Cross Connection Control & Backflow Prevention

What is a Cross Connection?

A cross connection is a connection between a potable drinking water supply and a possible source of
contamination or pollution. Under the provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established national standards for safe drinking water. Each
state is required to enforce the various regulations of the Safe Drinking Water Act and how it relates to its state laws.

To meet these provisions, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on January 1, 1996, enacted a state law which requires the public water suppliers to implement and enforce the Cross Connection Control Program requirements located in the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 30, Chapter 290 of the Rules and Regulations for Public Water Suppliers.

What is Backflow?

Backflow is the undesirable reversal of flow in a potable water distribution system. Water that is always under pressure can only flow in one direction. Then how can water flow in reverse? Water will always flow towards the point of lowest pressure. If a water main were to break or if the fire department opened several fire hydrants to help fight a fire, the pressure in the water main could drop. The demand upstream could cause a reversal in flow.

Cross connections and the possibility of backflow need to be recognized so they do not occur. A garden hose submerged in a hot tub, swimming pool, car radiator or attached to an insect/fertilizer sprayer could siphon the liquid back into the water main. Water from an irrigation system could be siphoned back into the public water supply.

Backflow Prevention Assemblies

Backflow prevention assemblies are testable devices that are designed to protect the public water system from these types of concerns.

All backflow protection assemblies must be tested upon installation, replacement, repair or relocation.

Irrigation Systems

All irrigation systems installed are required to have a backflow device installed. Currently, only commercial facilities are required to have backflow devices on irrigation systems tested annually. 

Commercial Facilities

Commercial facilities are required to have all backflow protection assemblies tested annually.

For answers to frequently asked questions, including whether your facility is required to have a backflow prevention assembly, please go to TCEQ Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention.

Testing and Reporting

The City of Bedford has chosen to partner with Vepo, LLC to allow for the online submission of Backflow Prevention Assembly Test and Maintenance Reports. All testing information will be entered directly by the tester into the online password protected Envirotrax® system provided by Vepo, LLC. Testers will no longer be able to submit paper test reports directly to the City.

Finding or Becoming a Registered Tester

All Backflow Prevention Assembly Testers (BPATs) are required to register with Vepo, LLC. Upon
registration and verification of license, insurance, and test gauge accuracy, the tester will be added to
the approved list of Backflow Prevention Assembly Testers.

Please note, Backflow prevention assemblies on fire protection sprinkler systems are required by the State Fire Marshal to be tested and/or repaired by a BPAT who is a full‐time employee of a fire protection sprinkler company that is licensed with the State Fire Marshal's Office.

Visit this webpage to find a registered and licensed Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester (BPAT).

View the Quick Start Guide with information on how to become a registered BPAT.