Cross connection control protects the quality of our drinking water through backflow prevention.

What is backflow and how would this occur?
Water is normally maintained at a significant pressure to enable water to flow from the tap, shower etc. If a water main bursts, pipes freeze or there is unexpectedly high demand on the water system, the pressure in the pipe may be reduced. During these types of events, the pressure may be reduced enough to reverse the intended flow of water and actually draw water out of nearby service connections. If these connections are affixed to chemical mixing facilities or any non-potable water supply, the possibility exists that dangerous backflow can occur resulting in contamination of our public water supply.
What is a backflow prevention device?
This is a device that prevents water from flowing backwards into a water supply line resulting in a contaminated water supply. There are degrees of protection ranging from a vacuum breaker on a garden hose line to reduced pressure zone backflow preventers commonly used in an industrial setting where chemicals are connected to water lines. What is used and where it is installed depends on the application and the threat level.
What do I as a property/building owner need to do?

By-law No. 146-03 requires that all building owners, except some residential properties equip their buildings with backflow prevention devices. These devices need to be installed and maintained/tested on a regular basis. This must be done by a backflow prevention device tester licensed by the City of Cambridge .

Please complete the contact information sheet and review instructions for annual testing.

Test reports must be submitted annually, and equipment surveys must be submitted every three years. 

At the design stage of a new building or addition a design level cross connection survey must be submitted with the building permit application.

What if I choose to not install a backflow device?
The by-law is clear that each building, except for some residential buildings require backflow prevention devices. Failure to equip the building and maintain these devices could result in having your water shut off, and/or a fine of up to $5,000.00.
Is there any fee or permit involved?

No. The annual testing and survey reports do not require a fee. However, if a new device needs to be installed it would require a building permit which would require a fee.

Please contact the Backflow Officer at (519) 621-0740 ext. 4514 for more information.