Water Backflow Assembly FAQ
Safe and reliable drinking water is a carefully manufactured product. In order to help ensure safe drinking water, the Village adopted a Cross Connection Control Program, Village Municipal Code: Chapter 52.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) requires every water supply to develop and implement a cross connection (backflow prevention) control program. A requirement of the program is to send a survey to all residential water customers every two years. All residential water customers are requested to complete the survey, which takes only a few minutes.
Residents can complete the water use survey on our website.
How do I respond to the survey?
Residents can complete the water use survey online. Please note that there are some required fields, but not all fields need to be filled in.
If you do not have access to complete the survey online, please call the Public Works Department at (708) 444-5500 and request a survey form to be sent to you.
What is a cross connection and a backflow preventer?
Cross connections are potential connections between a potable (drinking) water supply and a non-potable source, where it is possible for a contaminant to enter the drinking water supply. Cross connections should be protected by a device called a backflow preventer. A backflow preventer is a device that allows the water to flow in one direction and prevent the piping or device hooked to the water supply line from flowing back into it.
Backflow preventers are the property of the water customer and the responsibility lies with the customer for required annual testing and maintenance. The water customer must contract with a licensed tester to perform the required annual tests and any necessary repairs. Most plumbers are now certified to test backflow preventers.
Regarding cross connection and backflow preventer use, does the Village of Tinley Park create and control backflow requirements or does the State of Illinois?
In response to the unfunded state mandate established under Title 35 of the Illinois Protection Agency’s (IEPA) Administrative Code and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Title 77, Part 890, Illinois Plumbing Code, all public water supplies are required to have a backflow prevention program. These codes delineate that there should be no arrangement or connection by which an unsafe substance may enter a water supply (cross connection). The mandate requires that all such connections to a public water supply be the responsibility of the official custodian of the supply (in this case, the Village of Tinley Park).
Where do backflow mandates come from and who is going to enforce these mandates?
The Cross-Connection Control Program in Illinois is one of several tools intended to protect water consumers in the state. Section 18 of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act (P.A. 89-445, eff. 2-7-96; 90-773, eff. 8-14-98) and 35 Ill. Adm. Code 607.104 provides the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) direction from both the Illinois legislature and Illinois Pollution Control Board. These statutes establish that no person can threaten a water supply and that local water supply officials are responsible for protecting their water mains from connections that have the potential to allow the backflow of contaminants into their respective distribution systems. Further, 35 Ill. Adm. Code 602.115 gives the Illinois EPA authority to develop and modify “Agency” regulations regarding cross-connection control at community water supplies.
What happens if I do not fill out the survey?
All water customers are required to complete the survey. There are no penalties or fines for not completing the survey; however, we encourage everyone to complete the survey to assist the Village in compiling accurate records and meeting compliance with IEPA. We ask for your cooperation with our program.