Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention Programs

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The City of San Diego Public Utilities Department spends millions of dollars each year to insure the safety of our drinking water. A vital link in this effort is the Public Utilities Department's Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention Programs.

Water distributions systems are designed so that water flows in one direction from the treatment plant to the customer.

Cross-Connections are any unprotected actual or potential connection or structural arrangement between a public or a consumer's potable water system and any other source or system through which it is possible to introduce into any part of the potable system any used water or substance other than the intended potable water. Bypass arrangements, jumper connections or any other temporary or permanent connections through which backflow can occur are considered to be cross-connections.

Backflow is the undesirable reversal of flow of water or mixtures of water and other liquids or substances into the distribution pipes of the potable supply of water from any source or sources.

Federal and State laws require Water Purveyors to protect their system from cross-connections and backflow. To do this, we work closely with consumers, architects, contractors, and engineers to insure that all those who are required to comply with cross-connection control and/or backflow prevention requirements. If you have been contacted by the Public Utilities Department and know you need a backflow prevention assembly installed or tested, see PDF icon City of San Diego Approved List of Backflow Testers

For questions regarding device requirements and approvals for meter protection, fire protection or for more information about this program, please contact Felix Garcia at (858) 292-6329 or via email at

If you are a backflow tester currently certified with American Water Work Association (CA-NV) or the American Backflow Prevention Association (Regional) and are interested in testing backflow assemblies within our district, please contact to schedule yourself for the next Tester Orientation. The Orientations are held in January and July of each year. You will be required to provide current copies of gauge calibration and backflow tester certifications, issued by either of the previously mentioned associations.