Cross Connection Control

As a result of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1986 and Title 25 Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act Regulations at Chapter 109, Section 709, public water purveyors have the responsibility of providing the public with a safe, potable water supply. This responsibility includes preventing contaminated water, or any substances from unapproved or unsafe sources, from reentering the utility's potable water system once the water has been delivered to the customers' premises. The purpose of this page is to educate our customers on the dangers of cross-connections and the importance of installing and testing approved backflow prevention devices.

Cross-connections are actual or potential connections between potable and non-potable water supply and constitute a serious public health hazard. There are numerous well-documented cases where cross connections have been responsible for contamination of drinking water, and have resulted in the spread of disease. Contaminants enter the potable water system when the pressure of the polluted source exceeds the pressure of the potable source. This action may be called backsiphonage or backflow. It is basically the reversal of the hydraulic gradient that can be produced by a variety of circumstances.

A wide range of devices exist that can be used to prevent backsiphonage and backpressure from adding contaminated fluids into a potable water supply system. The selection of the proper device to use is based upon the degree of hazard posed by the cross-connection. Since the threat posed by residential customers are not as severe, they usually have a residential dual check valve whereas commercial and industrial customers could have a double check valve assembly or a reduced pressure zone device.

Also in accordance with 25 Pa Code Chapter 109, all backflow devices for commercial and industrial customers should be tested at least annually. Newtown Artesian Water Company will send a testing notice to all our commercial and industrial customers in July each year. Included in the mailing will be a list of certified testers and the testing and maintenance form. Please have your device tested by a certified tester and mail us the completed form for our records. Please update the form with any changes that you'd like us to make in our system such as name, address change, etc. If you do not have a backflow prevention device or are not sure whether you have one, please give us a call at 215-968-6781 to schedule an appointment for one of our field employees to come and inspect your facility. If it is determined that a backflow device is required, we shall notify you in writing to install such an approved backflow prevention device within 90 days. Please note that in accordance with Section 109.709(a)(2), failure or refusal to install an approved backflow prevention device within 90 days shall constitute a ground for discontinuing water service to your premises until such device or devices have been properly installed.

For more information on cross-connection and backflow prevention devices, please visit