A cross-connection is a point in a plumbing system where it is possible for a nonpotable substance to come into contact with the potable drinking water supply.
Common examples of cross-connections include:
- Connections to firefighting equipment
- Garden hose submerged in a pesticide mixture
- Piped connection providing potable feed water to an industrial process, such as a cooling tower, or a submerged outlet of an irrigation system
Most cross-connections occur beyond the customer service connection, within residential, commercial, institutional or industrial plumbing systems.
Identifying Cross Connections
Identifying cross-connections can be challenging because many distribution systems are expanding to serve new customers and changing to accommodate customer needs. Further, temporary and permanent cross connections can be created in existing facilities without the knowledge of the water system managers and operators.