Backflow Testing

Diagram of a backflow device

Our Goal:

Our goal is to provide safe, dependable drinking water to our customers, but we cannot do it alone. We need your help to prevent contamination, through backflow prevention, and keep our water safe for everyone throughout our water system and community.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Cross Connection?

A cross-connection is a permanent or temporary piping arrangement which can allow your drinking water to be contaminated if a backflow condition occurs. One of the most-common residential applications is an underground sprinkler system.  If you are installing a sprinkler system, a backflow device is required.  To install a backflow device, a plumbing permit is required. Please see the Building page to learn how to obtain a permit.

How Can a Backflow Occur?

It is assumed that because water is always under pressure, it can only flow in one direction. However, under certain conditions, it is possible that flow can be reversed from its intended direction and cause disastrous results. 

If a main water line in our system should break, or if a fire occurred and the fire department opened several hydrants, the pressure in the water mains could drop dramatically, causing a reversal of water flow.

If your plumbing or garden hose, carrying potable water, is connected to a source or piping containing another fluid, contamination or chemical, the contamination could be drawn back into the City’s water mains.

Examples Include

The City’s water supply, when connected to an irrigation system, fire sprinkler system, solar heating system, water-using commercial / industrial equipment or a garden hose submerged into a hot tub or swimming pool, or inserted into your cars radiator to flush out antifreeze, or attached to an insecticide or herbicide sprayer, etc. could siphon that material back into the City’s water mains.

Incidents such as these have happened and have been documented throughout the country. This is why state regulations require water systems to have a cross connection control program in place for prevention of backflow incidents.  

This program is intended to guard the health of the public that consumes our drinking water.

Please see the bottom of this page for a link to the 'Creswell Municipal Code (CMC) Chapter 13.15 Cross-Connections' (previously referred to as Ordinance No. 346).

What is a Backflow Program?

The City maintains a database that tracks annual testing of all the approved backflow assemblies in our system, and letters are sent to the owners notifying them of the requirement for annual testing.

Additionally, as we find homes or systems that meet the requirement to have a backflow device that do not have the necessary device installed, we then give them notice of the need to have a backflow device installed.

Why do I have to test my backflow assembly annually? 

State and Federal laws govern our public water system so that safe drinking water is delivered to the public. The Federal Safe Drinking Water Act states; “The water purveyor (the City) has the primary responsibility for preventing water from unapproved sources, or any other substances from entering the public potable water system.” Oregon Administrative Rule: 333-061-0070(12) states;” Backflow prevention assemblies must be tested at least annually and perform satisfactorily to the testing procedures.”

Chelsie Haynes, Code Enforcement Officer/Backflow Specialist/FOG Inspector

541-895-2531 ext. 315

Chelsie currently works a hybrid schedule and is most accessible via email.