Cross Connection


The Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner's (WRC) Cross Connection Control Program (CCCP) is designed to protect drinking water. It does that by preventing contaminants from entering the public water supply system through a reversal of flow (backflow or back-siphonage). A pollutant or contaminant may enter the water supply when the pressure of the pollution source is greater than the pressure of the water supply or when there is a sudden loss of pressure in the water system. These pressure fluctuations can be caused by hydrant flushing, water main breaks, power outages, or a number of other factors. In order to ensure safe drinking water, backflow prevention devices are required at all connections where the water may be exposed to a pollutant or contaminant.

Several examples of potential cross connections are garden hoses, toilets or toilet fill valves, lawn sprinkler systems, laundry tubs, swimming pools, hot tubs, boiler systems, water assisted sump pumps and fire sprinkler systems. Common household cross connections are caused by the misuse of garden hoses, such as leaving the end of the hose submerged in swimming pools, attached to chemical sprayers or laying on the ground. Without the proper backflow prevention devices these misused garden hoses can expose the water supply to cesspools, pesticides or garden chemicals and animal feces. Although numerous cases across the world have been documented (see links below), many more cases are left unreported.

The CCCP is run in accordance with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the State of Michigan Public Act 399, 1976 Rule #325.11401 through Rule #325.11407 of the Administrative Code. Our program is approved by the MDEQ and has been in effect in Oakland County since 1976. The onset of our program focused on commercial and industrial facilities and was expanded in 2002 to include residential customers. This update occurred in response to changes inState rules and regulations in an effort to better protect our potable (drinking) water systems from pollution or contamination.