City of Norfolk is committed to delivering safe, high
quality water to its customers. Our extensive water quality program operates 24
hours a day, 365 days a year, to ensure that the water delivered to our
customers is kept free from harmful contaminants.
An important part of our water quality program is the backflow
prevention program. When a water line is connected to equipment containing a
nonpotable substance, this is known as a cross-connection. Contamination may
occur when water flows through a cross-connection from a nonpotable source, such
as a swimming pool or heating and cooling system, into the potable water system.
This can happen through a process known as backflow.
There are more than 500 backflow prevention assemblies on
water services in the City of Norfolk service area. The Nebraska Department of
Health and Human Services requires each of these assemblies to be tested
annually. This testing is done by certified testers who have completed and
passed a course of study approved by the State.
To learn more about Norfolk’s Backflow Prevention program,
check out the information below.
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Frequently Asked Questions
- What is backflow?
is designed to keep the water flowing from our distribution system to you,
the customer. When hydraulic conditions within NORFOLK deviate from "normal", the
direction of the water flow can be reversed. This creates a backflow
condition and the potential for contaminated water entering the distribution
- How can backflow occur?
- Backflow can occur two different ways, by
- What is backsiphonage?
- When there is a sudden reduction in the water pressure in
the distribution system, such as during fire fighting or when a water main
breaks, water flow can be reversed. This can create a suction effect,
drawing potential contaminates into the potable water distribution system.
- What is backpressure?
- Backpressure is created when pressure in a
system, such as in a recirculating system containing acid, or
antifreeze, exceeds the pressure in the potable system providing the make-up
water. This can force the potable water to reverse its direction of flow
through the cross-connection between the two systems. Potential contaminates
can then enter the potable water system.
- How can backflow be prevented?
- NORFOLK recognizes four methods
of backflow prevention:
- Air Gap
- Double Check Valve Assembly
- Reduced Pressure Principal Assembly
- Pressure Vacuum Breaker Assembly
- What is a backflow prevention assembly?
- A backflow prevention assembly is an approved, testable
assembly which uses valves, in different configurations, to prevent
potential contaminates from flowing into the potable water system.
- How is an assembly approved?
- An approved backflow prevention assembly has gone
through an approval process at the Foundation for Hydraulic Research and
Cross-Connection Control at the University of Southern California. This is a
two-step process consisting of laboratory tests and a twelve-month field
test. Only assemblies successfully completing the entire testing procedure
are recognized by NORFOLK
as approved backflow prevention assemblies.
- Who is required to have a backflow prevention assembly?
- Federal and State law requires that
water suppliers protect their water systems from contamination. When a determination is made by
NORFOLK that the potable water system may be subject to contamination through a
backflow condition. NORFOLK makes these
decisions on a case-by-case basis. Residential, commercial, and industrial
customers, which meet the criteria in City Ordinance Section 26
Nebraska Health and Human Service Regulation Chapter 22 must install and maintain backflow
- How do I know if I need a backflow prevention assembly?
- A NORFOLK employee will visit your
property to do an evaluation for backflow requirements. The employee will leave or mail a
"Notice of Compliance or Non-Compliance Backflow
Prevention Inspection Report". This report will
outline the actions you need to take.
- Who is responsible for the testing and maintenance of the
backflow prevention assembly?
- It is the responsibility of the customer to ensure
that the backflow prevention assembly is in proper operating condition at
all times. Backflow prevention assemblies must be tested annually.
NORFOLK sends notices
to customers reminding them when the annual test is due. The customer must
approved certified tester to perform the test. If any repair work or
maintenance is performed on the assembly, a certified tester must retest the
assembly immediately and submit the test results to City of Norfolk.
- If I have questions about backflow prevention, who do I
of Norfolk Water
300 S 49th Street
Norfolk Ne 68701
(402) 844 2210
City of Norfolk Cross
Cross Connection Control Survey