Protect the public potable water supply of the City of Schenectady from the possibility of contamination caused by a backflow from a water user's system into the public water system.
Promote the elimination or control of existing cross-connections, actual or potential, between the in-plant potable water system and nonpotable systems.
Recognize that there are varying degrees of hazard, and apply the principle that the degree of cross-connection protection should be commensurate with the degree of hazard.
Comply with the requirements of New York State Sanitary Code 5-1.31, which mandates that the supplier of water protect its water system in accordance with procedures set forth in the Cross Connection Control Manual published by the New York State Department of Health.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AIR GAP SEPARATION
- A physical break between a supply pipe and a receiving vessel. The air gap shall be at least double the diameter of the supply pipe, measured vertically above the top rim of the vessel, and in no case less than one inch.
- APPROVED DOUBLE CHECK VALVE ASSEMBLY
- An assembly of at least two independently acting approved check valves, including tightly closing shutoff valves on each side of the check valve assembly and suitable test cocks plus connections available for testing the integrity of each check valve.
- APPROVED REDUCED PRESSURE ZONE DEVICE
- A device incorporating two or more check valves and an automatically operating differential relief valve located between the two checks, two shutoff valves and equipped with necessary appurtenances for testing. The device shall operate to maintain the pressure in the zone between the two check valves, less than the pressure on the public water supply side of the device. At cessation of normal flow, the pressure between the check valves shall be less than the supply pressure. In case of leakage to either valve, the differential relief valve shall operate to maintain this reduced pressure by discharging to the atmosphere. If the device is located in an enclosed area, proper drainage shall be provided. To be approved, these devices must be readily accessible for maintenance and testing and be installed in a location where no part of the device will be submerged.
- APPROVED WATER SUPPLY
- Any water supply approved by, or under the public health supervision of, a public health agency of the State of New York, County of Schenectady or City of Schenectady.
- AUXILIARY WATER SUPPLY
- Any water supply on or available to the premises other than the City water supply.
- The City of Schenectady, New York.
- CITY ENGINEER
- A professional engineer designated as the City Engineer by the City of Schenectady, New York.
- CITY WATER SUPPLY
- Approved water supply sold and delivered to consumers' premises through the water works system of the City of Schenectady, New York.
- Any person or entity to whom water is sold and/or furnished from the City of Schenectady, New York.
- An impairment of the quality of the City water supply by the presence of any foreign substance (organic, inorganic, radiological or biological) to a degree which may create a hazard to the public health.
- Any unprotected connection between any part of the City water system used or intended to supply water for drinking purposes and any source or system containing water or substance that is not safe by the public health agency of the State of New York, County of Schenectady, or City of Schenectady.
- The Department of Water and Wastewater of the City of Schenectady, New York.
- The Director of the Department of Water and Wastewater of the City of Schenectady, New York, or the authorized representative.
- DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
- The system that conveys finished potable water from the treatment facility to the water system customers. The system includes pumps, storage tanks, water mains, service laterals, valves, meters, hydrants and associated appurtenances.
- The Director performs a visual inspection on the installation.
- NONTOXIC SUBSTANCE
- Any substance of a nonpoisonous nature which would be objectionable (e.g., color, odor, taste), but not necessarily hazardous, to the water supply system.
- Any natural person, firm, association, organization, partnership, trust or associated persons, joint venture, corporation or company and includes the United States, the State of New York, the County of Schenectady, the City of Schenectady, any special-purpose district and any officer or agent thereof.
- PLUMBING INSPECTOR
- The Plumbing Inspector of the City of Schenectady or his duly authorized assistants.
- Integrated land area, including improvements thereon, undivided by public thoroughfares or water distribution mains of the City of Schenectady and where all parts of the premises are operated under the same management and for the same purpose.
- PROTECTIVE DEVICE or DEVICE
- Is defined as the following:
- A test that is performed by a New York State certified tester per New York State guidelines.
- TOXIC SUBSTANCE
- Any substance (liquid, solid or gaseous), including raw sewage and lethal substances, that, when introduced into the water supply system, creates or may create a danger to the health and well-being of the consumer and shall be considered and rated as hazardous.
- Any person or entity who receives water from the City of Schenectady, New York.
- VACUUM BREAKER
- A device that is attached to a water hose bib that prevents the backflow of water.
The water supply system shall be required to maintain a degree of protection commensurate with the degree of hazard regardless of whether the hazard is immediate or potential. To that extent, the Cross Connection Control Manual, published by NYSDOH, shall be used, as a guide, to determine where protection is required. It shall be the responsibility of the water user to provide and maintain such required protective devices, and such devices shall be of a type as approved by this chapter.
The protective device shall depend on the degree of hazard as tabulated below:
Auxiliary water supply. Each service connection from the City water supply for furnishing water to premises having an auxiliary water supply shall be protected against backflow of water from the premises into the City water supply.
If the auxiliary water supply is handled in a separate piping system with no known cross-connection, the City water supply shall be protected by an approved double check valve assembly installed at the service connection to the premises. When the auxiliary water supply may be contaminated as determined by the Director, he may order the City water supply protected by an air gap separation or an approved reduced-pressure principal backflow prevention device installed at the service connection to the premises.
If the auxiliary water supply is handled in a separate piping system and cross-connections are known to exist between the City water supply and the auxiliary water supply which cannot be presently eliminated, the City water supply shall be protected by an approved reduced pressure zone device installed at the service connection to the premises. When the auxiliary water supply may be contaminated as determined by the Director, he may order the City water supply protected by an air gap installed at the service connection.
Toxic or hazardous substances.
Should a facility be rated as hazardous as determined by the Director and the facility is not under pressure, the City water supply shall be protected by an air gap separation or an approved reduced-pressure zone device. If an air gap is installed, it shall be located as close as practical to the water meter, and all piping between the water meter and air gap shall be entirely visible. A reduced pressure zone device, when installed, shall be as close as possible to the service connection.
If the facility is rated as hazardous by the Director and the facility is under pressure, the public water supply shall be protected by an air gap separation. The air gap shall be located as close as practical to the water meter, and any piping between the water meter and air gap shall be entirely visible. If these conditions cannot be reasonably met, the City water supply shall be protected with a reduced pressure zone device located as close to the service connection as possible.
Nontoxic or nonhazardous substances. At the service connection to any premises on which a substance that would be objectionable (but not necessarily hazardous to health) if introduced into the City water supply is handled in such a manner as to constitute a cross-connection, the City water supply shall be protected by an approved double check valve assembly.
Sewage treatment plant and pump stations. The City water supply shall be protected with an approved device located as close to the service connection as possible.
Fire systems. At the service connection to any premises in which a fire-protection system is installed, the City water supply shall be protected based on the water source and arrangement of supplies in accordance with the following classifications:
Class 1: If the source is a direct connection from public water mains only, with no pumps, tanks or reservoirs, no connections from auxiliary water supplies, no antifreeze or other additives of any kind, and all sprinkler drains discharging to the atmosphere, drywells or other safe outlets, then a double check valve assembly shall be required.
Class 2: If the source is the same as Class 1, except booster pumps may be installed in the connections from the street mains, then a double check valve assembly shall be required.
Class 3: If the source is a direct connection from a public water supply main with one or more of the following: elevated storage tanks, fire pumps taking suction from aboveground covered reservoirs or tanks, or pressure tanks, then a double check valve assembly shall be required.
Class 4: If the source is directly supplied from public mains similar to Classes 1 and 2, with an auxiliary water supply on or available to the premises or an auxiliary supply located within 1,700 feet of the connection, then an air gap or reduced pressure zone device is required.
Class 5: If the source is directly supplied from public mains and is interconnected with the auxiliary supply, such as pumps taking suction from reservoirs exposed to contamination, or rivers and ponds, driven wells, mills or other industrial water systems, or when antifreeze or other additives are used, an air gap or reduced pressure zone device is required.
Class 6: If the source is a combined industrial and fire-protection system supplied from the public water mains only or without gravity storage or pump suction tanks, an air gap or reduced pressure zone device is required.
Lawn sprinkling systems. At the service connection to any permanently installed lawn sprinkling system, the City water supply shall be protected by an approved double check valve assembly. If the lawn sprinkling system handles liquid fertilizers or other chemicals, the City water supply shall be protected by an approved reduced pressure zone device.
Swimming pools. All portions of the water distribution serving the swimming pool and auxiliary facilities shall be protected against backflow and back-siphoning. Water introduced into the pool, either directly or to the recirculation system, shall be supplied through an air gap or by another method which will prevent backflow and back-siphoning.
Water hose bibs. All new and replaced outside water hose bibs shall be protected with a vacuum breaker backflow prevention.
The Department of Water and Wastewater will administrate the cross-connection control program, including the keeping of necessary records.
The Director has the authority to perform a hazard classification to determine the type of backflow prevention device required.
The consumer shall allow his property to be inspected for possible cross-connections and shall follow the provisions of the Department of Water and Wastewater's Cross-Connection Control Program.
The consumer may utilize public health officials, or personnel from the Department of Water and Wastewater, to assist him in the survey of his facilities and to assist him in the selection of proper fixture outlet devices and the proper installation of these devices.
The consumer shall be responsible for an annual registration fee of $50. Failure of the consumer to complete the registration or reregistration process within 14 days of the anniversary date of registration will be subject to enforcement of § 255-82. If the fee, fines, or other incurred expenses are not paid, it will be added to the property owner's tax bill.
Any water service found to be in noncompliance with this chapter shall have a backflow prevention device installed within 60 days of notification, at which time the device shall be tested and registered or subject to enforcement of § 255-82. All test reports shall be mailed to the City of Schenectady, Department of Water and Wastewater.
It shall be the responsibility of each consumer at his own expense to furnish, install and keep in good working order and safe condition any and all protective devices required in this chapter. The City shall not be responsible for any loss or damage directly or indirectly resulting from or caused by the improper or negligent installation, operation, use, repair or maintenance of or interfering with any protective device by any consumer or any other person, nor shall anybody interfere with operation of any protective device.
Whenever two or more conditions exist on any premises which require different protective device(s) as required in this chapter, the consumer shall be required to install the protective device(s) which, in the opinion of the Director, affords the maximum protection to the City water supply.
The property owner on whose premises any protective device is installed or required to be installed shall have each device inspected annually by a New York State certified tester. If inspections disclose failures in the operation of any device, the Director may require more frequent inspections. The Director shall have the duty of determining that the inspections required herein are performed properly.
The property owner on whose premises any protective device is installed or required to be installed shall be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the device. Records of the inspections, repairs and testing shall be kept by the property owner and a copy shall be forwarded to the Director on an annual basis. The following information must be included. All test reports shall be mailed to City of Schenectady, Department of Water and Wastewater.
Service address where the device is located.
Owner and address if different from service address.
Description of device location.
Date of installation or repair.
Installer/certified tester information (name, plumbing company, license number, permit number).
Type of device and size.
Manufacture, model number, serial number.
Any repair deemed necessary to a backflow prevention device, whether through annual or required testing or routine inspection by the owner or Director, shall be completed in 14 days.
The violation of any provision of this chapter shall subject the violator to civil penalty. Each subsequent day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. The offender shall be issued a written citation by delivery in person or by registered mail.
Unprotected cross-connection involving a private water system, which is a health hazard, per violation: $1,000.
Unprotected cross-connection involving a private water system, which is a non-health hazard, per violation: $500.
Unprotected cross-connection with the City water system, including fire hydrants, per violation: $1,000.
Falsifying records that are required to be submitted by this article, per violation: $1,000.
Failure to install backflow prevention assemblies as required, per violation: $100; not to exceed $6,000.
Failing to test backflow prevention assemblies as required, per violation: $100; not to exceed $6,000.
Failing to maintain backflow prevention assemblies as required, per violation: $100; not to exceed $6,000.
Any person violating any provision of this article shall pay all expense incurred by the City in repairing any damage to the public water system caused in part or whole by any violation and any expense incurred by the City investigating such violation. All such expense is deemed to be part of the civil penalty assessed with the violation.
No water service connection shall be installed on the premises of any consumer unless the City water supply is protected as required by this article.
Delivery of water to the premises of any consumer may be discontinued at the order of the Director, with notice, if any protective device required by this article has not been installed, inspected, tested and maintained in a timely manor or is defective or has been removed or bypassed.
Delivery of water shall be discontinued immediately and without notice to the consumer if the Director has determined that the City water supply is being contaminated or is in immediate danger of contamination.
Except as provided in Subsection D, delivery of water shall not be discontinued until written notice thereof has been given to the property owner. The notice shall be given by delivering to the property owner by certified mail. If the property owner cannot be found, service of the notice shall be mailed, postage fully prepaid, addressed to the property owner at the place of business or residence set forth in the registration form of the property owner for water service in the records of the City. The notice shall state:
The conditions or defects which must be corrected.
The date on which delivery of water will be discontinued shall be 60 days following the date of the notice, subject to the shutoff fee of $150. The Director may grant an extension of an additional period and/or waive fines if he determines the property owner has exercised due diligence but has been unable to comply.
Delivery of water shall not resume until the protective device required by this article and approved by the Director has been properly installed and tested or until conditions at the consumer's premises causing the contamination or danger have been abated or corrected to the satisfaction of the Director. All fines, fees and other incurred expenses by the City of Schenectady shall be paid in full.
For the purpose of making any inspections or discharging the duties imposed by this chapter, the Director shall have the right to enter upon the premises of any property owner. Each property owner, as a condition of the continuance of water to his premises from the City water supply, shall be considered as having stated his consent to the entry upon his premises of the Director for the purposes stated herein.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to submit falsified records/reports or construct, alter, repair, move, remove, demolish, equip, use, occupy or maintain any premises in violation of any provision of this chapter, to fail in any manner to comply with a notice, directive or order of the City Engineer, Director of Water and Wastewater, the City Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer or the designee of any one of them requiring compliance with this chapter.