The City of Orem Water Resources Division is committed to supplying safe drinking water to its customers that is safe and complies with all Federal and State requirements. However, no matter how well we treat and disinfect the water that we supply our customers, there is always the danger that the supply can be contaminated by means of
cross connection or backflow. 

A connection between the water you drink and another source or system that makes it possible for contaminants to enter your drinking water. 
The State of Utah Division of Drinking Water requires each water system to have a functioning cross connection control program. A cross connection control program requires protection from any possible hazard from commercial and residential activities.
Backflow is the undesirable reversal of the flow of water. This can be potentially harmful to the community if this flow pulls materials and contaminated water or other substances from a consumer’s water system, back into the public drinking water system; such as inline fertilizer from the garden sprinkling system or when a vacuum is formed in the water system in a building due to peak usage such as a fire flow or a line that is shut-off for repairs. 
Back Siphoning: Occurs when a negative pressure is created by main line breaks, pulling the water from the home or a business plumbing system into the city’s water lines.
Back Pressure: Occurs when the pressure on the homeowners or companies side exceeds that of the mainline pressure, pushing water from one system back into the main lines.  Water heaters can produce this by overheating water, causing it to expand.
Backflow devices protect against contaminants entering your water system through irrigation systems and other hazardous connections.  There is still the potential of contamination through garden hoses.

Lawn Irrigation Requirements

Irrigation systems for lawns and gardens make landscaping easier and save you time and money. However, they require special equipment to prevent contaminated water from your lawn or garden from siphoning back into the home’s plumbing system and the city water line. Currently Utah code requires that a Reduced Pressure Principle Assembly, Spill Resistant Pressure Vacuum Breaker and Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker can be used. 
Caution should be taken to drain backflow devices that are connected to sprinkling systems for prevent freezing in winter. This may be accomplished by shutting off the main valve to the sprinkling system. Then, opening the drains on the side of the device to drain the remaining water, or removing the hose from the vacuum breaker and pushing the check valve open. Your instruction manual should inform you how to winterize your particular device. For systems that continually use their backflow equipment throughout the year, care should be taken to provide heating and insulation to prevent freezing during cold weather.

Protection For Your Home

All irrigation systems – new or existing – must be equipped with a State of Utah approved backflow prevention assembly. Only properly installed, state approved Backflow Prevention Assemblies, meet the current plumbing code and provide protection for the health of your family and neighbors. Any connection to equipment utilizing any type of chemical injection requires additional backflow protection at that point of use. 
Most backflow incidents occur as a result of using a hose without proper backflow protection. At a minimum a hose-bib vacuum breaker (HBVB) should be installed to provide backflow protection. These can be installed as a measure of protection between the hose and the faucet. Alternatively, you can replace existing outdoor faucets with a frost proof valve that has a vacuum breaker.

If you have any questions concerning cross connection control or backflow prevention, please contact the City of Orem Water Resources Division at 801-229-7570