Cross Connection Control Program

Cross Connection Control Program


The Northville Township Water System is committed to providing its customers with safe and reliable drinking water.  Safeguarding the drinking water is the responsibility of ALL.  To assist in providing safe and reliable drinking water, the Township has created a cross connection control program to help protect the drinking (potable) water from contamination due to cross connection. Beginning Aug. 16, 2021, a state mandate requires Northville Township homeowners to have their backflow prevention devices tested.
What is a cross connection?
A cross connection or arrangement of piping through which water of questionable quality, wastes or other contaminants could enter the potable water supply due to a reversal of flow.

Why does it matter?
Customers are going to be required to maintain their water systems in a manner free of cross connections. If a backflow incident should occur resulting in contamination of the public water supply, the responsible owner or occupant could be held liable for damages.
Cross Connection Control Frequently Asked Questions:
I’ve never had an inspection before. Why do I need one now?
Northville Township has had a Cross Connection Control program for a number of years, which began with inspections of all of the commercial and industrial accounts. As a natural progression of our program we are now inspecting residential customers as required by the state.
Who is responsible for completing the repairs if necessary?
If you are the owner of the home being inspected, you are responsible for any needed repairs. Renters may have to refer to their lease agreements in order to determine whether they are responsible for repairs.
Is this inspection mandatory?
Yes. These inspections are conducted in order to ensure compliance with state regulations to maintain the safety of your drinking water.
What happens if I refuse to have the inspection done or to correct any problems it identifies?
Penalties for refusing to cooperate with inspections and/or refusing to make needed repairs can include termination of water service, a fine, or both.
Why do I need to test my backflow prevention assembly?
Just like any other mechanical device, backflow prevention assemblies are prone to wear and tear, and do break down from time to time. Regular testing is required in order to ensure that your device remains in proper working order.
How often should I test my backflow prevention assembly?
Northville Township is requiring homeowners to test their system once every three years beginning in 2021.
Why doesn’t Northville Township pay for the testing of my backflow preventer?
A lawn irrigation system is not a required component of the water system. Homeowners who choose to install a lawn irrigation system as a convenience are responsible to assure the backflow preventer is properly installed and maintained in accordance with state laws and regulations.
Can any plumber test my irrigation backflow devices?
No. It has to be a certified tester approved by the state of Michigan. Visit to find a certified tester near you.
What is the law?
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) requires water utilities to have comprehensive cross control programs for the elimination and prevention of all cross connections.

This is defined in Part 14 of the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act.

EGLE has also published a Cross Connection Rules Manual. 

Examples of when cross connection can exist:
  • hose connections
  • lawn irrigation systems
  • toilet fill valves
  • chemical aspirators
  • boilers
  • cooling towers
  • swimming pools
  • water operated sump pumps
  • water softeners
  • fire sprinkler systems