Backflow contamination of a public water system by contaminants and pollutants through uncontrolled cross connections could occur as a result of the reversal of flows brought about by fluctuations in water pressure within the water system (i.e. main break, fire fighting, etc.). Only an active backflow prevention program can reduce the likelihood of such an occurrence.
In order to better serve and protect our customers and to comply with Federal and State Laws regarding safe drinking water, Fulton County finds it necessary and desirable to control and eliminate possible cross connections in the water system. By the method of containment, individual service connections will be isolated from distribution lines by an approved backflow prevention device.
Fulton County Backflow Prevention Program Policies and Procedures
As the water purveyor, Fulton County has various responsibilities. These include:
- Assurance of water quality
- Enforcement of County code
- Development and implementation of a backflow prevention program
- Evaluation and inspection of services and backflow devices
- Maintenance of records for all backflow devices
The customer also has responsibilities to protect the distribution system. These include:
- Installation of approved backflow prevention devices
- Annual testing and maintenance of these devices
- Reporting results of testing and maintenance to Fulton County
Service connections will be evaluated for the degree of potential hazard that the service represents to the distribution system. The three levels of hazard are high, medium and low. A service that has been classified as a high hazard is one that has the potential to introduce contaminants to the distribution system in the event of a backflow event. A contaminant is a substance that could create a health hazard. A service that has been classified as medium hazard is one that has the potential to introduce pollutants to the distribution system in the event of a backflow event. A pollutant is a substance that could affect the color, odor, and taste and would be objectionable, but would not create a health hazard. A service classified as a low hazard has the potential to introduce pollutants but the risk factor is much lower.
Some of the criteria used to evaluate a service are amount of water use; the existence of cross connections; the potential for cross connections; piping system complexity; the nature of the business; and the equipment, machinery or materials handled on the property. The required device will be determined by Fulton County, based upon this degree of potential hazard. All containment backflow prevention devices should be installed as close as possible to the service meter to provide maximum protection.
Testable backflow prevention devices are required to be tested and, if necessary, repaired on an annual basis to ensure proper working order. A certified tester must perform tests and forward a copy of the results to Fulton County.
Assembly Test Data and Maintenance Report
Certified Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester List
EPA Cross-Connection Control Website
Georgia Association of Water Professionals - Statewide Backflow-Prevention Tester Certification Website
Backflow Prevention Coordinator
Department of Public Works
Backflow Prevention Division
11575 Maxwell Rd.
Alpharetta, GA 30009