Backflow FAQ

Q: What is a cross-connection?

A: It is a situation where there is a direct arrangement of a piping line, which allows the potable water supply to be connected to the public water supply, which may introduce a contaminant.

Q: What is the most common form of a cross-connection?

A: Ironically, the simple garden hose is the most common offender, as it can be easily connected to the potable water supply and used for a variety of potentially dangerous applications such as filling swimming pools or fertilizing plants and shrubs.

Q: Who is responsible for determining whether or not a device is needed?

A: The Plainview Water District is required to determine the degree of hazard that a facility may pose to its public water supply system and will decide on the installation and maintenance of an acceptable backflow prevention containment device. The customer has the primary responsibility of preventing contaminants from entering the potable water supply.

Q: Who is responsible to submit test forms to the District?

A: Typically, the backflow tester submits to both the District and the Department of Health. However, the owner should confirm that this is recorded by the District to avoid any penalties.

Q: Why does the Plainview Water District have a cross connection program?

A: Per New York State law, “the supplier of water shall protect the public water system by containing potential contamination within the premises by requiring backflow prevention devices installed and tested.”

Q: What types of backflow devices are approved by the Plainview Water District?

A: The most common type is a Double Check Valve (DCV), which is typically installed on residential properties.  The second most common is a Reduced Pressure Zone (RPZ) and is generally found in commercial applications. 

Q: How often does the device need to be tested?

A: The law requires that a New York State certified backflow tester inspects and tests all installed backflow devices annually.

Q: Why do I need a backflow prevention device?

A: New York State requires the devices to protect the public water supply against contamination.