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Backflow Prevention

Water distribution systems are designed for water to flow in one direction, from the distribution system to the customer's water meter. Under certain conditions water can flow in the reverse direction. This is called backflow and this reversal flow in a water system is due to back-siphonage or backpressure, which can result in undesirable materials entering the water system through a cross connection, potentially causing contamination.

A cross connection is any temporary or permanent connection between a potable (i.e. drinking) water system and a source of contamination (sewage, chemicals, gas, etc.). Cross connections with potable piping systems are prohibited by state plumbing codes.

Listed below are ways to help protect yourself and your neighbors by eliminating cross connections around your home.

  • NEVER submerge hoses in buckets, pools, tubs or sinks.
  • ALWAYS keep the end of the hose clear of possible contaminants.
  • DO NOT use spray attachments without a backflow prevention device. The chemicals used on your lawn are toxic and can be fatal if ingested.
  • DO buy and install backflow prevention for all threaded faucets around your home. They are available at hardware stores and home-improvement centers.

Learn more by viewing our new Backflow Prevention Video Ad now playing during the pre-movie trailers at the Kalamazoo 10 Theaters in Kalamazoo or the Celebration Cinema in Portage.

Also, view the attached two documents:
Cross Connections (PDF) by the State of Michigan, and Cross Connections City (PDF) by the City of Kalamazoo.

Stormwater 101

Stormwater is water from precipitation that flows across the ground and pavement when it rains or when snow and ice melt. Stormwater eventually infiltrates through the ground (contributing to groundwater), runs directly into natural surface water features, evaporates or drains into systems of underground pipes or roadside ditches and may travel for many miles before being released into a lake, river, stream or wetland area.