Tuesday, July 26, 2016


The Port Washington Public Water Utility system delivers safe, high-quality drinking water every day. To continue to protect the public health and keep the water system safe from contaminants and pollutants we are required by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Department of Safety & Professional Services, and the Port Washington Municipal Code to maintain a cross connection control program.

Port Washington is currently replacing water meters throughout the City at residential home sites. During the water meter replacement visit, the meter technician will also conduct a Cross Connection Safety Survey of certain connections to the internal water supply. Areas of the survey include outside hose connections, irrigation systems, boilers and water softeners.

In order to reduce overall costs for compliance with DNR Regulation NR810.15, the Port Washington Water Utility has contracted with HydroCorp of New Berlin, Wisconsin to assist in managing our program. HydroCorp is a consulting firm that specializes in backflow prevention education and cross connection control programs and inspections. HydroCorp does not sell plumbing devices, installations or perform backflow preventer testing. Each HydroCorp Inspector carries an easy to see Photo Identification Tag issued by Wisconsin Rural Water Association. Furthermore, each inspector has been employed full time at HydroCorp for a minimum of 1 - 6 years. All employees undergo a third part background check.

There is no fee for the cross connection inspection. HydroCorp will perform the surveys of commercial, industrial buildings throughout the community to detect actual & potential cross connections and make recommendations for the installation of backflow prevention devices or assemblies where necessary. This will help ensure that contaminated or polluted water cannot backflow into clean drinking water.

What Is a Cross Connection Control Program?
Wisconsin Administrative Code NR 810.15 Defines a CROSS-CONNECTION CONTROL PROGRAM as; The supplier of water for every municipal water system shall develop and implement a comprehensive control program for the elimination of all existing cross-connections and prevention of all future cross-connections. A record of the cross-connection control program shall be kept current and available for annual review by the department.

Public Education Program - We will inform our water customers with newsletters, brochures, public awareness meetings, cable access channel programming, and access to informational videos.  
Notices to Owners - Notify the building owner of a scheduled inspection date and any required corrective action.   
Cross Connection Survey - All Residential and Non-Residential facility plumbing systems which are connected to the public water supply will be inspected to determine if cross connections exist as required by the WI DNR Regulation NR810.15. Port Washington Water Utility Staff will be performing surveys of residential service connections.   
Installation of Protective Devices - Backflow prevention devices or assemblies may need to be installed at the owners expense where known unprotected cross connections exist as required by Dept. of SPS Chapter 382.41. 
Annual Testing - When applicable, backflow prevention assemblies will be tested once a year by a State of Wisconsin certified tester of the owners choice. Not all buildings will have this type of backflow preventer connected to the internal plumbing system .  


What Is a Cross Connection?
A cross connection is a direct or potential connection between any part of the public water supply system and a source of contamination or pollution. The most common form of cross connection is a garden hose, which is easily connected to the public water supply system and can be used to apply a variety of potentially dangerous substances, including chemicals and fertilizer. Other common cross connections include dishwashers, toilets, pressure washers, boilers, pools, and lawn sprinkler systems.

How Does Contamination Occur?
Water normally flows in one direction, from the public water system through the customer's cold or hot water plumbing system to a faucet or other plumbing fixture. Under certain conditions, water can flow in the reverse direction. This is known as backflow, and it occurs when backsiphonage or backpressure is created in a waterline.

Backsiponage may occur when there is a drop in the supply pressure of the water distribution system. This can be caused by a water line break, water main repair, or during a rapid withdrawal of water from a fire hydrant. This creates a vacuum, which may pull or siphon contaminants or pollutants into the drinking water supply.

Backpressure may be created when a source of pressure, such as a pump, boiler, or other building creates a pressure greater than that supplied from the water distribution system; this may force water to reverse direction.
What is a Cross Connection Survey?
The cross connection survey is the first step in our program. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Regulations (NR 810.15) recommends that all industrial, commercial, and institutional facilities be surveyed for cross connections regularly (every two to six years depending on the degree of hazard within the facility). A survey is a walk-through of the water-system piping in a building or property, starting at the water meter and ending at the last free-flowing tap. At the end of the survey HydroCorp will produce a report describing any violations or discrepancies found, as well as a time frame for compliance. The first round of inspections will include municipal-owned buildings, public school facilities, hospitals/medical facilities, car washes, industrial/manufacturing facilities. Inspection notices will be mailed to water customers approximately two weeks before the scheduled inspection date. A representative should be available during the inspection to answer questions and provide access.

Cross connection control program questions can be directed to David Ewig, City of Port Washington Water Utility Superintendent at (262) 284-2172 or OR water customers may call HydroCorp directly at 800-315-4305

More information is available at:


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