Water Distribution System Backflow Prevention Ordinance



      1.   Purpose.  The purpose of this cross connection control section is: 

1.1.1.   To protect the public potable water supply of the Town from the possibility of contamination or pollution, due to backsiphonage or back pressure, by isolation within the consumer's private water system such contaminants or pollutants, which could backflow into the public water system.

1.1.2. To define the authority of the Town as the water purveyor entitled to eliminating all cross connections, new or existing, within Landis Utilities Water System.

1.1.3.   To provide a continuing inspection program of cross connections, which may be installed in the future.

   1.2  Reponsiblity:  Town of Landis

1.2.1.   Landis Utilities will be primarily responsible for preventing any contamination or pollution of the Landis Utilities Water System. This responsibility begins at the point of origin of the public water supply and includes all of the public water distribution system, and ends at the service connection under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Backflow Administrator shall exercise vigilance to ensure that the consumer/customer has taken the proper steps to protect the public potable water system.

1.2.2.   When it has been determined that a backflow protection assembly is required for the prevention of contamination of the Landis Utilities Water System, the Backflow Administrator shall notify the owner, in writing, of any such building or premises, to correct within a time set by this section, any plumbing installed or existing that is in violation of this section.

1.2.3.   After surveying the private water system the Backflow Administrator will select an approved backflow prevention assembly required for containment control to be installed at service entrance.

1.2.4.   Prior to the installation of any backflow prevention assembly, the owner of the private water system must be notified that the installation of a backflow prevention assembly may create a closed system, and as a result thermal expansion may occur. Under such circumstance, the customer must understand and assume all liability and responsibilities for that phenomenon.

1.3   Responsibility:  Customer 

1.3.1.   The customer has the responsibility of preventing contaminants and pollutants from entering the customer's private water system or the public water system operated by the Town. The customer, at his own expense, shall install, operate and maintain all backflow prevention assemblies specified within this section.

1.3.2   If a tenant customer does not maintain the private water system and has no authority to bring the system into compliance with the provisions of this section the Town may assert any available action against the tenant to assure the private water system is brought into compliance with this section.



2.1          Water Purveyor: Owner or operator of a public potable water system providing an                          approved water supply to the public.

2.2          Air Gap Separation: An unobstructed vertical distance through the atmosphere                                                between the lowest opening from any pipe or faucet supplying water from any

                source to a tank, plumbing fixture, or other device and the flood level rim of the                                              receptacle. An approved air gap separation shall be double the diameter of the                                        supply pipe. In no case shall the air gap separation be less than one inch.An                                               approved, air gap separation is an effective method to prevent backflow and shall                                          be considered as a backflow prevention assembly.

2.3          Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker: A device used to prevent back-siphonage, which                                               is designed so as not to be subject to static line pressure.

2.4          Backflow: Any reverse flow of water, gas or any other liquid substance or                                                            combination into the public water system from any source due to an unprotected                                     cross-connection.

2.5          Backflow Prevention Administrator: An employee of the Town designated by the                                            Public Works Director to administer and enforce this ordinance.

2.6          Backflow Prevention Assembly – Approved: An assembly that has been                                                               investigated and approved  by the Town of Landis Water Department and has                                             been approved to meet the design and performance standards of the American                                      Society of Sanitary Engineers(ASSE), the American Waterworks Association                                               (AWWA), or the Foundation for Cross Connection Control and Hydraulic                                                                 Research of the University of Southern California.

2.7          Back Pressure: Any elevation of pressure in the down stream piping system                                       caused by pumps, elevation of piping . or steam and/or air pressure above the                                       supply pressure at the point of consideration, which would cause a reversal of the                                          normal direction of flow.

2.8          Back Siphonage: A reversal of the normal direction of flow in the pipeline due to                                              a negative pressure (vacuum) being created in the supply line with the backflow                                    source subject to atmospheric pressure.

2.9          Certified Tester: Any individual person who has proven his/her competency to                                                 test, repair and overhaul backflow prevention assemblies. This person must hold                                    a certificate of completion from a certified training program in the testing and                                        repair of backflow prevention assemblies and cross connection control. 

2.10        Consumer/Customer:  Any person, firm, or corporation using or receiving water                                               from the Town of Landis public water system.

2.11        Containment:  The prevention of backflow from a private water system by an                                    approved, properly functioning backflow prevention assembly, which is installed,                                    operated and maintained in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance.

2.12        Contamination: An impairment of  the quality of the water to a degree, which                                   creates an actual hazard to the public health through poisoning or through the                                     spread of disease.

2.13        Cross Connection:  Any actual or potential connection or piping arrangement                                      between a public or a consumer’s potable water system and any other source or                                      system through which it is possible to introduce into any part of the                                                    potable system any used water, industrial fluids, gas or substance which                                                    could be harmful or hazardous to the     potable water system.

2.14        Double Check Valve Assemble: An assembly composed of two single,                                                    independently acting, approved check valves, including tightly closing shut-off                                                 valves located at each end of the device and suitable connections for testing the                                                 water tightness of each check valve.

2.15        Dual Check Valve:  A device composed of two single, independently acting,                                         approved check valves.  This is classified as a device and connot be in-line tested.

2.16        Hazard- Degree:  The evaluation of a hazard within a private water system as                                     moderate or high.

2.17        Hazard-High:  An actual or potential threat of contamination to the public water                                                system or to a customer’s potable water system that could cause serious illness or                                    death.

2.18        Hazard-Imminent: An actual threat of contamination to the public water system                                               that could cause serious illness or death. 

2:19        Hazard-Moderate:  An actual or potential threat of damage to the physical                                                          components comprising the public water system or a customer’s potable water                                                system, or of pollution to the public water system, or to a customer’s potable                                          water system.

2.20        Pollution:  An impairment of the quality of the water to a degree which does not                                              create an actual hazard to the public health, but which does adversely and                                                              unreasonably affect such water for domestic use.

2.21        Potable Water:  Water from any source, which has been approved for human                                    consumption by the appropriate agecy of the State of North Carolina, Town of                                            Landis   and /or local health agencies.

2.22        Pressure Vacuum Breaker:  An assembly suitable for continuous presure, to be                                                 used to provide protection against back-siphonage.

2.23        Private Water System:  Any water system located on the customer’s premise,                                   whether supplied by public potable water system or an industrial piping system.

2.24        Public Water System:  The potable water system owned and operated by the                                    Town of Landis.  This system includes all distribution mains, lines, pipes,                                                  connections, storge tanks, and other facilities conveying potable water to the                                               service connections of each customer.

2.25        Reduced Pressure Zone Assembly:  An approved, properly functioning assembly                                              containing two, independently acting check valves with a hydraulically operating,                                   mechanically independent pressure differential relief valve located between the                                      check valves and at the same time below the first check valve,  The assembly                                      must include properly located test cocks and tightly closing shut-off valves at                                     each end of the assembly.  This assembly is designed to protect against a high                                   hazard.

2.26        Service Connection:  The terminal end of a service connection from the public                                   potable water system, i.e., where the water purveyor looses jurisdiction and                                  sanitary control over the water at its point of delivery to the consumer’s water                                       system.

2.27        Used Water:  Any water supplied by a water purveyor from a public water system                           to a consumer’s water system after is has passed through the point of delivery and                          is no longer under the control of the water purveyor.

2.28        Water Supply-Auxiliary:  Any water supply on or available to the customer’s                                        premises other than the purveyor’s approved public potable water suply.  The                                            auxiliary water may include water from another purveyor’s public potable water                                              supply or any natural source such as a well, spring, river, stream, etc., and used or                                             objectionable.

2.29        Water Supply-Unapproved:  Any water supply, which has not been approved for                                             human consumption by the North Carolina Department of Human Resources.



3.1          Authorization:

3.1.1   Any authorized representative from the Town shall have the right to enter any building, structure, or premises during normal business hours to perform any duty imposed upon him by this section and with in accordance to Appendix D104.2.1 of the State Plumbing Code. Those duties may include sampling and testing of water, or inspection and observation of all piping systems connected to the public water supply. Refusal to allow these representatives to enter for these purposes will result in the disconnection of water service.

3.1.2   On request, the consumer shall furnish to the water purveyor any pertinent information regarding the water supply system on such property where cross connection and backflow are deemed possible. (State Plumbing Code Appendix D104.2.3) 



4.1      Unprotected Cross-Connection Prohibited: 

4.1.1   No water service connection to any private exterior or interior water system shall be installed or maintained by Landis Utilities unless the water supply is protected as required by this section and other applicable laws. Service of water to any premises shall be discontinued by the Town if a backflow assembly, required by this section, is not installed, tested, and maintained or if a backflow assembly has been removed, bypassed, or if an unprotected cross connection exists on the premises. Service will be restored after all such conditions or defects are corrected

4.1.2   No customer shall allow an unprotected cross connection to be made or to remain involving the customer's exterior or interior private water system.

4.1.3   No connection shall be made to an unapproved auxiliary water supply unless the public water supply is protected against backflow by an approved backflow assembly, appropriate to the degree of hazard.

4.1.4   No customer shall fail to maintain in good operating condition any backflow prevention assembly, which is part of the customer's private water system and is required by this section.

4.1.5   No customer shall fail to submit to the Town any record, which is required by this section.



5.1  Installation and testing of backflow prevention assembly.   

5.1.1   The purpose of this subsection is to require that all water flowing from the Landis Utilities Water System must flow through an approved backflow prevention assembly and that each backflow prevention assembly be properly located, installed, maintained and tested so that the backflow prevention assembly is effective in protecting the Landis Utilities Water System from any possible contamination or pollution.

5.1.2   The installation or replacement of a backflow prevention assembly for domestic water use shall only be performed by a licensed plumber or utility contractor. The installation of a backflow prevention assembly on a dedicated fire sprinkler service shall be performed by a licensed fire sprinkler contractor or utility contractor. Repairs to a backflow prevention assembly on a dedicated fire sprinkler system may only be performed by a fire sprinkler contractor. All backflow prevention assemblies may be tested by a certified backflow technician authorized by the Town of Landis.

5.1.3   All new construction plans and specifications which will directly effect Landis Utilities, and/or are required by the State Building Code, the State Division of Environmental Health (N.C. DENR), and Town or county planning and zoning offices, shall be made available to the Town's Backflow Administrator for review, approval, and to determine the degree of hazard.

5.1.4   All existing facilities zoned commercial or industrial and have existing water services with Landis Utilities and requesting certificate of compliance from the Town or County Planning and Zoning Offices, shall be inspected for compliance of backflow and cross connection control prevention. Any facility not having backflow protection or changing the degree of hazard shall be brought into compliance before the Backflow Administrator may release certificate of compliance.

5.1.5   All backflow prevention assemblies must be installed and maintained on the customer's premises as part of the customer's private water system at or near the service connection and before the service line is connected to any other pipes except as authorized by the water purveyor.

5.1.6   If it has been determined that a backflow prevention assembly cannot be installed at the meter service, due to zoning or DOT rights-of-way, an approved backflow assembly must be installed on every branch of plumbing installed between the service meter and the service backflow assembly.

5.1.7   Any branch of plumbing installed on the private water system that may be of a greater hazard than the supply line, (example: chemical induced irrigation or fire systems, pump systems, etc.) shall be protected with a reduced pressure assembly.

5.1.8   All backflow prevention assemblies shall be installed in accordance with the Town's "Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control Manual", (which is incorporated herein by reference as if written below), and/or the manufacturer's instructions, whichever is most restrictive.

5.1.9   All double check valve assemblies, two-inches or larger, must be installed in a watertight drainable pit wherever belowground installation is necessary in accordance with detailed specifications provided in the Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control Manual. If drain cannot be provided, the assembly must be installed above the ground. Double check valve assemblies may be installed in a vertical position with prior approval from the Backflow Administrator, provided that the flow of water is in an upward direction.

5.1.10   Reduce pressure assemblies must be installed in a horizontal position and in a location in which no portion of the assembly can become submerged in any substance under any circumstances. Pit installations are prohibited.

5.1.11   Each backflow prevention assembly that is required must function properly at time of installment. Each customer will be required to test, maintain, and repair each assembly required which is a part of the customer's private water system. A certified backflow prevention technician may only conduct such test. Testing shall be done immediately following installation of any backflow prevention assembly and on an annual or semiannual basis depending the degree of hazard.  Reports of the annual or semi-annual testing shall be submitted to the Town of Landis within 30 days of the test.

5.1.12   If repair is found necessary on an assembly it must be retested following any repair. A complete duplicate copy of any testing and/or repair shall be sent to the Town within 30 days of completion of test or repair. Each customer must maintain a complete copy of test or repair. Each customer must maintain a complete copy of any test or repair for no less than five years. All test and repair records must be maintained on forms approved by the Backflow Administrator of the Town.

5.1.13   All rubber components must be replaced every five years or as often as needed.

5.1.14   Any customer installing a reduced pressure (RP) or double check valve assembly (DCVA) must provide the following information to the Backflow Administrator within ten days after installation:

a.   Service address where assembly is located;

b.   Owner;

c.   Description of assembly's location;

d.   Date of installation;

e.   Type of assembly;

f.   Manufacturer;

g.   Model number;

h.   Serial number; and

i.   Test results/reports.

5.1.15   The Backflow Administrator must approve each backflow assembly required by this section. Unapproved backflow assembly must be replaced, within a time set by the Backflow Administrator, with an approved backflow assembly. For a list of approved backflow assemblies reference the Town's "Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control Manual."

5.1.16   If it has been determined that a customer must install a backflow prevention assembly, the Backflow Administrator will provide the customer with a letter of notification. The following time periods shall be set forth for the installation of the specified assemblies:

Health hazard                                    60 days (unless other wise stated by the Town)

Non-health hazard                          90 days  ( unless other wise stated by the Town)

5.1.17   If an imminent hazard or unreasonable threat of contamination or pollution to the Landis Utilities Water System is detected, the Backflow Administrator may require the installation of the required backflow assembly immediately or within a shorter time period than specified in subsection (16) of this subsection.

5.1.18   If a customer does not wish for water service to be interrupted when a backflow assembly is tested, repaired, or replaced, a parallel installation must be made using an approved assembly of the same degree of hazard. The parallel line may be of the same size or smaller.

5.1.19  The Town of Landis has the right to pursue any and all remedies, including legal action, to correct contamination resulting from a failed backflow prevention device.  Responsibility for the proper operation and maintenance of backflow prevention devices shall belong to the entity owning the device.



6.1   Determining Degree of Hazard.   

6.1.1   No service shall be completed until the Backflow Administrator has been                 provided information or has surveyed the private water system to determine the degree of hazard and make a determination of a backflow prevention assembly to be installed to protect the public water supply.

6.1.2   Any customer making any modification to their private exterior or interior water system configuration and/or changes the usage of the exterior or interior water system, which may change the degree of hazard, the customer shall notify the Backflow Administrator before any modification is made. If the Backflow         Administrator determines that such modification requires a different backflow prevention assembly, that assembly must be installed before the modification is made or the usage is changed.

6.1.3  The following types of facilities or services have been identified by Landis Utilities as having a potential for backflow or non-potable water into the public water supply system. Therefore, an approved backflow prevention assembly will be required on all such services according to the degree of hazard present. Other types of facilities or services not listed in this subsection may also be required to install approved backflow prevention assemblies if determined necessary by the

Town's Backflow Administrator. As a minimum requirement, all commercial services will be required to install a double check valve assembly unless otherwise listed as follows:

DCVA = Double check valve assembly

RP = Reduced pressure assembly

DCDA = Double check detector assembly

RPDA = Reduced pressure detector assembly

AG = Air gap

PVB = Pressure vacuum breaker

Aircraft and missile plants: RP

Automotive service stations, dealerships, etc.:

No health hazard: DCVA

Health hazard: RP

Automotive plants: RP

Auxiliary water systems:

Approved public/private water supply: DCVA

Unapproved public/private water supply: AG

Used water and industrial fluids: RP


No health hazard: DCVA

Health hazard: Hazard

Beauty shops/barber shops:

No health hazard: DCVA

Health hazard: RB

Beverage bottling plants: RP

Breweries: RP

Buildings--Hotels, apartment houses, public and private buildings, or other structures having unprotected cross connections:

(Under five stories) No health hazard: DCVA

(Under five stories) Health hazard: RP

(Over five stories) All: RP

Canneries, packing houses, and rendering plants: RP

Chemical plants--Manufacturing, processing, compounding or treatment: RP

Chemically contaminated water system: RP

Commercial car-wash facilities: RP

Commercial greenhouses: RP

Concrete/asphalt plants: RP

Dairies and cold storage plants: RP

Dye works: RP

Film laboratories: RP

Fire systems:

No health hazard: DCDA

Health hazard (booster pumps, foams, antifreeze solution, etc.): RPDA

Hospitals, medical buildings, sanitarium, morgues, mortuaries, autopsy facilities, nursing and convalescent homes, medical clinics, and veterinary hospitals: RP

Individual commercial sales establishments (department stores):

No health hazards: DCVA

Health hazard: RP

Industrial facilities:

No health hazard: DCVA

Health hazard: RP


No health hazard: DCVA

Health hazard (i.e., dry cleaners): RP

Lawn irrigation systems:

Health hazard: RP

Malls or strip malls (frequent tenant change and photo labs, etc.):

Health hazard: RP

Metal manufacturing, cleaning processing, and fabricating plants: RP

Mobile home parks:

No health hazard: DCVA

Health hazard: RP

Oil and gas production, storage or transmission properties: RP

Paper and paper products plants: RP

Pest control (exterminating and fumigating): RP

Plating plants: RP

Power plants: RP

Public swimming pools: RP

Radioactive materials or substances--Plants or facilities handling: RP


No health hazard: DCVA

Health hazard: RP

Restricted, classified, or other closed facilities: RP

Rubber plants (natural or synthetic): RP

Sand and gravel plants: RP

Schools, and colleges: RP

Sewage and storm drain facilities: RP

Waterfront facilities and industries: RP


All assemblies and installations shall be subject to inspection and approval by Landis Utilities.

6.1.4   Filling of tanks/tankers or any other container from a Town-owned fire hydrant is strictly prohibited unless it has been equipped with the proper meter and backflow protection, at which point Landis Utilities will issue a permit for that tank/tanker or container. Any unauthorized connection to a fire hydrant is considered an illegal cross connection to the Landis Utilities water system and will be subject to fines.

6.1.5.   If a cross connection control inspector is unable to survey any portion of a private exterior or interior water system to determine the degree of hazard, due to confidential activities, a reduced pressure assembly will be required.

6.2   Low hazard.   

6.2.1.   All single-family residential homes will be considered a low hazard and shall have a minimum of a dual check valve device installed at the meter service. Dual check valves shall not be in-line tested.

6.2.2.   If no other backflow prevention assembly is specified a double check valve assembly must be installed on all private water systems.

6.3   Imminent hazard. 

6.3.1.   If it has been determined that a customer's private water system has an imminent hazard, such customer must install a backflow prevention assembly specified by the Backflow Administrator and this section. This assembly must be installed within 24 hours of notification from the Backflow Administrator. If the customer fails to install the specified assembly within the allowed time limit, water service to the customer's private water system will be terminated and may be subject to specified civil penalties. Ifthe Backflow Administrator is unable to notify the customer in 24 hours of determining an imminent hazard exist, the Backflow Administrator may terminate water service until the specified assembly is installed. These actions may be carried out under the Safe Drinking Water Act (Title XIV, Section 1431) and the State Plumbing Code (Appendix D104.2.6).

6.3.2   Only a backflow prevention assembly offering a greater degree of protection may be installed in place of a specified assembly required by this section.



7.1   Notice of contamination or pollution.   

7.1.1   If the customer's private exterior of interior water system becomes contaminated or polluted the customer shall notify Landis Utilities immediately.

 7.1.2   If a customer has reason to believe that a backflow incident has occurred between the customer's private exterior or interior water system and the Landis Utilities Water System, the customer must notify Landis Utilities immediately in order that appropriate measures may be taken to isolate and remove the contamination or pollution.



8.1   Notification of Violations.   

8.1.1   A written notice must be presented to any customer/person who has been found to be in violation of any part of this ordinance.

8.1.2   Such notice must explain the violation and give the time period within which the violation must be corrected .  The time period set to correct a violatin shall not exceed thirty (30) days after receiving notice unless otherwise specified by te time period chart (Section 5 Sub-Section 5.1.16).  If the violation has been determined by the Administrator to be an imminent hazard the customer shall be required to correct the violation immediately. 

8.1.3   In the event a customer is found inviolatin of this ordinance and fails to correct the violation in a timely manner or to pay any civil penalty or expense assessed under this section, water service will be terminated. 

8.2   The violation of any section of this ordinance may be punished by a civil penalty listed as follows:

8.2.1  Unprotected cross connection involving a private water system, which has an imminent hazard-$1000 per day not to exceed $10,000.

8.2.2    Unprotected cross connection involving a private water system, which is of a moderate or high hazard-$500.

8.2.3      Submitting false records or failure to submit records, which are required by this ordinance - $500.

8.2.4      Failure to test or maintain backflow prevention assemblies as required $100 per day.

8.3          Reduction of Penalty:

8.3.1      The Administratior may reduce or dismiss any civil penalty imposed under this section if the Administratio has determined that the person charged with the violation has no past history of violation in a timely manner as set by the Administrator:

8.3.2      No civil penalty shall be reduced if it has been determined the violation was intentional.

8.3.3      Any person violating any part of this ordinance must reimburse the Town of Landis for any expenses in repairing damage to the public water system caused by any violation and any expenses incurred for investgating a violation.