Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention

Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention

Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection are terms related to the possible contamination of drinking water when water connections cross and contaminants flow from untreated or contaminated water into clean, potable water. To prevent pollutants and contaminants from entering the District’s water system, backflow assemblies are required on sprinkler/irrigation systems.

As a public water provider, the District is responsible for overseeing prevention of water contamination from cross connections in the water distribution system. The District has adopted the Colorado Cross-Connection Control Manual, 5th Edition, as standards for its Backflow Prevention/Cross Connection Control Program.

Property Owner Responsibilities

Under Colorado Primary Drinking Water Regulations (5 CCR 1002-11), Sections 11.37 and 11.39:

The District is required to survey all non-single-family-residential connections to the public water system to determine if the connection is a cross connection unless the supplier controls that connection with the most protective backflow prevention assembly or backflow prevention method. The supplier must survey all connections within the supplier’s waterworks to determine if the connection is a cross connection.

If the District becomes aware of a single-family-residential connection to the public water system that is a cross connection, the supplier must determine the type of backflow prevention assembly or backflow prevention method to control the cross connection.

Non-residential property owners and single family residential customers with high hazards cross connections are responsible for maintaining their backflow devices and arranging for annual testing of the device by a certified Backflow Assembly Tester, and the results of those tests shall be submitted to the District.

Find a list of Backflow Assembly Testers and a sample of the Backflow Prevention Assembly Test Report:

 Enforcement of the District’s Backflow Prevention/Cross Connection Control Program

Non-residential customers, including Home Owner Associations (HOA) and residential customers with high-hazard cross connections are required to have backflow devices installed and tested annually and to submit the Test Report to the District.

Periodically, the District may request that customers complete and submit a Backflow Prevention/Cross Connection Survey to identify potentially hazardous cross connections.

To ensure compliance with required testing, the District has the option to inspect and impose penalties for noncompliance.

If you have questions regarding the District’s Backflow Prevention/Cross Connection Program, please contact District Backflow Specialist, Sacha Duross at 970-443-8065 or email

Residential Customers

Residential property owners are not required to report backflow test results unless their device is identified as a high-hazard connection. The District does not consider standard automatic sprinkler systems to be high hazard, but does recommend installing a pressure vacuum breaker on the irrigation line to protect your drinking water. Most city and county building codes require this. The District strongly encourages having these devices tested on an annual basis to protect the drinking water.


Pressure Vacuum Breakers are designed to be installed to provide protection against backflow (siphonage) of toxic or non-toxic liquids. An example of a typical device is shown here. Annual inspection helps ensure that the device is operating correctly to protect both the distribution system and the customer.