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Cross Connections - Backflow Prevention Information

Backflow Prevention & Cross Connections Program

What is a Cross-Connection?

A cross connection or arrangement of piping or appurtenances through which a backflow could occur. Any piping arrangement which allows a potable water system to be connected to a non-potable system is considered a cross connection.approved by the MDEQ and has been in effect in Oakland County since 1976

In an effort to comply with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the State of Michigan Public Act 399, 1976 Rule #325.11401 through Rule #325.11407 of the Administrative Code, the Village is instituting a backflow prevention device inspection program. Our program is primarily focused on commercial and industrial facilities, but also entails some residential structures that have backflow prevention devices installed. This update occurred in response to changes in State rules and regulations in an effort to better protect our potable (drinking) water systems from pollution or contamination.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality requires regular inspections of backflow prevention devices so that a pollutant or contaminant may not enter the water supply.

Several of the most common examples of potential cross connections include:

  • garden hoses
  • toilets or toilet fill valves,
  • lawn sprinkler systems,
  • laundry tubs,
  • swimming pools,
  • hot tubs,
  • boiler systems,
  • water assisted sump pumps and fire sprinkler systems.

For a comprehensive list of common cross connections, and to help determine if you have a backflow prevention device in your structure, please view the following resource: Residential Backflow Prevention: Do I have a Cross Connection?

Do I need to schedule an inspection?

Most Homeowners will not have any backflow prevention devices and do not require an inspection. You have been mailed a letter explaining the program, as well as the required Cross-Connections Backflow Prevention Reporting form. On that form, you will see that there is a box to check for locations whether you have any backflow prevention device (BPD) requirements.

If your structure does NOT have a backflow prevention device:

If you are confident that you do not have a backflow prevention deivice that requres inspection, please provide a completed Cross-Connections Backflow Prevention Reporting form that indicates your sitiuation. 

Please complete and return the form to the Village offices via mail, or place the completed form into the Village's dropbox located along the exiting driveway of the Village offices at 22 W. Burdick, Oxford, MI 48371. You may also e-mail your response to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You need to include your name, address, phone number, and a copy of the completed Cross-Connections Backflow Prevention Reporting form. 

If your structure DOES have a backflow prevention device:

If you are a commercial or industrial facility, or a residential structure that has a backflow prevention device installed you have two options for having your mandataory backflow prevention dveice inspection performed:

  1. You can have an individual that holds a valid Michigan plumbing license and has successfully passed an approved backflow testing class perform such testing at your cost and then provide the inspection results to the Village for our records.
  2. You can coordinate an inspection via McKenna & Associates on behalf of the Village. Inspections performed through the Village will be required to pay the for the cost of the inspection, $30.00. In order to ensure that these inspections are performed quickly, efficiently, and as professionally as possible, all Village inspectors will be wearing an Identification badge that indicates they are there on behalf of the Village when they arrive at your location. The cost of the inspection will be added to your water bill after completion.

Regardless of how you choose to have your backflow prevention device inspected, you are required to submit a completed Cross-Connections Backflow Prevention Reporting form to the Village offices, and a copy of the inspection results on file with the Village each year. 

Information about the backflow prevention device inspection

These inspections are mandatory for ALL backflow prevention devices. Fortunately, most residential addresses do not have the need for a backflow prevention device, and are not subject to inspection. But, if your structure does have a backflow prevention device (associated with any of the noted factors) you are required to report an inspection of the device to the Village on an annual basis. You are not required to use a Village inspector for perform this inspection, as you also have the option of setting up your own inspection by a liscensed plumbing professional with a certification to inspect backflow prevention devices, and submitting that inspection report to the Village offices.    

Should you choose to schedule the inspection through the Village's inspectors, you will be required to schedule an inspection with the Village you will need to have the area around your backflow prevntion device accessible for inspection Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Inspectors will only visit your structure after you have requested and scheduled an inspection through the Village offices. Should an inspector need to enter your structure to complete the required inspection, you will need to be present for the inspection as well. 

In order to keep the inspection cost to a minimum the Village coordinated inspections can only occur on days when there are at least 6 inspections scheduled to be done. This means that your inspection may need to be schedueled out a week or two in advance in order for the Village to have the nessesary number of inspections for that day. 

Once you have determined whether you have a backflow prevention device, please review and return the completed Cross-Connection Backflow Prevention Reporting form within seven days of receipt to the Village offices, or via e-mail. 

For more information about this state-manded program, what is required, and additional information regarding the benefits of the program on our environemnt, we encourage you to view the following documents provided from Oakland County's Cross Connections program, as well as the State of Michigan's guidebook for the cross connections inspection program.

State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Cross Connection Guidebook

Oakland County Cross Connection Informational Page

For a list of approved companies for backflow prevention device inspections, please use the following directory

How can you help prevent a cross connection?

There are many simple things each of us can do to help prevent cross connections in and around our homes or places of business. Become familiar with your water piping system. Review every water connection in the building and visualize the result if the water flow reversed. Install the necessary backflow prevention devices and keep them maintained, tested and in proper working order.

A few examples of typical water connections to review for proper protection are outside faucets/hose bibbs, toilets or toilet fill valves, lawn sprinkler systems, swimming pools, water-assisted sump pumps and boilers. If not properly protected against backflow, these water connections may cause polluted and/or contaminated water to enter the potable water supply. This can result in illness and even death.

In addition, private wells that are also connected to the potable water supply are a direct cross connection and prohibited. The piping from a well must be permanently disconnected from the potable water supply. The well may still be used as a secondary source of water as long as it is not in any way connected to the public drinking water supply.

Cross-Connections Backflow Prevention Reporting Form

Additional Information

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact the Village offices at (248) 628-2543, or via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.