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Cross Connection

What is Cross Connection Control?

The Charter Township of Orion Water & Sewer Division is responsible for providing safe drinking water to Orion Township residents and businesses connected to the municipal system.  State and Federal laws (Safe Drinking Water Acts), the Plumbing Code, Michigan Residential Code, and the Charter Township of Orion Ordinances require Orion Township to verify that cross connections on private plumbing systems do not pose a contamination risk to the public water system through the enforcement of Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE) Law and Rules for Cross Connection Control.

A cross connection is any arrangement of piping on a plumbing system that could allow a backflow of containments into the public drinking water supply.  A backflow occurs when a reversal of the normal flow of water occurs.  This could happen due to a drop in water pressure from a water main break or other failure.  It also could occur when a plumbing fixture such as boiler or pump generates more pressure than the public water supply and pushes the water back to the public drinking water supply system.  Garden hoses and irrigation systems may contain pesticides and bacteria that could contaminate the water supply.

What is a Backflow Device?

Backflow Devices are installed on water lines to prevent backflows from occurring.  There are many types of backflow devices and EGLE requires testing of these devices at a minimum of every three years.  Testable devices include Pressure Vacuum Breakers (PVB), Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Assemblies (RPZ), and Double Check Valve Assemblies (DCVA).

Testing and Inspections of Backflow Devices

Orion Township's Cross Connection Control Program was approved by the State of Michigan in 1991.  Since then, commercial properties and subdivision irrigation accounts have had routine inspections of backflow devices and annual reports are submitted to the township on testable devices.

However, a new EGLE mandate requires all testable backflow devices on residential homes be tested every 3 years.  A typical testable backflow device you will find on a residential property will be a Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB) installed on a lawn irrigation line.  This device will be on the outside of the home and designed to prevent pesticides or herbicides from entering the water system.  Beginning in May 2019, Orion Township shall require all testable backflow devices in residential properties be tested every 3 years.

Only Licensed Plumbing Contractors can test, repair, and install Backflow Assemblies pursuant to State of Michigan Law - Public Act 733 (State Plumbing Act) of 2002.  Further, effective January 1, 2019, the plumbing contractors must be ASSE 5110 certified through the State of Michigan.

Oakland County provides a list of certified testers in the area.  If a new backflow device is being installed, or repair is needed, a plumbing permit must be obtained through the Building Department.

Letters are mailed out to all residential and commercial properties who are required to test and submit test report.

A Cross Connection Test Form may be downloaded and printed from the document section of our department page.  Test reports may be emailed or mailed to our department. For more information on cross connection, please call (248) 391-0304, ext. 8503.

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