Skip to main content


Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control Program

Fort Collins Utilities’ Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control Program protects the public water supply from pollutants and contaminants that could, under certain circumstances, be drawn into the public water supply from private properties. State law requires that a backflow device be installed on any water system that is connected to the drinking water system and carries the potential for cross-contamination.

  • Click to enlarge

What is Backflow?
Backflow happens when the normal flow of water is reversed from its intended direction in any pipeline or plumbing system. The danger of backflow comes with the potential for cross-contamination, which is when water that has contacted chemicals or hazardous compounds flows back into the drinking water system.

Commercial, Industrial, Domestic, Irrigation and Fire Lines
All commercial, industrial, domestic, irrigation and fire line services are required to have an approved backflow prevention assembly installed and tested annually.

Residential Properties
Requirements for multi- and single-family residences are assessed based on site hazards. Single-family residential properties are encouraged to hire a certified backflow prevention assembly tester (XLS 30KB) to test their irrigation system every three years.

For homeowners, the most common types of cross-connections include hoses connected at hose bibs, in-ground irrigation systems, private fire sprinkler systems, boiler systems, and pool or pond equipment. The most common residential backflow device is a PVB, or Pressure Vacuum Breaker.

Auxiliary Water Supply or Dual Water Lines
All customers with an auxiliary water supply or dual water lines, such as a well or pond, also are required to install and maintain backflow prevention assemblies.

Backflow and Cross-Connection Requirements The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment regulates drinking water quality and standards. The Colorado Primary Drinking Water Regulations (Section 11.39) outline Utilities' requirements for backflow prevention and cross-connection control.

In addition to installing an assembly, the water customer must have the assembly tested upon installation and annually thereafter by a certified tester (XLS 30KB). It’s important to remember that testing of existing and replacement backflow assemblies must be reported to BSI Online, and testing of new installation backflow assemblies should be submitted to Fort Collins Utilities by emailing Y3Jvc3MtY29ubmVjdGlvbkBmY2dvdi5jb20= or mailing to:

Fort Collins Utilities
Attn: Norm Mill
Cross-Connection Control
PO Box 580
Fort Collins, CO 80522

Click 'Account Login' above to access online bill pay.

Tip #215

Purchase ENERGY STAR® qualified office equipment, such as desk lamps and computers (rebates available).

More Tips