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What is Cross Connection?

     Cross connection is any physical arrangement whereby a public water supply is connected, directly or indirectly, with any other water supply system, sewer, drain, conduit, pool, storage reservoir, plumbing fixture or other waste or liquid of unknown or unsafe quality which may be capable of imparting contamination to the public water supply as result of backflow. By-pass arrangements, jumper connections, removable sections, swivel or changeover devices through which or because of which backflow could occur, are considered to be cross connections.



Examples of a Cross Connection














    The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation requires that all public water suppliers have an ongoing Cross Connection Control Program. This program must include provisions for: public relations; routine on-site inspections; enforcement; installation, testing and repair; and records maintenance. As the State of Tennessee does not have a state plumbing code, local authorities must adopt legislation, which authorizes cross-connection control activities. Pursuant to this State legislation, Claiborne Utilities District has established an ordinance dealing with cross-connection policy.

     This ordinance specifically prohibits cross-connections and makes provisions regarding policy and operational aspects of the program. Claiborne Utilities District is responsible for the enforcement of this ordinance and has developed policies and guidelines for the implementation and maintenance of the program.




  • Fire sprinkler system

  • Lawn irrigation systems

  • Auxiliary water supply (wells)

  • Hot tubs/spas

  • Swimming pools

  • Hose bibs/garden hose

  • Boiler

  • Pumps installed in water lines


  • Boiler

  • Carbonation equipment

  • Film processors

  • Fire systems

  • X-ray machines

  • Dental equipment

  • Etching tanks

  • Note: Toilets and sinks have an air gap for backflow protection

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