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Cross Connections

The Cross Connection Control program helps the Town of Somerville to ensure safe water for all customers on our system by protecting the Typical Cross Connectionwater distribution system from contamination through cross connections. By eliminating cross connections, we can assure all users on our distribution system, the same protection and assurances of safe drinking water.

In the Town of Somerville, all lawn sprinkler systems are required to have a backflow prevention device installed to protect our water distribution system from contamination.  The Cross Connection Control program also requires annual testing of all irrigation system backflow prevention devices to ensure safe water for our customers. 

Backflow Requirements

What is a cross connection?  A cross connection is any actual or potential connection between the public water supply and a source of possible contaminants. Such as a  water hose in a swimming pool ,like the above picture.

Why are cross connections problems?  Under normal conditions, water flows directly from the City’s water main to your property. Water pressure can suddenly drop due to repairing water main breaks on the distribution system, or high water using when fighting a fire. This can create a vacuum in the water system, drawing liquid from cross connections that are not protected into the water system. This reversal in the direction of normal flow of water in a piping system is called “backflow”.

How do we protect cross connections?  Cross connections can be protected by the use of a backflow preventer, which is an assembly that prevents contaminants from being drawn back into the water distribution system. The City has adopted the International Plumbing Code, which requires that an approved backflow preventer be installed on all cross connections.

For additional information regarding the City's Cross Connection Control Program contact:

Water System Manager
Chris Glover


Utility Billing Office
Amy Pappas - Office Manager