In December of 2004, the Manitou Springs Water Treatment Plant conducted a survey of the potable public water system, in accordance with local and state laws.  This survey identified the potential risk to public health, and adverse effect of hazards upon, the potable public water system from cross-connections and backflow events.  As a result of this survey, all connections to the potable public water system must have a backflow device installed.

A cross-connection is defined as any point in a water distribution system where chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants may come into contact with potable water. During a backflow event, the contaminants can be drawn or pushed back into the potable water system. A backflow prevention device installed at each point of cross-connection prevents contaminated water from entering the potable water distribution system.

Cost of the backflow device and its installation is the responsibility of the property owner.  Certified plumbers’ prices vary, as do costs of the device itself, which is dependent upon the size of the pipe.

Once installed, please call the Manitou Springs Treatment Plant at 685-5597 for a free backflow device installation inspection.

At the commercial property owner’s expense, a certified tester must test the backflow device annually.  Costs of testing the device is dependent upon the type of device and the testing company.  For a list of certified testers, click on the link below. 

Any uncontrolled and hazardous cross-connection found must be corrected or water service will be shut off. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will be informed of the hazardous connection and the corrective action being taken.

Identification of Potential Cross-Connections

Per Article 12 of the Colorado Primary Drinking Water Regulations, the City of Manitou Springs Water Treatment Plant will perform a survey of the public water system and list potentially hazardous cross-connections, which are prioritized and listed by the degree of hazard.  City of Manitou Springs Water Code, Section 13.09, states a public water system shall have no uncontrolled cross-connections to a pipe, fixture, or supply which contains water not meeting provisions of the drinking water regulations.

Any new water service installation will be inspected for compliance with these requirements for backflow prevention

Installation of Devices

As stated above, the City of Manitou Springs Water Treatment Plant will require system users to install and maintain backflow prevention devices on potentially hazardous service connections. All service connections within the water system must comply with Article 12 referenced above and the Colorado Cross-Connection Control Manual.

Each cross-connection may require a different type of backflow prevention device, commensurate with the degree of hazard posed by the cross-connection, approved by the water system operator

Annual Testing

Article 12 requires that backflow prevention devices be tested annually by a certified
backflow prevention technician.

Record Keeping

Testing and maintenance records will be kept for three years, per the requirements of
Article 12.

List of Backflow Prevention Devices

The following approved devices can be used for backflow prevention:

  • Vacuum breaker
  • Double-check valve assembly
  • Reduced pressure principal backflow assembly
  • Air gap

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment accepts the use of backflow preventers that have received approval by either University of Southern California Foundation of Cross-Connection Control and Hydraulic Research or the American Society of Sanitary Engineers (ASSE). 

Public Education

The City of Manitou Springs Water Treatment Plant educates system users about the potential health risks posed by cross-connections, with an emphasis on cross-connections at or within homes and other residences. For further information about cross-connections or backflow prevention devices, please call the City of Manitou Springs Water Treatment Plant at 685-5597.

Back to WATER home