Water Quality Control  
What is Cross Connection/Backflow Prevention?  

The words "cross connection" may not mean much to most, but to the employees of the City Water Department, and especially Charles Dykes, Ron Ison and Donnie Ford, Water Quality Control Specialists, the words mean trouble. What is cross connection? Simply put, cross connection occurs when contaminated water, potentially hazardous gas or liquid, gains entrance to and pollutes a safe water supply. Through the careful monitoring of the City water supply system and the installation of backflow prevention assemblies, the risk of cross connection can dramatically be reduced.

A backflow prevention assembly prevents potentially dangerous substances or contaminated water from entering the public water supply. This assembly consists of a valve that allows water to enter a building but prevents the water from returning to the supply line. Cross connection contamination usually occurs when there is a loss of pressure in the City system. The loss of pressure can create a siphonage situation that will actually pull the water from a building back into the system.

In 1996 the City implemented a BMA approved Cross Connection Control ordinance. The State Division of Water Quality requires that all public water systems maintain an active program to identify and control cross connections. This ordinance is the basis for the City's program. Everyone that installs or repairs these assemblies is required to be certified by the State of Tennessee.

There are 10 City employees certified for cross connection and backflow prevention installation and repair. To date the City has had 1200 backflow prevention assemblies installed and are maintained by City staff.

Documents Available for Download  

Below is a link to the City's policy for Backflow Prevention Requirements.You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the files.

Backflow Prevention Requirements - Requirements, Surveying, Existing Connections

Approved Backflow Prevention Assemblies-Revised Feb.24,2003

Only units currently approved by the TN Division of Water Supply are to be used for the protection of Public Water Systems against backflow hazards. For the information on any units that may have been aproved since the printing of this list call the Division of Water Supply at (615) 532-0164 or the Fleming Training Center at (615)898-8090.

Note: Double check-detector check and double check valve assemblies have only been approved by the Division of Water Supply for certain (moderate to low hazard) fire service lines. Reduced pressure backflow prevention devices are required for domestic and/or process service lines where maximum backflow protection is needed.

Unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer all assemblies are to be installed on cold potatle water applications - below 110 F. Also all Double Check Valve Assemblies, Reduced Pressure Principle Assemblies, Double Check Detector Assemblies, and Reduced Pressure Principle Detector Assemblies are Approved for HORIZONTAL ORIENTATION ONLY, unless specifically noted. Use of spare parts other than those of the original manufacturer invalidates the Approval. The following are lists of Approved assemblies by manufacturer.

Double Check Valve Assemblies

Double Check Valve Detector Assemblies

Reduced Pressure Principle Detector Assemblies & Reduced Pressure Princliple Assemblies

Breakers which include:

  • Atmospheric Vacuum Breakers
  • Pressure Vacuum Breakers
  • Spill Resistant Pressure Vacuum Breakers


Cross Connection Control Workshops

Every year in conjunction with the with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservations' Fleming Training Center, the City hosts free Cross Connection Control Workshops. The classes are held at the Civic Auditorium at 1550 Fort Henry Drive. The classes are scheduled for April and August.

  • April 12 - 13 Renewal Workshop (#3102 - 12 hours)
  • April 13 - 16 Basic Workshop (#2103 - 32 hours)
  • August 9 - 10 Renewal Workshop (#3102 12 hours)
  • August 10 - 13 Basic Workshop (#2103 - 32 hours)

Registration forms must be submitted to the Fleming Training Center 30 days prior to the start of each session. The form can be downloaded below or you can pick up a registration form at the City Water Maintenance Department located at 1213 Konnarock Road between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. All inquiries pertaining to the workshops can be directed to Mr. Ron Ison at 914-9429. Also, below is a link for directions to the Civic Auditorium.

Fleming Training Center Registration Form (Adobe Acrobat Reader Required)

Directions to City of Kingsport Water Maintenance Department

Directions to Civic Auditorium