Cross-Connection / Backflow Prevention

Backflow Diagram Website

What is a Cross-Connection?

A cross-connection is any actual or potential connection between the public drinking water system and pollutants and/or contaminants, such as chemicals, bacteria, pesticides, or waste water.

Examples of common residential cross-connections are:

  • Garden hoses submerged in polluted/contaminated water (bucket of soapy water, hot tub, swimming pool, animal water trough)
  • Lawn irrigation system

Examples of common commercial cross-connections are:

  • Carbonator for soda machine
  • Coffee and/or tea brewers
  • Chemical dispensers

What is backflow?

Backflow occurs when water flow is reversed from its intended direction and, buy way of a cross connection, is pushed or siphoned back into the public drinking water system. Backflow can occur by the following mechanisms:

  • Backsiphonage - The pressure in the drinking water system is lowered. This type of backflow can result from water line flushing, fire suppression or water main breaks.
  • Backpressure - The pressure in a customer's plumbing system is greater than that of the public drinking water system. This primarily occurs in commercial applications involving pumps, high rise buildings, or boilers.

Backflow Prevention Policy


In accordance with TCEQ Rules and Regulations for Public Water Systems, and with City Ordinance No. 2001-2802, the Backflow Prevention Policy (PDF) states no water connection from any public drinking water system shall be allowed at any residence or establishment where an actual or potential contamination hazard exists, unless the public water system is protected by an air gap or backflow prevention assembly. All backflow prevention assemblies are required to be registered and tested to be in compliance:
  • Immediately after installation of assembly unit
  • Whenever the assembly is moved
  • A minimum of once per year (annually)
  • Prior to reoccupancy of premises that has been vacated/unoccupied for 1 year
  • Immediately after any repairs are made to the assembly unit

Test & Maintenance Report Form


The City's Test & Maintenance Report form (PDF) can be filled out online using Adobe Acrobat. However, once filled out, you will need to print the form, sign it and submit the original report to the Environmental Programs office. Reports are due no later than 10 days after installation and/or testing of the backflow assembly.
The certified tester must be registered with the City of Temple Environmental Programs office for reports to be considered valid. For an application to become a registered tester, click here.  

Customer Service Inspections

The City of Temple routinely performs Customer Service Inspections (CSIs) throughout the entire water distribution system within our jurisdiction to monitor protection against potential contamination hazards. City staff continually inspects connections with the water infrastructure to ensure proper backflow protection is installed in order to protect the health of our citizens and visitors.

CSI Inspect