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Backflow and Cross Connection Control Program

The City of Hollywood regularly performs drinking water sampling and testing throughout its water distribution system. This testing shows Hollywood consistently meets all state and federal standards for safe drinking water. Nevertheless, other steps can and must be taken to ensure our drinking water system remains uncontaminated.

The Backflow and Cross-Connection Control program is one of the steps mandated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and implemented through the Department of Health to help protect the public drinking water supply from any type of contamination. Cross connections can occur anywhere the public water supply (drinking water) is connected to any other non-drinkable source. These cross connections pose a huge hazard if contaminated water enters into the public water supply.

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Each year, through the Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control Program commercial and applicable residential property owners are responsible for certifying their properties do not contain backflow or cross-connection contamination hazards. The yearly certification is meant to help protect the public drinking water supply by ensuring the proper backflow prevention assembly is in place and functioning.

Applicable residences requiring a backflow prevention assembly are those that have a dedicated irrigation service connection, a dedicated fire service connection, or an auxiliary water system (i.e. a private well or intake from a pond, lake or stream). The type of assembly required varies and should be verified with a licensed plumber for determination of individual property's needs.

Existing and new backflow prevention assemblies must be tested and certified through the City of Hollywood’s Building Department on an annual basis. Per FDEP rules, if the appropriate backflow prevention device is not installed and properly certified the water service to the property must be discontinued. If you are a City of Hollywood property owner and have not certified your plumbing system this year you must contact the City of Hollywood's Chief Plumbing Inspector, Gregorio Diaz, at 954-921-3919 or by email at  to ensure your water service is not interrupted.  


The Department of Public Utilities conducts field verification of backflow prevention assemblies at commercial properties in Hollywood. Notifications were sent to commercial property owners in May, 2015 providing information on this annual requirement and the steps they needed to take to ensure the proper backflow prevention assembly device was in place.


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What if I do not comply with local, state and federal mandates?
You must contact the City of Hollywood Building Department at 954.921.3335 and take steps to come into compliance. If a property owner is not compliant, water service will be terminated to protect the public water system as required by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Who do I contact?
Property owners must notify the City of Hollywood Building Department before altering or adding new devices to a their property plumbing system.
Please contact the City of Hollywood’s Chief Plumbing Inspector Gregorio Diaz, at 954-921-3919 or by email at  to: 

• Apply for a permit for installation or recertification of backflow preventer
• Send a copy of the existing device Certification/Recertification Document

Why install a backflow prevention device?
Backflow prevention assemblies are designed to prevent contaminated water or chemicals from flowing back into the public drinking water supply system.  Backflow prevention assemblies are an important component of protecting the drinking water supply and are legally mandated under state and federal regulations for those water service lines identified as posing a risk to the public water supply. 

Who needs to install a backflow prevention device?
Commercial, multi-family and applicable residential property owners are legally mandated to install and operate approved backflow prevention assemblies. Commercial properties include dry cleaners, car washes, restaurants, barber shops and beauty salons, auto repair shops, funeral parlors, medical offices, and contractors. Multi-story buildings, fire, and irrigation services are also required to have a backflow prevention assembly.

What is the cost of backflow prevention assembly?
Installation costs vary depending on the assembly and selected licensed plumbers' labor costs.   

Who can install and test a backflow prevention assembly?
Backflow prevention assemblies may only be tested or installed by a licensed plumber who is a certified backflow technician.
 
Additional resources
State of Florida
Florida Building Code
EPA Safe Drinking Water Act 

More on Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control:  
Drinking water generally moves in one direction- from the water treatment plant to a user tap. However, it is possible for drinking water to move in the opposite direction under some circumstances. This is called “backflow.” If our water supply is not protected from backflows, a connection between drinkable and non-drinkable water (“cross-connection”) could occur and contaminate the public drinking water supply. Cross connections can also occur if water delivered from the COH line comes in contact with chemicals or other pollutants. This can occur due to accidental backflow or back-siphonage of potentially contaminated water and it’s a big problem when that water re-enters the water supply. A backflow prevention device is used to protect public drinking water supplies from this potential contamination or pollution

Backflows are possible under two hydraulic conditions:

Backsiphonage.  A drop in pressure in the drinking water distribution system allows water to flow into it.  Examples of circumstances that could cause a pressure drop include:  a break in a main drinking water line, power loss at the water treatment plant, or very high water use in an area e.g. for fire-fighting.

Backpressure.  Potentially unsafe water under high pressure could be pushed from a private line into the public drinking water system.  For example, if a commercial facility uses pumps that produce high water pressure.

A backflow prevention device installed between drinking water and non-drinkable water lines can prevent either of these conditions from causing a cross-connection and impacting the public system. Common sources of potential cross-connections include:  swimming pools, a garden hose submerged in a bucket or car radiator, or attached to a chemical applicator, improperly installed toilet-tank assemblies, and irrigation, fire suppression or water softening systems.