A cross-connection is any actual or potential connection between the drinking water supply and any liquid or gas of unknown or unsafe quality. Cross-connections can occur when your system is not protected with the proper backflow assembly. Without this protection, the water in your pipes has the potential to flow in the opposite direction than what is intended. This backwards movement of water, called "backflow," can happen when fire fighters battle a nearby blaze or when the city crews are repairing a broken water main.
Common Cross Connections
Some of the most common cross-connections in restaurants involve: beverage dispensers, automatic soap injectors, ice machines and garden hoses in mop sinks. Contamination incidents involving beverage dispensers are numerous and can happen when the carbon dioxide from the dispenser comes into contact with copper or metal pipes, causing the water to turn yellowish green. This situation may cause sickness and even death in some instances.
Mop sink hoses in a sink full of dirty water or automatic soap injector can cause contaminants to be pulled into your plumbing and the city's water system if there is not proper protection.
Health risks can be avoided by the use of proper protection. For beverage dispensers, a "reduced pressure backflow preventer" is required to protect our drinking water. As a restaurant owner it is your responsibility to become educated about cross-connections, what protection is required, and to protect your drinking water at your business.
The City of Bremerton's Cross-Connection Control Specialist is here to help you. Call 473-5927 for more information. Businesses with unprotected cross-connections are in violation of state and local regulations.