We are required by Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) to enforce the installation of Backflow Prevention (BFP) Devices on water service lines where there is greater potential for backflow.
The Municipality’s first step to our Cross Connection Control Program is monitoring the installation and maintenance of BFP devices to minimize risk of a potential contaminant entering the distribution system from a customer’s premise through backflow and help protect the public’s safety by preventing drinking water contamination.
BFP devices have been a requirement since 1999 in the Municipality of East Hants Municipal Services System General Specifications and more recently in Schedule “D” East Hants Water Utility Schedule of Rules and Regulations. New forms and programming for new construction have been available since June 1, 2016.
- BFP Device Application Forms:
- Definitions for CCC Program Terms
- Backflow Prevention Device Inspection Report
Backflow Prevention (BFP) Devices
Where are they required?
In East Hants, backflow prevention devices are required on buildings where there is a greater potential for backflow and contamination to the water supply.
- industrial, commercial, and institutional buildings
- apartment buildings with more than four units
- sprinkler service lines
- “…all new services where in the opinion of the municipality, there is a potential risk of contamination of the potable water supply system resulting from back flow or back pressure from the individual premise.”
Backflow Prevention Methods
East Hants recognizes the following methods or types of backflow prevention devices used for the prevention of backflow:
- Air Gap (AG)
- Reduced Pressure Principle Assembly (RP)
- Double Check Valve Assembly (DCVA)
The type of BFP device is based on the degree of hazard that the specific location represents to the drinking water supply. A Backflow Prevention Device Application Form must be filled out by a professional engineer or certified plumber, in accordance with the CSA B64.10 and CSA B64 series, to determine the degree of hazard.
Testing and Maintenance
It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure that all backflow prevention devices must be tested upon installation and annually thereafter. If the assembly fails its test, maintenance or repair is immediately required. The assembly must be retested immediately after any repairs, maintenance, or when the assembly has been removed, reinstalled or changed locations.
Backflow prevention assemblies must be annually tested, at minimum, because they have internal seals and springs that are subject to wear or fatigue.
At Your Annual Backflow Prevention Device Test
BFP testing must be carried out by a certified tester.
A record card must be placed on or beside the BFP indicating:
- The test date
- The tester’s certificate number, name, initials, and the name of his/her employer
- The location, type, manufacturer, serial number, and size of the device
- The name and address of the owner of the device
A copy of annual BFP test results must be sent to the Municipality. This is ultimately the customer’s responsibility however, backflow prevention testers commonly submit this form.
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Municipality of East Hants
C/O Cross Connection Control Program
230-15 Commerce Court
Elmsdale, NS B2K 3K5
By fax: 1-888-684-5912
C/O Cross Connection Control Program
East Hants Rules and Regulations specify that the Municipality may give notice to correct any non-compliance with the Cross Connection Control & Backflow Prevention section of the schedule. This includes the annual testing of BFPs. As a last resort in cases of non-compliance, the Municipality may suspend water service. We will always prefer to work with the property owner towards a solution, but backflow hazards will be taken seriously as they are potential risks to public health.
Thermal Expansion Awareness
It is important to address Thermal Expansion when installing backflow prevention devices to ensure effective operation of your water system.
- Thermal expansion: When water is heated, density decreases and volume increases.
- The increase in water volume must go somewhere.
- If the extra volume created by expansion overcomes the incoming supply pressure, water can backflow into the public drinking water system.
- BFP devices, pressure reducing valves and other one-way valves create a “closed system” during no-flow periods in the system.
- This solves the problem of backflow, but creates other issues.
- Thermal expansion in a closed plumbing system can cause maintenance problems and serious health issues:
- i.e. The build-up of unusually high pressure in a system causing pressure surges and/or the chronic or continuous dripping of a temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve.
- i.e. Dripping faucets and leaking toilet tank ball cock fill valves.
- i.e. When dangerous pressures are built up in a water heater, internal parts may fail such as the internal flues, fittings or water connections. If a flue way collapses, it can lead to the potential release of toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide into living spaces. Thermal expansion can also lead to a ruptured or distorted hot water heating tank and may void the manufacturer’s warranty.
- According to the National Plumbing Code 1995 (Section 6.1.11), “When a Backflow Prevention Device, Pressure Reducing Valve, or a Check Valve is required, protection against thermal expansion may be required.
- To accommodate the increase in pressure caused by thermal expansion within a closed water distribution system, one of the following should be installed:
- A suitable sized diaphragm expansion tank designed for use within a potable water system.
- An auxiliary thermal expansion relief valve (T.E.R. valve) conforming to CAN/CSA- B125, “Plumbing Fittings,” set at a pressure of 550 kPa or less and designed for repeated use.
- Other means acceptable to authority having jurisdiction.
- To prevent any damage to private property caused by thermal expansion, you are responsible to have a licensed plumber inspect your plumbing system to determine if there is a closed plumbing system.
- If so, you should have the plumber install an appropriate device to eliminate the problems that can occur because of thermal expansion.
- Failure to address this potential problem within your premises may cause damage to your water heater and/or plumbing system.