Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - October 22, 2013
October 22, 2013 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #38

Cross-Connection Backflow Prevention Ordinance No.13-35 and Required Backflow Prevention Assemblies


Contact and/or Presenter Information

Olga Wolanin, Superintendent - Water Division Compliance, EXT 5416

Mark Simpson, Water Division Manager, EXT 5258

Action Requested

Adoption of the Cross-Connection Backflow Prevention Ordinance No. 13-35 and adoption of the Resolution No. R-13-194 approving the Required Backflow Prevention Assemblies.

Enabling/Regulating Authority
The Cross-Connection Control Program is required by the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Chapter 62-550 and 62-555), and the Manatee County Cross-Connection Control Resolution No. R-87-185.

Background Discussion

December 16, 1974 - The United States Congress enacted the Safe Drinking Water Act (PL 93-532) into law.

June 24, 1977 – the National Interim Primary Drinking Water Regulations became effective in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. It is stated in Appendix A of the rule that ‘minimum protection should include programs that result in prevention of health hazards, such as cross-connection.”

November 1977 – the State was granted primacy over the water program under the authority of the “Florida Safe Drinking Water Act” Chapter 403-850-403.864 F.A.C. and Rule 17-22 “Public Drinking Water Systems.”

June 4, 1987 – the BOCC adopted Resolution R-87-125, “Backflow and Cross-Connection Code.”  Manatee County Government, Utilities Department, Water Division, has established a program on Cross-Connection Control.

November 1987 – the State’s regulations (Rule 17-22 F.A.C.) were revised to address the topic of cross-connection control and incorporated more specific language than that contained in the federal regulations.

January 1989 – the State’s regulations were revised again and renumbered as Rules 17-555 and 17-560, F.A.C.

December 1996 – Florida revised and renumbered their rules again to Rules 62-550 and 65-555, F.A.C.

Rule 62-550.200 (18), F.A.C. defines a cross-connection as “any physical arrangement whereby a public water supply is connected directly or indirectly with any other water supply system, sewer drain, conduit, pool, storage reservoir, plumbing fixture, or other assembly which contains or may contain contaminated water, sewage or other waste or liquid of unknown or unsafe quality which may be capable of imparting contamination to the public water supply as the result of backflow. By-pass arrangements, jumper connections, removable sections, swivel or changeable assembly and other temporary or permanent assembly through which or because of which backflow could occur are considered to be cross-connections." Rule 62-555.360(1), F.A.C. states, “Cross connection as defined in Rule 62-550.200, F.A.C. is prohibited.”

Rule 62-555.360(2), F.A.C. states, “Community water systems shall establish a routine cross-connection control program to detect and prevent cross-connections that create or may create an imminent and substantial danger to the public health...”

The water purveyor is given the authority and responsibility to discontinue service to any CUSTOMER who refuses installation of a cross connection control assembly where an actual and/or a potential cross-connection may exist (Rule 62-555.360(3), F.A.C.).

The authority to control and supervise the installation of approved cross connection control assembly rests with the “supplier of water or his designated representative...” (Rule 62-555.360(4), F.A.C.).

The adoption of the new Cross-Connection Control Ordinance No. 13-35 and Required Backflow Prevention Assemblies is needed to reflect current changes in the State rules, improve existing program, and increase compliance.

Summary of changes:

  • New ordinance clarifies language from the '1987 Backflow Resolution' on types of Backflow Prevention Device (BPD) required (when and what type of assembly is required).
  • New definition of Approved Backflow Prevention Assembly Technician clarifies educational and licensing requirements and separates technicians into two categories: potable water lines technicians and fire lines technicians (consistent with updated rules).
  • Reporting deadline for testers is reduced from 30 days to 15 days due to the new online reporting system (old system required testers to fill out paper form with test results and mail it to the cross-connection office).
  • Having an ordinance instead of a resolution strengthens our ability to enforce the requirements. The 1987 resolution states we have the responsibility to enforce, but doesn't specify what we can do if a customer is non-compliant. The new ordinance states that we can terminate service to anyone that "..fails to perform the required testing or complete required repairs or replacement of a BFD..." and that "termination may continue until all violations are corrected." Our plan is to continue our process of notifying customers that their device is due for testing, allowing a grace period (45 days) and if the testing isn't done, follow-up with a notice that they have 10 days to test the device or we will have it tested and charge them $40. The enforcement ability is needed for those customers whose devices fail, but refuse to have them repaired or replaced.
  • The ordinance also allows us to set up a program to manage the testing for the customers as presented to the BCC a few years ago, but does not require it. Thus for the near future, there will be no change to the current system of the customer being responsible for arranging the annual testing of their devices. We will only direct a contractor to test those devices that are non-compliant, where the customer has received the notice and the warning, and has not tested the device.

County Attorney Review
Formal Written Review (Opinion memo must be attached)

Explanation of Other

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name
4010010000, Cross-Connection Annual Budget

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs
$295,210.00 Cross-Connection Program FY14 Annual Budget

Attachment:  Resolution R87-125.pdf
Attachment:  Cross Connection FY 14-15 Adopted Budget.pdf
Attachment:  Notice of Public Hearing.pdf
Attachment:  Resolution R-13-194 w-Exh A - 10-17-13.pdf
Attachment:  Cross-Connection Backflow Prevention Ordinance No. 13-35.pdf