Cross Connection Control Program

The BC Ministry of Health via Vancouver Coastal Health is responsible for providing safe drinking water to the District of Squamish. Through the Drinking Water Protection Act, The District of Squamish must safely maintain our water supply to meet or exceed the requirements set out and approved in the legislation.

One of the conditions for obtaining a water system operating permit is to have a Cross Connection Control (CCC) program which requires potable (drinking) water be protected from contamination. The District of Squamish Cross Connection Control Bylaw No. 2259 follows the BC Plumbing Code and CSA requirements for backflow assembly devices that are essential to protect our drinking water from contaminants.

The District of Squamish values our customers’ cooperation and participation with this program to safeguard our drinking water supply.

What is Cross Connection Control? 

A cross connection is the physical connection between the potable (drinking) water system and an end use where a potential contamination hazard exists. Contamination of the drinking/potable water system can happen from backflow through cross connections with private plumbing systems or appurtenances. Backflow or syphon is the undesired reverse flow of these contaminants coming into the potable water distribution system. A reverse flow is possible when there is a negative pressure in the system, which can be a result of fire hydrants being opened in an emergency event.

The District of Squamish is working to ensure the proper installation of backflow prevention assemblies to mitigate the hazards of cross connections. A backflow prevention assembly is a “one-way” valve or assembly that only allows water to flow in the desired direction and physically impedes reverse flow.

Institutional, Commercial and Industrial (ICI) businesses will be inspected by certified District of Squamish inspectors to ensure that a viable cross connection control program is in place and that it is maintained in good working order. Inspectors will also be looking at existing water service sizes for ICI customers for the purpose of determining accurate water billing rates.

For ICI customers who have not had a previous premise/facility assessment completed yet, a representative from the District of Squamish Utilities Department will be in contact. Customers may also contact Public Works directly to set up an appointment or find more information at 604-815-6868.

Cross Connection Control at home

Residential cross connection control types include items such as pools and hot tubs. Residents should be aware that pools and hot tubs that are permanently connected to the home plumbing system are direct cross connections and must be protected with a suitable backflow device. An unprotected cross connection could draw pool water and chemicals back into your household plumbing system and public water supply. When filling a pool or hot tub with a hose, never submerge the end of the hose as this is another cross connection. Always leave an air gap when filling pools, tubs, sinks or containers. Or use a backflow prevention device known as a hose connections vacuum breaker. This can be purchased for under $20 at your local plumbing supply store.

Another major concern for drinking water contamination is water leaks that allow water to pool around the broken pipe. Not only is this a waste of water, but the pooling water could be drawn back into the drinking water distribution system. If you have a concern about a water leak in your home, please visit our Water Service Leaks page for helpful information.