Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control

The City of Bowling Green must provide a safe and reliable source of drinking water to all customers and protect the public water system from any possible source of contamination.  It is possible that a source of contamination may come from our own customers.

As required by the Ohio EPA (OAC 3745-95) and City Ordinance 51.06, the Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control Program helps to ensure the water that is delivered to every customer is meeting water quality standards.

Residential Water Customers
At a minimum, the City requires a dual check backflow prevention device to be installed at your residence just after your water meter.  This protects the public water system.  However, a cross-connection at your residence can create a potential health risk to you and your family due to the backflow of contamination into your drinking water piping.  See below for more information.  If you are unsure if a potential cross-connection exists at your property or have questions, please contact us at:

Commercial and Industrial Water Customers – Annual Testing of Backflow Prevention Devices
All backflow prevention devices are required to be tested annually.   The tests are performed at the expense of the customer and shall be performed by a person qualified to inspect and test backflow prevention devices.  The annual test results are required to be submitted to the City of Bowling Green.  Click here for a link to the Backflow Annual Test and Maintenance Report.

Please contact us for a current list of qualified backflow prevention device testers at 419-354-6277.

What is a cross-connection?
Any physical connection created between a possible source of contamination and any public water system piping.

What is backflow? 
The flow of water or other liquids or substances through a cross connection from a possible source of contamination back into the public water system.

How can a backflow occur?
When a cross-connection is created and a pressure reversal, either as backsiphonage or backpressure occurs in the water supply piping.

What is a backflow prevention device?
Any device intended to prevent the backflow of water from a customer water system to the public water system.  These devices are typically installed close to the water meter.  (Note: A customer can also install additional backflow prevention devices on their piping system to protect  their internal water system.  Check with your plumber for guidance.)

What are some common potential backflow hazards? 

  • Water operated sump pumps.
  • Hose connections to chemical distributors such as lawn fertilizer or herbicides.
  • Hose connections to a water outlet or laundry tub.
  • Lawn irrigation systems.
  • Swimming pools or hot tubs.
  • Boiler heating systems that are connected to the potable water supply.
  • Private water supplies such as wells.
  • Industrial or Commercial processes.

How can I reduce the potential for cross-connections and backflow hazards?

  • Eliminate any known cross-connections if possible.
  • Do not submerge hoses in tubs, pools, buckets.
  • Use hose bib vacuum breakers.
  • Use a backflow prevention device on a water operated sump pump.
  • Use a backflow prevention device on an irrigation system.