Town of Westminster, MA
Worcester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Annual Town Meeting 5-4-1996 by Art. 16. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Water Commission — See Ch. 61.
Buildings and land — See Ch. 81.
Gas, plumbing and wiring — See Ch. 113.
Sewers — See Ch. 161.
Wells — See Ch. 200.
Groundwater monitoring and soil testing — See Ch. 241.
Sewage disposal — See Ch. 245.
Toxic and hazardous wastes — See Ch. 251.
Water supplies — See Ch. 254.

§ 88-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to:
A. 
Protect the public potable water supply served by the Westminster Water and Sewer Commission from the possibility of contamination or pollution by isolating such contaminants or pollutants which could backflow or backsiphon into the public water system.
B. 
Promote the elimination or control of existing cross-connections, actual or potential, between its customers in-plant potable system and nonpotable systems.
C. 
Provide for the maintenance of a continuing program of cross-connection control which will effectively prevent the contamination or pollution of all potable water systems by cross-connection.

§ 88-2 Statutory authority.

The statutory authority for this chapter shall be:
A. 
As provided in the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, (Public Law 93-523), and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Drinking Water Regulations, 310 CMR 22.22, the water purveyor has the primary responsibility for preventing water from unapproved sources or any other substances from entering the public potable water system.
B. 
Westminster Water and Sewer Commission Rules and Regulations, adopted March 13, 1995.

§ 88-3 Responsibility for protection of water supply.

The Water Commission shall be responsible for the protection of the public potable water distribution system from contamination or pollution due to the backflow or backsiphonage of contaminants or pollutants. If, as a result of a survey of the premises, the Commission determines that an approved backflow prevention device is required at the town's water service connection or as in-plant protection on any customer's premises, the Commission or its delegated agent shall issue a cross-connection violation form to said customer to install approved backflow prevention devices. The customer shall, within a time frame determined by the Commission, install such approved device or devices at his own expense, and failure or refusal or inability on the part of the customer to install said device or devices within the specified time frame shall constitute a ground for discontinuing water service to the premises until such device or devices have been properly installed.

§ 88-4 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AIR GAP SEPARATION
The method of preventing backflow through the use of an unobstructed vertical distance through the free atmosphere between the lowest opening from any pipe or faucet supplying water to a tank, plumbing fixture or other device and the flood level rim of the receptacle.
APPROVED
Accepted by the reviewing authority as meeting an applicable specification stated or cited in this chapter or as suitable for the proposed use.
APPROVED BACKFLOW PREVENTION DEVICE orEVICES
A method to prevent backflow approved by the Department for use in Massachusetts.
ATMOSPHERIC VACUUM BREAKER
An approved backflow device used to prevent back siphonage which is not designed for use under static line pressure.
AUXILIARY WATER SUPPLY
Any water supply of unknown or questionable quality on or available to the premises other than the supplier's approved public potable water supply.
BACK PRESSURE
Pressure created by mechanical means or other means which causes water or other liquids or substances to flow or move in a direction opposite to that which is intended.
BACK SIPHONAGE
A form of backflow due to reduced or subatmospheric pressure within a water system.
BACKFLOW
The flow of water or other liquids, mixtures or substances into the distribution pipes or a potable water supply from any source other than the intended source.
BACKFLOW PREVENTER WITH INTERMEDIATE ATMOSPHERIC VENT
A device having two independently operating check valves separated by an intermediate chamber with a means for automatically venting it to the atmosphere, in which the check valves are force loaded to a normally closed position and the venting means is force loaded to a normally open position.
BAROMETRIC LOOP
A loop of pipe rising at least 35 feet, at its topmost point, above the highest fixture it supplies.
COMMISSION
The Town of Westminster Water Commission.
CONTAMINANT
Any physical, chemical, biological or radiological substance or matter in water.
CROSS-CONNECTION
Any actual or potential connection between a distribution pipe of potable water from a public water system and any waste pipe, soil pipe, sewer, drain or other unapproved source.
CROSS-CONNECTION VIOLATION FORM
A violation form, designated by the Department, which is sent to the owner by the water supplier, with copies sent to the Department, plumbing inspectors and Board of Health, delineating cross-connection violations found on the owner's premises and a procedure for corrective action.
DEPARTMENT
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
DOUBLE CHECK VALVE ASSEMBLY
A backflow prevention device which incorporates an assembly of check valves, with shut-off valves at each end and appurtenances for testing.
IN-PLANT PROTECTION
The location of approved backflow prevention devices in a manner which provides simultaneous protection of the public water system and the potable water system within the premises.
OWNER
Any person maintaining a cross-connection installation or owning or occupying premises on which cross-connections can or do exist.
PERMIT
A document issued by the Department which allows a cross-connection installation.
PERSON
Any individual, corporation, company, association, trust, partnership, the commonwealth, a municipality, district or other subdivision or instrumentality of the United States, except that nothing herein shall be constructed to refer to or to include any American Indian tribe or the United States Secretary of the Interior in his capacity as trustee of Indian lands.
PRESSURE VACUUM BREAKER
An approved backflow prevention device designed to prevent only back siphonage and which is designed for use under static line pressure and which has necessary appurtenances for testing.
REDUCED PRESSURE BACKFLOW PREVENTER
An approved backflow prevention device incorporating two more check valves, an automatically operating differential relief valve located between the two checks, two shut-off valves and necessary appurtenances for testing.
RESIDENTIAL DUAL CHECK
An assembly of two spring-loaded, independently operating check valves without tightly closing shut-off valves and test cocks; generally employed immediately downstream of the water meter to act as a containment device.
REVIEWING AUTHORITY
The Department, its designee or the local plumbing inspector, authorized by MGL C. 142 and licensed by the Board of State Examiners of Plumbers and Gas Fitters, whichever is responsible for the review and approval of the installation of an approved backflow prevention device.

§ 88-5 Program to be approved; right of entry.

A. 
The Commission will operate an active cross-connection control program, to include the keeping of necessary records, which fulfills the requirements of the state's DEP Cross-Connection Regulations and which is approved by the Department.
B. 
The owner or his agent shall allow his property to be inspected for possible cross-connections and follow the provisions of the Water Division's program and DEP regulations. Right of entry is authorized pursuant to 310 CMR 22.22, Section 11.

§ 88-6 Requirements for Commission and owners.

A. 
Commission.
(1) 
On new installations, the Commission will provide on-site evaluation and/or inspection of plans in order to determine the type of backflow preventer, if any, that will be required, and notify the owner of plan approval requirements by the appropriate reviewing authority.
(2) 
For premises existing prior to the start of this program, the Commission will perform surveys of the premises and reviews of as-built plans and issue a cross-connection violation form to the owner detailing any corrective action required, the method of achieving the correction and the time allowed for the correction to be made. The time period allowed shall depend upon the degree of hazard involved.
(3) 
The Commission will not allow any cross-connection to remain unless it is protected by an approved backflow preventer for which a permit has been issued and which will be regularly tested to ensure satisfactory operation.
(4) 
If the Commission determines at any time that a serious threat to the public health exists, the water service will be terminated immediately.
(5) 
The Commission shall have on its staff, or shall have a delegated representative, who is a backflow prevention device tester certified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
(6) 
The Commission will begin initial premise inspections to determine the nature of existing or potential hazards, following the approval of this program by the Department, during calendar year 1995. Initial focus will be on high-hazard industries and commercial premises.
B. 
Owner.
(1) 
The owner shall be responsible for the elimination or protection of all cross-connections on his premises.
(2) 
The owner shall be responsible for applying for and obtaining all necessary approvals and permits for the maintenance of cross-connections and installation of backflow prevention devices and for applying annually for the renewal of each permit.
(3) 
The owner shall have any device that fails an inspection or test repaired by a licensed plumber.
(4) 
The owner shall inform the Commission of any proposed or modified cross-connection and also any existing cross-connections of which the owner is aware but which have not been found by the Commission.
(5) 
The owner shall not install a bypass around any backflow preventer unless there is a backflow preventer of the same type on the bypass. Owners who cannot shut down operation for testing of the device(s) must supply additional devices necessary to allow testing to take place.
(6) 
The owner shall install backflow preventers in a manner approved by the Department and by the Commission.
(7) 
The owner shall install only reduced pressure backflow preventers and double check valve assemblies approved by the Department.
(8) 
Any owner of industrial, commercial or institutional premises having a private well or other private water source must have a permit if the well or source is cross connected to the Commission's system. Permission to cross connect may be denied by the Commission. The owner may be required to install a backflow preventer at the service entrance if a private water source is maintained even if it is not cross connected to the Commission's system.
(9) 
The owner of any residential premises having a private well or other private water source will not be allowed a physical connection with the public water supply system.
(10) 
The owner shall be responsible for the payment of all fees for permits, device testings, retesting in the case that the device fails to operate correctly and second reinspections for noncompliance with Commission or Department requirements.

§ 88-7 Degree of hazard.

The Commission recognizes the threat to the public water system arising from cross-connections. As such, the Commission, whereas it is responsible for the quality of the public water supply, may require a containment device on the water service entrance to any customer who, as a result of unprotected cross-connections, could contaminate the public water supply system.

§ 88-8 Cross-connections limited.

The Commission shall not allow a cross-connection to exist within the public water supply system unless it is considered necessary and all appropriate approvals and permits have been issued.

§ 88-9 Existing backflow prevention devices.

Any existing backflow preventer shall be allowed by the Commission to continue in service unless the degree of hazard is such as to supersede the effectiveness of the present backflow preventer or result in an unreasonable risk to the public health. Where the degree of hazard has increased, as in the case of a residential installation converting to a business establishment, any existing backflow preventer must be upgraded to a reduced pressure backflow preventer, or a reduced pressure backflow preventer must be installed in the event that no backflow device was present.

§ 88-10 Periodic testing required.

A. 
Reduced pressure backflow preventers and double check valve assemblies shall be tested and inspected at least semiannually by the Commission.
B. 
Periodic testing shall be performed by the Commission's certified tester or his delegated representative, who shall be a certified tester.
C. 
The testing shall be conducted during the Commission's regular business hours. Exceptions to this, when at the request of the owner, may require additional charges to cover the increased costs to the Commission.
D. 
Reduced pressure backflow preventers and double check valve assemblies must be tested annually by the owner, independent of the semiannual test by the water supplier, and said test must be conducted by a certified tester.
E. 
Any backflow preventer which fails during a periodic test must be repaired or replaced by a licensed plumber. When repairs are necessary, upon completion of the repair, the device will be retested at the owner's expense to ensure proper operation. High-hazard situations will not be allowed to continue unprotected if the backflow preventer fails the test and cannot be repaired immediately. In other situations, a compliance date of not more than 14 days after the test date will be established. The owner is responsible for spare parts, repair tools or a replacement device. Parallel installation of two devices is an effective means of the owner ensuring that uninterrupted water service remains during testing or repair of devices and is strongly recommended when the owner desires such continuity.
F. 
Backflow prevention devices will be tested more frequently than specified above in Subsection A in cases where there is a history of test failures and the Commission feels that due to the degree of hazard involved, additional testing is warranted. Cost of the additional tests will be borne by the owner.

§ 88-11 Records and reports.

A. 
Records. The Commission will initiate and maintain the following:
(1) 
Master files on customer cross-connection tests and/or inspections.
(2) 
Master files on approved cross-connection installations.
(3) 
Copies of lists and summaries supplied to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
B. 
Reports. The Commission will submit the following to the DEP:
(1) 
Initial listing of high-hazard cross-connections.
(2) 
Initial listing of low-hazard cross-connections.
(3) 
Annual update lists of Subsection B(1) and (2) above.
(4) 
Annual summary of cross-connection inspections and surveys.

§ 88-12 Residential dual check.

A. 
Effective the date of the acceptance of the Cross-Connection Control Program for the Town of Westminster, Massachusetts, all new residential buildings will be required to install a residential dual check device immediately downstream of the water meter. This device will be provided by the Water and Sewer Commission at a scheduled cost to the homeowner. Installation of this residential dual check device on a retrofit basis on existing service lines will be instituted at a time and at a potential cost to the homeowner as deemed necessary by the Commission.
B. 
The owner must be aware that installation of a residential dual check valve results in a potential closed plumbing system within his residence. As such, provisions may have to be made by the owner to provide for thermal expansion within his closed loop system, i.e., the installation of thermal expansion devices and/or pressure relief valves.

§ 88-13 Strainers.

The Commission strongly recommends that all new and retrofit installations of reduced pressure backflow preventers and double check valve assemblies include the installation of strainers located immediately upstream of the backflow device. The installation of strainers will preclude the fouling of backflow devices due to both foreseen and unforeseen circumstances occurring to the water supply system such as water main repairs, water main breaks, fires, periodic cleaning and flushing of mains, etc. These occurrences may stir up debris within the water main that will cause fouling of backflow devices installed without the benefit of strainers.

§ 88-14 Fee structure.

The initial backflow prevention device test is $50. All repeat tests are $75.