Columbia aldermen criminalize water cross-connections

Published 1:31 pm Wednesday, December 26, 2018

It is now a crime “to cause a cross-connection, auxiliary intake or interconnection to be made, or allow one to exist for any purpose whatsoever” in pipelines connected to Columbia’s water supply system.

The board of aldermen on Dec. 3 adopted an ordinance (section 51.13) requiring check valves to prevent backflow and prohibiting connections to other water supply sources.

The ordinance targets commercial and manufacturing facilities, garages, laundries, agricultural and chemical businesses and medical offices that “may be deemed to have potential hazardous uses, and the location may be designated a high hazard.” Such places must have a “reduced pressure zone back-flow prevention device” unless another arrangement is approved by the town’s cross-connection coordinator.

Single-family residential units are required to have “an approved dual check valve on all metered services.”

Water system users who do not maintain proper means of preventing cross-connection are subject to having the water supply cut off until the deficiency is remedied.

And any violation of the ordinance is a misdemeanor.

The ordinance, introduced by Alderman Seth Gibbs, passed unanimously.