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    The Grand Rapids Water System is committed to providing customers with safe and reliable drinking water. Safeguarding the drinking water is everyone’s responsibility. As part of the Water System’s responsibility, it has a cross connection control program to help protect the drinking (potable) water supply from contamination due to cross connections.

    Residential customers of the Grand Rapids Water System who have a lawn irrigation system may receive a letter and test form in the mail this spring.  MORE > > > 

    What is a Cross Connection?

    A cross connection is a connection or arrangement of piping through which water of a questionable quality, wastes, or other contaminants could enter the potable water supply due to a reversal of flow.

    What is the Law?

    The Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act requires water utilities to have comprehensive cross connection control programs for the elimination and prevention of all cross connections. 

    For more information:

    Customers are required to maintain their water systems in a manner free of cross connections. If a backflow incident should occur resulting in contamination of the public water supply, the responsible owner or occupant could be held liable for damages.

    What is being done to prevent Cross Connections?

    Routine inspections of buildings are conducted by plumbing inspectors to identify cross connections. The following are some examples of where cross connections can exist:


    backflow device

    Cross connections can be eliminated by maintaining approved air gaps or by the installation of specific backflow prevention devices. For example, a cross connection at a hose connection can be eliminated by installing a hose connection vacuum breaker that conforms to ASSE 1011 on the hose bibb before the hose is connected.

    outdoor faucet backflow device

    .backflow device

    A cross connection in a toilet tank can be eliminated by the installation of an anti-siphon fill valve that conforms to ASSE 1002.


     backflow device


    Lawn irrigation systems require backflow prevention devices to be installed at the point of connection to the potable water system. Periodic testing of these and other devices may be required. Testing must be administered by an individual holding an active ASSE 5110 certification.  For help locating a qualified ASSE 5110 certified tester, click on the following link: ASSE 5110 Tester 


     For further information or assistance regarding cross connections,
    please contact Cross Connection Control at (616) 456-4170.​​