Cross Connection Prevention Program


It is all of our responsibility to protect our drinking water!


  • What is a cross connection? A cross connection is any physical arrangement whereby a public water supply is connected, directly or indirectly, with any secondary water supply system, sewer drain, conduit, pool, storage reservoir, plumbing fixture, or other device which contains or may contain any water, contaminated liquid, or other waste of unknown or unsafe quality that could impart a contaminant to the drinking water as a result of backflow or backsiphonage.


  • How is cross connections controlled? The installation of a backflow prevention device, otherwise known as a cross connection control device, is required under any circumstance where contamination may occur.


  • What is a backflow? A backflow is the flow of any foreign liquid, gas, or substance into the distributing pipe lines of a potable supply of water. A backflow may occur under two conditions: pressure greater than atmospheric (see back pressure), and pressure that is sub atmospheric (see backsiphonage).


  • Back pressure – Back pressure is any backflow caused by a pump, elevated tank, boiler or other means that could create pressure within the system greater than the supply pressure. This happens when the pressure of the contaminant source exceeds the positive pressure in the water distribution main. An example would be when a drinking water supply main has a connection to a hot water boiler system that is not protected by an approved and functioning backflow preventer. If pressure in the boiler system increases to where it exceeds the pressure in the water distribution system, backflow from the boiler to the drinking water supply system may occur.


  • Backsiphonage - a form of backflow due to a negative or sub atmospheric pressure within a water system. This is caused by a negative pressure (vacuum or partial vacuum) in the water distribution system. This situation is similar in effect to the sipping of water through a straw. Negative pressure in the drinking water distribution system can happen because of a water main break or when a hydrant is used for firefighting.

Responsibility for Cross-Connection Control

Responsibility of State -

  • Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is responsible for administering the state regulations for cross connection control and water quality standards, 327 IAC 8-10.
  • Indiana State Department of Health is responsible for water quality standards, 170 IAC 6-1-20.
  • Indiana Department of Homeland Security is responsible for Indiana Plumbing Code, 675 IAC 16-1.3-64 through 85.


Responsibility of Rural Membership Water Corporation –

  • Responsible for providing customers with safe clean drinking water that meets all State and Federal drinking water standards and laws.
  • Exercise reasonable vigilance to insure that the customer has taken the proper steps to protect the public water system. When it is determined that a backflow prevention assembly is required, the water supplier shall require the customer to install an approved backflow preventer device with respect to the degree of hazard.
  • Responsible for identifying and implementing a cross connection and backflow prevention program.
  • Responsible for keeping test records for cross connection and backflow prevention devices.


Responsibility of Customers of Rural Membership Water Corporation –

  • Using water in a manner that does not jeopardize the water quality in the public water system.
  • The customer will be responsible for installation, testing immediately upon installation, proper repair and maintenance of the assembly, testing the device yearly and keeping adequate records of each test.
  • Filing the test results to Rural Membership Water Corporation.
  • Failure to comply could result in violation fees and possible termination of water service.


What is the State required frequency of testing the Backflow Device?

  • Reduced pressure principle devices must be tested at 6 month intervals.
  • Pressure Type Vacuum Breakers must be tested 1 year intervals.
  • Double Check Valve Assemblies must be tested at 1 year intervals.
  • Double Check Detector Assemblies must be tested at 1 year intervals.


Who is eligible to test Backflow Devices?

  • Only State approved and registered testers can test backflow prevention devices.
  • A list of Indiana Certified installers and testers can be found at


Where should I submit my Backflow Device Test results?

  • Test results must be submitted within 30 days of testing mail to - RMWC, PO BOX 239, Henryville, IN 47126 or by email at


Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s Cross Connection Control and Backflow Prevention Manual will also be used on determining all information pertaining to Rural Membership Water Corporation’s Cross Connection Program.