Learn more about the cross connection program.
Why does Arlington have a Cross Connection Backflow Prevention program?
The program’s goal is to protect the health and welfare of Arlingtonians by ensuring that the County’s water supply is protected from harmful substances. The Cross Connection Control Program is required as part of Virginia State law (Board of Health Regulation Section 6.00 and the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code section 312.9).
What is a cross connection?
A cross connection is a connection between a potable water supply and a non-potable source where it is possible for contaminants to enter the County’s drinking water supply.
What is a backflow?
A backflow (backpressure or back siphonage) is a reversal of flow of non-potable water or other substances through a cross connection and into the piping of a public water system. When there is a sudden change in the water pressure in the pipes, the water flow could reverse, and as a result, create a suction effect drawing contaminated water into the drinking water system.
How can a backflow be prevented?
Restaurants and commercial buildings four-story and higher are required to have backflow devices installed on the pipes.
How often does the County inspect for compliance of the backflow system?
Arlington County inspectors perform inspections of commercial buildings and restaurants annually.
What happens if I receive a notice for inspection? How do I prepare for the inspection?
If you received a letter indicating an inspector will be inspecting your business or property for compliance, you can be prepared by doing the following:
- If your business is a food establishment licensed by Environmental Health Bureau you probably do not need to do anything. Our inspector will come to your business in the month following the date of the letter. The Inspection Services Division (ISD) will instruct you if you need to take any action.
- If you are not a food establishment, you may have testable backflow devices. Have the backflow preventer checked or tested by a certified backflow device professional. The results should be given to the inspector on-site or faxed to Arlington County Inspections at 703-228-7046. Refer to the list of current Virginia Licensed Testers to schedule an inspection.
Where can I find more information?